Health and fitness technology is all around us. The majority of us own a piece of equipment or have used some kind of app that tracks, measures or stores data about our diet, exercise and health habits.
There’s no doubt about it, fitness technology is on the rise. Cedric Hutchings, CEO of Withings, who invent and develop innovative health and fitness technology, spoke exclusively to DW Fitness Clubs about his predictions for the next year in fitness tech:
“There is no question that health tech is on the rise with new wearables and at-home health monitors readily available to track everything from steps and sleep to blood pressure and blood oxygen levels,” he said.
“These devices have certainly become ‘smarter’ and more user friendly over the last year, allowing not just health addicts and tech geeks to use them, but also the average user. Therefore, Withings is interested not only in launching products to track health, but also focusing on sleek design, simple setup, and interoperability – the ability to connect to other devices with hundreds of apps. The future of this category is how devices will move from just tracking to learning user’s habits and providing insights, ultimately guiding them to live a healthier lifestyle.”
Wearables will soar in popularity
200 million wearables were sold worldwide in 2015, while 90 million were sold the year before. So what might we expect from the health and fitness tech of 2016?
In a study undertaken by DW, 13% of UK consumers revealed that their biggest bugbear about wearable fitness technology was its bulkiness and size. As technology grows more advanced, we believe that the lines between fitness tech and fashion will blur to create practical products that look as stylish as the rest of our gym gear. Developers are already working on creating clothing that has heart rate monitors built into it, to provide ease of use and to improve performance.
It’s time to throw away the pen and paper, the fitness tech of 2016 will be the ultimate way to record your diet, exercise and lifestyle habits. We have seen a huge emphasis on strength training over the last year, yet barely any fitness tech has catered for the weight lifting audience.
Tracking cardio is simple, you note down the activity and how long it has been performed for, but weights are more complicated as you need to remember the exercise, rep and set numbers, and then the weight. With all this to consider, tracking progression can turn into a memory game more than anything.
As fitness professionals have predicted that strength training and functional training (where you mimic movements you would perform in everyday life) we predict that the future of fitness tech will adapt to automatically monitor these exercises through intelligent design.
In November this year, Fitbit announced that it was working on new software to provide its products with a plethora of new features for the New Year, making them more personalised.
Another fitness tech giant, SmartTrack, enables automatic exercise recognition which identifies the type of activity that a person is partaking in and recording their progress in the Fitbit app, alongside a summary of the workout, including calories burnt, the duration of the activity and heart rate stats. As we mentioned previously, weight and strength training is set to increase in popularity over the next year, so these features could be hugely beneficial for monitoring this kind of progress.