Smart people, smartphones, smartwatches, smart wearables. Everything seems to be exceptionally smart nowadays.
So smart in fact, that we can wear these devices on our wrists, on our necks, on our feet and soon to wear in our eyes. Yes, you read that correctly – there are technological developments happening to create smart contact lenses to insert into the human eyeball. Any form of technology that has to be inserted into my body, you can count me out. However, I am a big fan of wearable technology, especially in the fitness arena.
Unique Fit To The Market
Fitness wearable technology has grown astronomically over the past few years and is expected to grow for years to come. Smart Insights reported that 102.4 million wearable devices were sold in 2016, a 25% increase over the prior year. These devices gained popularity overtime due to their accessibility to all things at the touch or flick of your wrist.
The fitness wearable category has become overly saturated with major players like Apple, FitBit, Garmin, Samsung, TomTom, Suunto and Polar. Fitness/activity trackers and sport watches have become a commodity, as all competitors in the market offer the same features in a wrist device. "FitBit" has become the ultimate umbrella term for all types of fitness, activity and sports trackers. Because of this, it has become a struggle for brands to uniquely compete and differentiate themselves in the marketplace. The competition is intense and it's always a race to the finish...or to the consumer.
Accurate or Not Accurate, That Is The Question
Not only do these devices capture our health data, but some help manage consumer’s day-to-day life. You can monitor your activity levels, track location, view text messages and even answer calls all without taking your phone out of your pocket. With all of these cool features, one of the biggest questions consumers ask is, "how accurate is this data?" This question has been raised in areas like heart rate, steps and calorie counting. This burning question has made headlines for a number of different fitness wearable brands like FitBit. With a brand built around a device that promises accuracy accompanied with headlines that question this brand promise, it's only a matter of time until there is a downfall in brand reputation and consumer trust. We will just have to watch and see - get it...watch...like FitBit....okay I'm done.
To Invest or Divest?
Despite the controversy over the accuracy of these gadgets, if you're looking to count some steps, burn some calories and track your sleep, then it would be worth browsing through some of the well-known watches on the market. At the end of the day, the watch is tailored to you and your preferences so you get the best, personal experience. Not only are you able to see some of these metrics on your wrist, but you can also see in-depth data in an accompanying app or online platform. I use the Polar M430 for running as well as wear for day-to-day activity. It's crazy to me that a watch can detect when you fell asleep, when you woke up and how well you slept that night. I've found this information is insightful into my training, my sleep and my overall function day to day.
See for yourself with my my training and sleeping Polar Flow data: