Technology plays such a vital role in our everyday lives that it’s impossible for most people to even begin to imagine their lives without it. Most would reluctantly admit to technology taking over their lives but not in the best way possible. There is, however, technology that can make our lives better. Vandrico found a total of 288 wearable devices in the tech market with 127 devices focusing on fitness. That’s a lot of wearable fitness tech!
Worry not! We’ve narrowed the list down to the 5 wearable health technology for 5 different parts of your body: Wrist, body, head, thighs, and feet!
Wrist: Fitbit Flex
Price: $100 (SGD $129)
What it does: Tracks your steps taken, distance travelled, calories burned and sleep time and quality.
We’ll start off the list with perhaps the most well known wearable tech in the market: Fitbit. While there are a number of different devices offered by the brand, we will focus on the reasonably priced Fitbit Flex. FitBit Flex is a wearable device that mimics a watch but is so much more. According to it’s website, this small device is able to track the steps, distance and calories burned during the day and your sleep quality during the night. It even comes with a silent alarm that vibrates to wake you up in the morning.
The water resistant device lets you set a goal and has an LED indicator that lights up to show you how close you are to achieving your goals when you tap the wristband twice. Tap it five times before going to bed and five more times when you wake up to turn off the alarm and let it know you’re awake. The Fitbit Flex plays well with select iOS (iPhone 4S and above) and Android devices (Samsung Galaxy) with a battery that should last for up to 5 days.
Price: Roughly $400 ($99*2 for shirt and shorts + $199 for Core)
What it does: Measures fitness data (muscle effort, heart rate, balance and reps)
Availability: January 2015
This piece of beauty comes directly from the future. The Verge called it “a much less expensive version of a personal trainer,” which is a great summary of what it does. Its futuristic-looking gym clothes are lined with sensors that are able to analyse your workout and let you know exactly what muscles you have used throughout the entire workout. The concept mimics what doctors use to measure muscle contractions called electromyography (EMG), but that device costs ten times more than what Athos is going for at roughly $4,000.
The shirt and shorts (priced at $99 each) are able to measure what muscles you use during the workout with the sensor while the Core collects and interprets the data and sends it (via Bluetooth) to the app on your smartphone. It lets you know, for example, that for a certain set of exercises, you’re putting too much effort on your forearms and over training your upper body, vital information that lets you adjust your exercise routine accordingly. Athos also measures your heart rate and breathing patterns and is, surprisingly machine washable. You can reserve your Athos attire, gear, and app via their website.
Head: Lifebeam Hat
Price: $99 USD
What it does: Measures Heart Rate, cadence and calories
If you think the Athos is too much and you’re not that avid of a workout bunny to require a full body suit, the Lifebeam Hat might fit the bill. The small electro-optical sensors in the hat monitors the user’s heart rate, cadence and calories then transfers the data to wherever the user wants it. It I’s compatible with most fitness apps and devices.
The hat is weather compatible and super light weight. It fits well with the jogging exercise attire and doesn’t get in the way of cycling and jogging. It is also water proof and machine washable.
Price: $300 USD
What it does: Monitors body’s bio-signals to create actionable recommendations to optimize workouts and reduce the risk of injury
Availability: March 2015
Leo works with the same sensors as Athos, with the EMG sensor that is able to measure the body’s bio-signals and translate that information into simple and actionable recommendations. This device is the result of their success on the Indiegogo crowdfunding project that garnered almost three times the goal at $143,709 of $50,000 goal from Jun 27, 2014 to August 26, 2014.
Like the Athos, Leo fits comfortably with the body with no metal wires to get in the way with the workout. It comes with an app that not only allows user to track their exercises and warns the user if they’re using an improper form or impending injury.
The battery is projected to last for over 20 hours and will not be impeded by rain, water of sweat. The developers don’t recommend machine-washing the device though, stating that “we cannot guarantee that the electronics will survive… for now. […] Hand-washing is fine though.”
Price: $189 USD
What it does: Gaming in virtual and mobile applications, diagnostics in sports and wellness applications and hands-free technology applications.
Availability: May 2015
This requires a teensy bit of setup from the user. The developers in this understand that users may have their own favorite brand of shoes and designed the Boogio Developer Kit so that it can be installed on the shoes of their preference. The developer kit comes with two Boogio clips, two sensor stickers, charging cables and iOS Boogio App Software development tools.
Once the kit is placed on the shoes, it is able to transmit feedback on muscle movements for the wearers to the device of their choice. This device isn’t just used for sports and athletic training, however. The Boogio Bionic Foot Sensors™ is able to pair with Oculus Rift and other gaming devices to allow the users to immerse into the virtual reality experience. It’s also able to control slideshow presentations and unlock a Bluetooth lock in its hands-free technology applications.
Really, wearable tech isn’t just confined to smart wristwatches and armbands now. The global interest in wearable technology, according to vandrico.com, has been on a steady increase with five of the ten all-time top funded projects on Kickstarter being wearable devices.
Time to get that 2015 resolutions list ready! No. 1 on that list should be “Get Healthy”! Well actually, mine would be, “Save up for Athos”.