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Are you in the borderline cardiac arrest zone? This smartwatch is a gym rat’s one true love

Above: Epson Pulsense Smartwatch

Image Credit: J. O'Dell / VentureBeat

CES 2014

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LAS VEGAS — You know the fanciest elliptical machines at the gym? The ones that feel like you’re climbing through mounds of semi-firm butter, the ones with all the cool training courses, and most importantly, the ones that tell you how fast your heart is beating and what “zone” you’re in?

Yeah, Epson’s got a wristband and smartwatch for that. This elegant little sucker tracks your heart rate with an LED light and tells you whether you’re getting aerobic or burning fat or working off a few hours in purgatory or what have you.

The lineup is called Pulsense. Today at the 2014 International CES, Epson’s unveiling a $200 smartwatch with a basic, calculator-like display. It’s also showing off a $130 bracelet prototype with colored LED lights to show you what fitness “zone” you’re in. Both should be out this summer.

And heck, they’re even working on an ankle unit for cyclists. How fun is that?

“We’re excited to be part of the wearables space, from head to toe,” said Epson new ventures director Anna Jen.

“It’s really about the quantified self movement and getting to know your body better.”

The lineup uses a green LED light to determine your pulse rate based on the reflectivity of your red blood cells as they stampede through your veins. The units are rubbery and meant to be worn rather snugly, all the better to track your heart rate. We tried the black bands, but Epson’s taking suggestions for more colorful options.

The smartwatch has low-power Bluetooth to transfer fitness data back to your phone or computer, and it’s also got a pedometer and sleep monitor.

But my hands-down favorite part is the hyper-accurate, pulse-based calorie counter. Screw your Atkins horse manure; I’m a child of the ’90s, and counting calories (preferably to the oldies) is where it’s at.

Here are the bracelet and watch, modeled to perfection by Anna Jen and your humble correspondent:

We’ll have lots more coming from the show, so stay tuned to our CES hub for more news, gadgets, and interviews.

More information:

Seiko Epson Corporation commonly known as Epson, is a Japanese electronics company and one of the world's largest manufacturers of computer printers, information and imaging related equipment. Headquartered in Suwa, Nagano, Japan, the ... read more »

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