The term “wearable technology” is not only generating a huge buzz, but also making its way into the daily lives of techies everywhere. But, what about the average Joe? Should they care about the growth of the wearable technology? Are products like Google Glass still too farfetched for most? Maybe, but at the very least, a fitness tracker is something we should all consider.
There is a plethora of options out there for anyone looking to purchase a fitness tracker, they come in all shapes, sizes and most importantly, prices. Some come in the form of a bracelet, while others are simply a clip on solution you can attach to your shirt or belt. You can even find a simple pedometer for as low as $15, or you can shell out as much as $150 for an all out approach.
Obviously the more money you spend, the more of a complete offering you get, but what does that mean? Although the hardware behind these things are amazing, little sensors that are able to tell when you are walking, running and some even riding a bike, hardware is not the entire story. The real star behind it all is the accompanying software. Sure, a ton of information on anything is a good thing, but unless you’re some sort of data analysis when you’re not playing batman at night, its all useless. The software that runs in tandem with products like the Fitbit Force, Jawbone Up24 and the Nike Fuel band arranges the data in terms regular people care about.
Let’s take Nike’s Fuel Band for instance, a super dope design with some attractive light action on the display, but the real magic happens when the data is transferred into “fuel” points in the software. It may seem pointless at first, but you quickly find yourself competing against yesterdays fuel points, not to mention, you could achieve the same amount of points by doing different activities. A quick look at Fitbit’s offering and its social media integration along side the ability to compare your daily activity with friends, and you’ll start to notice just how quickly it can turn into a full blown competition. There is sure genius behind these approaches, invoke competition, excitement and a social aspect around one’s daily activity and people will always be motivated to get out and do more!
Of all the fitness tracking platforms out there, a few stand out to me, and I’d be happy to recommend. The first has been the gold standard for a while, the Nike Fuel Band. With a really slick design, and a well put together software offering to complete the package, this one does not come cheap, but you really do get what you pay for.
The Fitbit Force, the latest from Fitbit and is easily the favorite of the fleet with an attractive design and well implemented screen to display daily activity. Although not as pricey as the Fuel Band, it is every bit as premium, right back down to the companion software and social platform included.
The last on my list is Sony’s Core. With all of technology and polish of the first two, Sony “does things differently” with their approach. The Sony Core is sold as a waterproof sensor with accessories, genius! The accessories include bracelets, clip on housings or you could just put the sensor itself in your pocket and roll out. Sony has also done a good deal of social engineering around the companion software, which even incorporates pictures taken during the day in your “Life Log,” which happens to be the name of the software.
With prices quickly tumbling down, competition and options high on the rise, I believe everyone should dive into the fitness tracker realm. After all, any and everything we can do to learn more about ourselves and improve general wellness is a must!