The world of fitness tech keeps chasing new frontiers in anticipating consumer needs, but what drives its innovative functionality for an audience beyond the early adapters remains to be seen. Wearable fitness tech is nothing short of a proactive approach to managing your health; it combines both personalized healthcare and a uniquely Internet-Age game of free association where you can fall down the self-diagnostic WebMD rabbit hole and feasibly end up giving yourself the entire catalogue of possible diseases. Millennials are more likely to self-diagnose themselves with nonexistent health issues, but this tendency has also enabled the practice of an unprecedented level of preventative care that dictates the development of health technologies. Wearable tech is heavily influenced by its audience of millennials, and its development is likewise influenced by how they use technology in general. With wearable fitness tech, health has become just one more aspect of daily life that needs to be managed through the Internet, which is directly responsible for the activity tracking trend.
Fitbit offers at least nine kinds of activity trackers that can be worn on the waist, wrist, pocket, or bra, and offers the attractive combination of miniaturization, as well as energy efficiency and design innovation that allows for effortless use. Unobtrusive self-monitoring and a merging of personal wellness to social connectivity are what fuel the multi-pronged Fitbit attack.
OMSignal’s smart sports bra offers wireless connectivity to your phone to deliver real time biometric updates and markets itself as a stamina boosting and technically innovative fitness measure. It is technically attempting to transition from being ‘smart clothing’ to simply clothing that almost functions as a second skin. For the pro athlete, there is Athos, with biosignal technology that sends data straight to your mobile app. For the athlete as well as for the fashion conscious, Ralph Lauren has their Polo Tech shirt with its built-in sensors connected via a detachable Bluetooth device to an iOS app. The shirt itself functions as a fitness tracker, allowing you to track increasingly finer details about your performance.
Not even feet can escape this technological upgrade, with Sensoria’s ‘artificial intelligence sportswear’ that offers virtual coaching as well as a heart rate monitor. Their smart socks come accompanied with an anklet with Bluetooth functionality to give you coaching updates during your training. Nike has plans to take the concept of feet-based fitness trackers one step further with a smart shoe, which intends to integrate the fitness tracker into the shoe and eliminate the need for additional devices in the process. This assortment of wearable fitness tech promises a cross-product approach to health marketing, with design and functionality figuring prominently in their outreach However, this is only the start of optimizing health care for the Internet age, since more innovation is yet to come. Integrating the science of creating wearable tech with design innovation is steadily creating a more accurate diagnosis of what motivates people to exercise, and each of these pieces of fitness tech provide a transformative narrative that enables consumers to imagine themselves as participants of a performance.