Imagine being in constant communication with your waistline. One app-connected belt buckle wants to do just that.
Belty keeps your pants up while sending you gentle, vibrating reminders throughout the day to lead a more healthy lifestyle. The leather belt showcased at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show is the second version of the gigantic buckle that the device’s maker, Emiota, showed off last year.
It’s a wearable that learns your behavior; tracks your daily activity; and sends you alerts to be more active, drink water, and be physically mindful throughout the day. The occasional pulses tell you to stop being stagnant and pay a bit more attention to your mid-section.
The leather Belty is made for men, and the fitness tracking and communication happen entirely through the belt buckle. It pairs with a mobile app that can be programmed to send pulsating reminders to your abdomen when you want to drink water, go for a walk, or take a deep breath. At the end of the day, you can check the app to see an overview of the day’s activity.
As Emiota co-founder Carine Colum explained, different vibrations mean different things—walking and hydration reminders, for instance, will have different vibrations. To tell the belt that you don’t care about a particular reminder, (“Hey, chill out belt, I’m cool with being sedentary at my desk all day”), simply tap it to ignore the notification. It won’t remind you again.
Colum said the belt is supposed to help people adopt and stick to more healthy habits. For instance, if one of your goals is to be more active, you can program Belty to alert you to get up and walk around after 45 minutes of prolonged sitting, similar to other wearables on the market. There’s a list of activities within the app, like walking, running, and jumping, and you can modify the intensity of the vibrations. You can also set it to wake you up after a nap.
Belty is available for pre-sale on the company’s website for $349, but it won’t be delivered until December. The launch date might be frustrating for consumers who want to get their hands on products now, but so many devices at this year’s CES have prolonged or nonexistent timelines, so the year-long wait is not surprising. You can look forward to your belt just in time for the holidays.
Belty only has 24 hours of battery life, so you’d have to charge it every day. And although the mechanism is built in the buckle, it only works with the company’s leather belts, so you can’t pop it off and place it on another favorite.
Although I didn’t have belt loops and I’m not a man, I tried out Colum’s Belty. To be honest, the vibrations felt odd, and I probably turned a bit red on the show floor testing out a vibrating belt buckle in such a public atmosphere. The company doesn’t currently plan to make a Belty for women—like so many other wearable products, it’s going man-first.
Why anyone would need a connected belt when there are literally hundreds of other wearables, I’m not entirely sure. But at least the vibration feels nice.
Photo via Belty