Wearables

Samsung’s Smart Belt — Called WELT

In its ongoing efforts to expand the bounds of what can — or should — be a wearable, Samsung‘s latest possible edition is currently being vetted by the sober minds at Kickstarter.

Called the WELT, the smart belt made its first public appearance at the Consumer Electronics show in January. It’s now on Kickstarter with an estimated date of delivery in Jan. 2017. While not quite a runaway success (Samsung’s smartwatch had a more potent Kickstarter), it is well on track toward meeting its fundraising goal with about a month left to raise funds.

The main purpose of the smart belt seems to be fitness tracking. Interestingly, Samsung is not the first company to do so — though it has failed, like all other smartbelt makers, to explain why exactly a belt is the right way to go for this kind of function.

“Why, in a world of fitness-tracking everything, would anyone require that sort of integration in the object whose primary function is keeping your pants from falling down?” was the question one TechCrunch reporter felt compelled to ask.

As of now, there are about 230 backers for the WELT and its special feature of actually tracking a user’s waistsize over time. Wearers can also chart it and measure that metric against various other indicators of health so as to make more information-based decisions about their fitness routines.

Whether they will or not — well, that remains the essential question wearables keep trying to answer. That the technology exists that consumers can track their waistlines in real time is interesting, but it doesn’t quite tell us if anyone actually wants that level of information.

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