Basis Science is releasing a new feature dubbed Body IQ that measures more exactly how intensely you are working out, specifically by breaking out data for running, walking, and biking.
With the update, bikers or runners can glance at the smart watch and see how long they’ve been exercising. And they can also capture the precise time for their activity, measuring whether they’ve beaten their personal bests or burned enough calories for the day.
“Running, walking, and biking are the main activities our consumers want us to track for them,” said Jef Holove, chief executive of Basis Science, in an interview. “With Body IQ, we can automatically track these activities.”
The software and web site update will add new features to the Basis Health Tracker fitness gadget, which you wear on your wrist like a watch. And it also adds better activity tracking and calorie burn calculations based on your actual activities. By adding the new features to a watch that debuted a year ago, Basis is showing that it can continuously update its platform to differentiate it, long after its market debut.
The company sells the Basis Health Tracker for $199. It uses a variety of sensors to measure your heart rate, steps taken during the day, and calories burned. It can measure your sweat, and it can draw conclusions based on that data. It can tell, for instance, how many hours you are sleeping. Once you upload that data to your mobile device or the web, you can then use the Basis cloud service to get advice on health improvements.
The Body IQ update will be delivered to Basis via a firmware update. The watch will automatically recognize, track, and time your running, walking, and biking activity. You can see how many calories you are burning simply by looking at the face of the watch.
With changes to the web-based site where you can log in to view your activity stats, you can now get a better understanding of the physiological impact of each activity. You can overlay various charts on top of each other, including heart rate, calories burned, exertion levels, and steps taken.
Habit cards let you set goals, such as running for 30 minutes a day. Basis tracks how often you hit the targets over time. The site also features two new habit cards — Run Club and Let’s Ride — that set goals for you on how far or fast to run or ride. The Basis iOS app can now display habit cards too.
San Francisco-based Basis Science recently raised $11.75 million in funding, bringing its total amount raised to date to $23 million. There are lots of rivals on the market, from the Nike Fuel Band to the Jawbone Up.
Holove believes that the update will help differentiate his company over time, because Basis can provide better data analysis and prompt real behavior change. He said that runners, bikers, and walkers are very attuned to their workout regimens and will modify their behavior based on the data that they can capture.
“Now you can see how much time you spent in the day doing something, and the calorie burn calculation will be much more accurate,” Holove said.
And that probably means you’re going to have to work out harder.
“It is a transparent reminder of how much you burn off,” Holove said. “It’s a real-world reality check.”
Holove said his team will deliver further updates in the future and it has only begun to make use of the features of the watch’s various sensors.
The company’s investors are Intel Capital, iNovia Capital, Dolby Family Trust, Stanford University, Peninsula-KCG, Mayfield Fund, DCM, and Norwest Venture Partners.