Finding a fitness tracker for measuring your heartbeat is easier than ever these days, but what if you can’t be bothered by an extra accessory on your wrist? That’s where Wello comes in. This innovative smartphone case has built-in sensors for measuring vitals like your blood pressure, blood oxygen and heart rate via the Wello app, allowing you to get a quick glance at your personal health without using any fancy fitness tech. We went hands-on with Wello at SxSW 2014, sampling the $199 health-conscious case before its slated summer release.
The Wello case itself is pretty no-frills, sporting an all-black plastic design that snapped onto the iPhone 5s on display. The peripheral has two sensors on the right side for your two pointer fingers, as well as another two on the back for your middle digits. The working prototype that we got our hands on felt a little stiff, but a non-working model based on the final design was much smoother to the touch.
Wello works in conjunction with the free Wello app, which provides you with your heart rate, blood pressure, blood oxygen, temperature and a real time ECG. To get these vitals, you simply keep your fingers on the sensors for about 20 seconds. The Wello case also ships with an attachment you can blow into in order to measure the quality of your lungs. You can track your daily, weekly and monthly health habits with the Wello app, making it easy to keep an eye on any potential warning signs.
Samsung’s Galaxy S5 smartphone will ship with a heart rate monitor of its own, though we don’t know if the latest version of the S Health app will track specific vitals like blood oxygen and temperature the same way Wello does. It also helps that Wello ships in iPhone 5/5s, 4s, and Android models, so you won’t have to spring for a new device if you want to gain some mobile fitness features.
If you’re interested in nabbing a Wello, you can pre-order one from the company’s website for $199. We look forward to spending more time with this unique case, as well as testing its capabilities against the slew of fitness bands and accessories already on the market.