Tech Trends: Wearable Fitness Trackers
By Alex Dunphy
Wearable sports and fitness technology is the next big thing. Gadgets are quickly climbing out of our pockets and onto our wrists, and these fashionable smart accessories are going to help us stay active, track our health, and maybe even live longer!
The new Nike+ FuelBand SE tracks daily physical activity and then syncs the data to an iOS app using Bluetooth. The FuelBand’s LED dots display the time, steps taken, and calories burned. Imagine being able to record each workout session, and even get supportive “nudges” along the way!
The Fitbit Force is a cheaper alternative to Nike’s FuelBand. It has features like distance and stair tracking, can monitor your sleep habits, includes a silent vibrating alarm, and can display incoming call notifications from an iOS device. In our opinion, the Fitbit Force is much prettier than all the other fitness trackers.
The slim and fashionable Jawbone UP24 is a sleek rubber bracelet. Jawbone claims that the UP24 is more than just a band and an app, but an entire system designed with your health in mind. Jawbone allows you to log your daily physical activity and eating habits, and then share your achievements in a vibrant online social community. This will definitely give us the motivation to get up and get moving!
One of the most expensive high-tech wearables for fitness is the Basis Band, which boasts the most advanced sensors in this exploding market. It tracks your activity, monitors heart rate patterns, and displays skin temperature. These extra features come at a cost: the Basis Band is definitely the bulkiest (and least sexy) out of the bunch.
Wrist fitness trackers are just the beginning for watch-style personal computers. Samsung recently released the Galaxy Gear smart watch, the Pebble is exploding in popularity, and rumours of an Apple iWatch are growing each day. So will “sporting” a wrist computer be the next big thing? Or are these glorified gadgets just part of a phase? Only time will tell.