Sony unveils smart headset for smarter jogs

TOKYO - Sony will soon begin selling headphones that go beyond playing music by recording data and offering tracking functions to runners.

The Smart B-Trainer logs a variety of data on the move, including heart rate and route travelled. If the heart rate misses the target, a built-in feature can change the music to faster songs as an encouragement to pick up the pace. The user also has access to expert advice from a renowned marathon commentator.

The 43-gram device boasts six sensors, including an accelerometer, a barometer and a GPS system. It can measure and record 11 types of running data, such as calories burned, distance and pace. The 16 gigabytes of memory holds up to 3,900 songs, and the battery lasts about five and a half hours. The product will debut March 7 and sell for around 27,000 yen ($220) in stores.

After a training session, data on the Smart B-Trainer is transmitted to the user's smartphone via Bluetooth. Accumulated data can be viewed on a specialised smartphone app that helps users decide on training regimens. Athletic equipment manufacturer Asics will provide a training app.

Sony is already in the wearables market, having released watch and wristband devices. It plans to soon launch glasses and a detachable device that attaches to goggles. The company appears to be trying to cover all the bases by putting out an array of wearables for various parts of the body.

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