Goccia leads the race towards a hot summer for activity trackers

It is promising to be a hot summer for wearable technology. In an increasingly-crowded market for wearables, the Goccia activity tracker promises real innovation. The Kickstarter-funded firm is developing a tiny tracker that promises to come to market boasting not only one but two market firsts – as far as we are aware. Goccia is positioned as “the world’s smallest activity tracker” but that’s only part of the story. There’s also the introduction of a new way of syncing, and convenient wireless charging.

First and most interesting is Goccia’s new way of syncing. Bluetooth LE and other forms of radio are gone in favor of “newly-developed LED light syncing technology”. To sync, simply place a Goccia button on the front of a smart phone and align it with the camera aperture. This is a clever approach and uses much less power than radio-based syncing.

Goccia – small, discreet and powerful

Second, Goccia features wireless recharging. As far as we are aware, it will be the first smart wristband to feature this technology. Although WTW’s experiments so far with wireless charging for smartphones have proven to be frustrating, the technology is continuing to mature and is an obvious choice, if it works. Goccia’s developers claim the fully depleted battery is fully charged in 25 minutes, providing enough juice for 14 days’ operation.

With the exception of LG’s clunky and heavy LifeBand, the next generation of wrist-worn activity trackers will be smaller and lighter. Goccia, the Italian word for “a drop of water”, is a disc with a diameter the size of a US dime and is said to weigh “a little more than a (US) penny”. It features an array of LEDs for a read-out similar to that of the Misfit Shine.

Goccia is a start-up whose team is based in San Francisco and Beijing. The device is said to be 100% waterproof and able to log the usual (steps, sleep). Again, like the Misfit, it can be worn on the wrist or clipped on to clothing. Another clever touche is the automatic switching between day/night mode, so no more forgetting to activate day/night mode and then losing valuable data (a user-friendly feature and Jawbone would be wise to take heed). The app is only available for Apple devices at this point.

If you think this sounds good and you can hardly wait, there’s an option for backers who provide US $200 or more to get their hands on a Goccia shortly after the campaign concludes at the end of April.

At the time of writing, Goccia has raised just under $38,000 of its $50,000 goal, and with a week to go, looks as if it will be able to secure the crowd-funding it is seeking. We’re tipping it for the LED technology alone.

/WTW

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