At CES early this year, Samsung’s newly formed Creative Labs showcased a few concept smart products, and one of the most curious was a smart belt called Welt. Curious partly because of its perhaps poorly chosen name, and partly because it embodies the ultimate dream of wearable devices: an inconspicuous piece of clothing or fashion made smarter. Now the team behind the smart belt is seeking to bring the concept to fulfillment and, unsurprisingly, has taken to Kickstarter to make that happen, despite ties with Samsung.
Like almost all wearable devices these days, and especially considering its very simple form, Welt, which really should have chosen a better name before launching, is focused wholly on fitness and health tracking. It shouldn’t be a surprise that it can count steps, as it hides a pedometer inside. It can also keep track of your waistline, again, not unusual for something that wraps around your waist.
But perhaps a bit intriguing is the claim that it also measures your activity and even your eating. The former is done by actually determining whether you have been sitting for quite a while. The latter might be a bit more contentious, as it uses the measurement of your waist to determine whether you have overeaten or not. According to the science cited by Welt, your waist can expand or contract in under an hour depending on your calorie intake.
In terms of design, the Welt is as you would expect of a fashionable accessory. That is, depending on your fashion tastes. Welt tries to accommodate as many styles as it can, but it will undoubtedly not suit everyone’s aesthetics or clothes. Sadly, the belt comes in one piece and isn’t replaceable given how it functions. Most of the electronics is, of course, concentrated in the buckle, which is also where you plug in the micro USB cable to charge it. Yes, you have to recharge your belt, odd as that might sound, though Welt promises 20 days of battery life on a single charge.
Despite less than a day on Kickstarter, Welt is close to reaching its rather modest $30,000 funding goal with 30 days to spare. A few super cheap, super early bird slots are still available. Shipping is scheduled to start January next year.