wearables in 2016

A look back at 2015

2015 witnessed a vast wave of wearable tech enter the marketplace with a key focus on Health and fitness. It’s unsurprising this market is booming since, let’s face it, health and fitness is one of the biggest trends of our time.

Today, we are constantly monitoring and measuring our wellbeing. This gives us the satisfaction of being in control of our own lives. The data that is received is a key part of that satisfaction.

There are debates every day, on whether the data delivered by wearable fitness devices are worth their high price-tags.  There are two things I am sure of: Fitness devices are here to stay and will only get better in the ensuing years.

You now have a wide range of different products that track all sorts of different biometric signals (heart rate, breathing rate, gait, etc.). It is rather difficult to understand which one will meet your needs. There are plenty of reviews and comparison sites out there. So I’m not going to bore you with the details.

What should we expect in 2016

So what, should we be expecting in 2016;

  • Smaller and/or lightweight products
  • Newer tracking features
  • Better data analysis
  • Advanced components and processing power
Products need to become a lot smaller and more lightweight. There is also a need to deliver much more functions than just heart rate monitoring and step counting. For example, adding external temperature sensors which could help users with their daily meal planning and nutritional selection (will discuss in a future topic).  

We should be looking for alternative ways to wear these products. Instead of the wrist worn devices, there should be a shift towards devices that are embedded in our clothing.

I feel there is a strong need to look at more intelligent systems that collects and analyse data. The results of that analysis could then be used to improve our health.

I have seen some of the advancements made in technical components and processing power. We should start to see the benefits of these advancements with newer batteries. It may even lead us to see more exotic ways of powering these devices.

My conclusion

We are still in the early days of wearable health monitoring. The devices are clunky and not always the best looking. There are still some issues with the accuracy of the data they produce. It also seems the jury is still out on whether all this information is actually useful. As the saying goes “we can only move onwards and upwards”.

Fear not, if you are not interested in joining the wearable bandwagon just yet. You already have one of the best monitoring system: your body. It tells you when you’re doing great or when you’re pushing it too far. You just need to pay attention to it.

Philip Kunovski, KYMIRA Sport, Chief Technical Officer.

Philip Kunovski, KYMIRA Sport, Chief Technical Officer.

Philip is now leading the  R&D at KYMIRA Sports for our active sportswear products. He is an electrical engineer, who has previously launched his own successful start-up in the mobile accessories market. And, he is KYMIRA Sport’s avid rock climber.

February 03, 2016 — Phil Kunovski

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