Trend Report: Wearable Fitness Devices
It's a shirt; it's a headband -- no! It's your new fitness tracker. Wearable devices collect personal data of all kinds and are part of the "health care everywhere" demand. So get ready. Continually evolving high-tech is here for your every fitness need.
If you were excited about shirts and socks that wick perspiration, you're going to love this. These wardrobe basics are getting a fitness tracker makeover.
The Sensoria Fitness sock’s (washable!) sensors transmit data to an anklet that sends real-time info to a smartphone app. That means you can change your speed, distance, and cadence in the moment.
It even determines how you're distributing weight on your feet based on your steps. The high-tech socks aim to identify whether your running style may lead to injury. The app then coaches you to improve.
The Hexoskin shirt and OMsignal shirt are also loaded with sensors. Don’t expect boring old heart rate info here!
Featuring strapless heart rate monitors, the shirts also keep tabs on your breathing and stress levels. Plus, they have motion sensors that track steps, cadence, and sleep position.
Hexoskin seems especially targeted to athletes who can share data with a coach and improve speed and performance.
OMsignal can also share stress info among people who are linked together. These shirts are coming soon.
The Melon headband is a "mind-reading device." Bluetooth connects the headband with a mobile app that uses EEG brain waves -- a way to measure your brain's electrical activity. Why? To let you know how well you're focusing. If you're zoned out, it suggests how to get back on track. You can use it when you're running or studying, or (gulp!) listening to your partner.
Disposable Fitness Trackers
In the “things you didn’t know you wanted” category comes a disposable fitness tracker patch that sticks to your skin. Like other devices, the BodyMedia VUE (coming soon) logs your activity while you sleep, shower, work, and play. It also transmits calories burned, activity levels, and sleep quality right to your computer via a micro USB port.
Lend an Ear
Ear buds aren’t just for listening anymore. A new breed of ear bud is coming soon. It gathers health data while you’re jamming to your favorite tune or catching up on that stack of audiobooks.
The On headset, from iriver and Valencell, measures your heart rate, aerobic fitness level, speed, distance, and calories burned -- then beams the data via Bluetooth to your smartphone.
Imagine a device that tells you when you need to focus more or take a stress break. Spire's Breathwear is a wearable device that clips on and sends data about your breathing patterns to your cell phone. Then, the Spire app sends alerts and offers you breathing exercises to bring stress down as you need it.
Spire is targeting its product to people with cancer, depression, anxiety, heart problems, high blood pressure, or obesity. They also gear their product to workers to use the feedback about their stress to think better and improve productivity.