No stopping wearable fitness technology boom
The wearable fitness technology market has ballooned in recent years, with the growth leading Forbes magazine to predict it could be worth $34 billion by 2020.
Fitbit probably leads the way in terms of familiarity with the consumer, and the simplicity of the design combined with the practicality of the features led company to shift nearly 11 million units in 2014, the first full year after launching the Fitbit Flex.
However, there are numerous competitors around now ensuring Fitbit are kept up to their work.
Shares for the California-based firm plummeted 30% per cent after warnings of mixed quarterly results in November, and although Fitbit recently launched their best product yet, they look to have a battle on their hands to retain their go-to position at the head of the market.
Gym goers now have a bigger choice than ever when it comes to picking their wearable technology of choice.
The new Fitbit Flex 2 does everything the original product did, whilst maintaining the slick, minimalist design but has broken new ground for the company in that it can now track your swimming activities.
With a removable unit that can be tucked away in a (only slightly) more discreet and stylish pendant or bangle, you can now keep tabs on your performance without the original wristband.
The product has met with good reviews, and at £80 isn’t going to break the bank, but it does have plenty of competition.
Challenges from both directions
Chinese firm Huawei, probably more recognisable in the UK for their mobile phones have released their offering to the wearable fitness technology market.
The Huawei Fit looks more like a watch than the Fitbit, with a rounded one-inch LCD screen and boasts much of the same capabilities such as being able to measure your walking, running or swimming performances.
You can also link the device up with your smart phone to allow you to be alerted of any text messages of push notifications via your wrist-mounted technology.
Those loyal to the Fitbit may not give it the time of day, but at around a similar price, many will be tempted to give the relatively cheap option a go.
At the other end of the scale you have the granddaddy of them all in the Apple Watch. The original smartwatch didn’t lend itself to health and fitness first and foremost, but the Apple Watch 2 changes that.
With built apps and exercises that remind you to breath (seriously) as well as letting you know if you have been static for too long, the features are pretty impressive.
Built in GPS has been added from the last offering and while it is far more expensive than most of its market competitors (circa £350) there are certain to be suitors everywhere.
Apple fanboys and fangirls are sure to be scrambling to secure their new accessory while the added health focus of the latest product means serious fitness buffs are likely to consider shelling out.
It’s not just on your wrists that you can track your fitness these days though, with the wearable technology trend now moving into clothing.
They don’t come cheap, but American company Athos lead the way when it comes to work-out attire with built in tracking and monitoring devices.
Whether it is t-shirts or running shorts, the software installed in the products can do far more than measuring your heart rate and distance travelled.
Analysis of your running style as well as keeping track of your muscle growth are just two of the possibilities with the smart kit.
Everyone’s a winner
The explosion in the sale of wearable technology looks set to continue with new products and new producers set to battle it out for their market share.
Different products will appeal to different people so there’s nothing to suggest that the competition can’t get along amicably.
And with more choice, fitness fantatics can be more selective when it comes to which offering is right for their workout routine.
Whether you are a fitness professional or just someone who can’t go without their evening run, the influx of wearable fitness technology products on the market should inevitably mean you will soon get more bang for your buck.