It’s that time of year again, the Christmas gift guides are out and everyone is hoping to find the perfect gift under the tree.
Although it may be December, many of us are already starting to map out health-focused New Year’s resolutions and plans to make 2016 our greatest year yet. We imagine that many people will have asked for a piece of fitness tech for Christmas, whether it’s a wearable device or something to improve your workouts (like wireless headphones). If your loved one just didn’t get the hint, (those reindeer slippers are amazing, but will they help you run?), then perhaps you can treat yourself to a piece of equipment that will help you achieve your health and fitness goals.
2015 presented an exciting array of health and fitness products, including innovative technology that we can’t imagine doing a workout without. It was the year of FitBit and Garmin and you can thank MyFitnessPal for your newly-acquired habit of automatically reaching for your smartphone at the sight of food. So what does 2016 look like for health and fitness technology?
As the majority of fitness tech is relatively new, it is understandable that there are a few issues that need to be ironed out. In a recent consumer survey undertaken by DW Fitness Clubs, 44% of UK respondents said that fitness tech is too expensive, while a further 24% said that the main downfall is that there isn’t a piece of equipment that does everything.
While we can’t predict whether the price points of fitness tech will change, we expect that more intelligent products with multiple uses will be developed in 2016. This means that consumers can expect to get many different functions from one device, which means spending less money buying different products.
Wearables will be huge
According to information provided by IEEE and cited on the DW Fitness Clubs website, in 2014 90 million wearables, including fitness trackers and smartwatches, were sold worldwide. IEEE also predicted that by the end of 2015 these figures would reach 200 million.
Looking forward to 2016, we will see wearable fitness technology continue to increase in popularity. Brands such as FitBit have already announced that they are developing new software which will provide their products with a wealth of new features to make devices more personalised and intelligent. For example, ‘SmartTrack’ allows the device to automatically identify the activity that the user is partaking in and then record their progress in the FitBit app, including calories burnt and heart rate stats.
Fashion meets fitness
DW Fitness Clubs’ research also revealed that 13% of consumers found fitness tech to be too bulky, which could impact how often they use certain devices when exercising. For example, nobody wants a clunky device weighing them down while they are running. Working closely with designers, the latest fitness tech will combine fashion with practicality by creating more streamlined products that users will want to show off in the gym.
Chaotic Moon are taking the word wearable to the next level with their innovative ‘tech tattoos’. The product uses microchips placed on to the skin and bonded with electric paint to collect data and send important health statistics to the user. The company’s vision for the product is that a user’s doctor will be able to access the data and be alerted to medical conditions instantaneously. Although it will be a long time before this product is unveiled and available to the general public, it is an exciting glimpse into the kinds of health and fitness technology we can expect from the future.