Bosch wants to take fitness trackers to the next level with its new AI chip

Bosch Sensortec
Bosch Sensortec (Image credit: Bosch Sensortec)

What you need to know

  • Bosch has launched a new AI chip for fitness trackers that can automatically detect workouts as they're being performed.
  • The new BHI260AP sensor can even learn new workouts based on user input.
  • Since the AI is on the sensor, the information doesn't have to be bounced to the cloud.

Working out may not have been as easy this year amid a global pandemic, but for those of you who try to keep up with your fitness routines amid the turmoil, or are just interested in getting into one, having the right fitness tech can really enhance the experience. It's always nice to be able to keep track of your workouts, whether it's a run or weightlifting. Bosch Sensortec designs sensors based on microelectromechanical (MEMS) systems used in products like VR headsets, drones, wearables, and more. The latest sensor, BHI260AP, aims to take fitness trackers a step further by allowing automatic detection of workouts, and the ability to learn new ones.

The chip uses AI to detect how a user is moving, allowing it to determine the workout being performed without the user specifying it. And even more impressively, the chip can learn new workouts based on user input. If it doesn't recognize a workout that's being performed, it will still log it, and the user can input a name for the workout. That way, when the chip detects the same movements from that workout, it'll know to identify it. It can even take things a step further and let the user know when their form is off.

Since the AI is located on the chip, the information can be pinged straight to a smartphone without needing to send data through the cloud, which can potentially save on battery life as it won't require an internet connection.

This new AI sensor would benefit fitness-focused consumers because while even the best fitness trackers can detect workouts to some degree, there are usually limitations and not really a way to learn what the dedicated app might not already be programmed to know. Bosch says that the sensor is even small enough to fit in different types of wearables as well as wireless earbuds, and hopes that its new sensor can help power the next generation of devices.

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Derrek Lee
News Editor

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.