For a couple of years now, athletes have taken advantage of wearable sensors like Jawbone UP3 or Jawbone UP24, Fitbit or Garmin Vivofit, to closely monitor their workout performance.
When comparing popular fitness trackers like Jawbone UP vs. Nike Fuel, customers had mixed reactions. While their features are similar, the Jawbone UP24 has been known to be the best device for tracking sleep patterns, whereas the Nike Fuel has an LED display that is better for motivating people to work out. Ultimately, it depends on the customers' needs on what product can benefit their overall fitness goals most efficiently.
While keeping track of your own health and fitness goals is a great concept, the idea of wearing one or more devices such as Fitbit or Nike Fuel is not as convenient as it could be. Recent developments are focused on providing a product that is more convenient and potentially moving in the direction of technology becoming invisible and part of your everyday wardrobe.
Last November, Victoria's Secret unveiled the Incredible Bra - a sports bra that can accommodate a heart rate sensor. The bra has been marketed as ideal for high-intensity workouts.
This is just one highlight in a small but growing trend to move wearable sensors away from the wrist. While they are beneficial, one complaint is that wearable sensors are unattractive, bulky, or they catch on clothing.
Developers are now looking to focus on other parts of the body that could accompany sensing technology. After extensive research on which body parts would be most accommodating for wearable technologies, the ear became the next topic of interest. Most athletes work out with headphones in their ears anyways, so why not listen to music while simultaneously monitoring your fitness performance?
The next evolution will focus on wearable sensors built into clothing, not just a watch on your wrist. Clothing could take on a whole new set of functions from monitoring heart rate, to tracking sleep cycles. This has the potential to create a huge advancement in wearable technology because unlike wrist sensors, clothing is already being worn.
3L Labs has come out with a Footlogger which is a fitness monitor that is embedded in your shoe instead of having the hassle of wearing it on your wrist.
Who knows what lies ahead for future products. These sensors could eventually become a fashion statement and someday be built into belt buckles or even logo's printed on clothing. Only time will tell.
Here at EarthTron, we're using Jawbone fitness trackers to monitor each other fitness routines. Check it out.
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