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Brief Published: 29 May 2018

Wristband Tracks Body Composition

Aura Band

US start-up Aura Devices has designed the Aura Band – a next-gen fitness tracker that can track users' body composition, as well as their activity and heart rate.

The Aura Band uses bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA), a method of estimating body composition – such as fat, muscle percentage and bone volume, as well as hydration levels. To activate the BIA, users create a loop with their arms by holding the band. The band then passes a low-voltage electric current through the user's body, which allows it to calculate the percentage of water and fat, based on the resistance to the flow of electricity.

Aura Devices claims that tracking body composition is a more reliable way to measure our bodies than using traditional scales, which typically track weight only. This method also enables the device to give the user personalised tips, such as increasing their water intake.

The company plans to reward active users with virtual coins called Aura Coins, which could be used to buy real-life products and services from Aura Devices' partners – such as insurance companies, suggests co-founder Stas Gorbunov. This could spark innovation in terms of health plans, with customers paying insurance fees according to their physical activity levels.

The start-up is currently raising money on crowdfunding website Kickstarter, with the device priced at $109 and expected to ship in August 2018.

For more ways to incentivise consumers to exercise, see Fuelling Fast-Paced Lifestyles.