Wearable computing devices are on the rise, and they are revolutionizing the personal health and fitness industries.
It’s an exciting sector of the data collection market that is constantly growing, and it’s profoundly changing the way we set goals and understand our bodies.
Just recently, Microsoft—joining the likes of Fitbit, Nike Fuelband and Samsung Gear, to name a few—launched Microsoft Band, which The New York Times lauded for its constant heart-rate monitoring, calorie use measurement capability and built-in GPS distance-tracking. The Times praised the new Microsoft Band for its flexibility, noting its “cross-platform compatibility” and power to sync with a sizable cross-section of workout and exercise apps.
Competition in this sphere is teeming, with the much-anticipated Apple Watch set for release sometime in 2015. According to Apple, the device “introduces comprehensive health and fitness apps that can help people lead healthier lives.” And plenty of other new releases and product updates are on the horizon. Fitbit, which already offers a range of wearable activity and sleep tracking products, will soon roll out its Fitbit Surge, which the company calls a “fitness super watch.” The Surge will collect many personal data points including pace, elevation, heart rate, calories burned, sleep duration and depth, and meals consumed—all of which are organized into a media-rich dashboard in the Fitbit app.
Clearly, personal fitness technology is experiencing a data transformation. And if the current products weren’t exciting enough, Wired reports that “the next wave of wearables won’t be gadgets you strap on a wrist” but rather “tiny digital tattoos decked out with even tinier sensors...implanted just beneath the skin on your hand and charge off your body’s energy.” New Deal Design, a technology design agency in San Francisco, is developing such a sophisticated embedded device, called UnderSkin. Beyond personal health data, the technology is envisioned to track personal and business relationships through such moves as handshakes and high fives.
But for now, let’s get back to the immediate future. When it comes to a device like the Fitbit Surge, on the personal level we are witnessing precisely what we at GoSpotCheck do for retail businesses on the corporate level—collecting, organizing and streamlining data to unleash its full, productivity-boosting power.