Dallas Karrasch Team : Web Operations Tags : Technology

Wearable Fitness Technology - All for one or one for all?

Dallas Karrasch Team : Web Operations Tags : Technology

Are ‘do-it-all’ smartphones on the way IN and fitness trackers on the way OUT?

 Well this appears to be the case according to analyst firm Gartner. Per a recent report released by the company, the global fitness wearable market, which includes fitness wristbands, sport watches and smart garments, is expected to shrink this year from 70 million units sold to 68 million. Whilst smart wristband shipments are expected to fall by 15 percent, smartwatches are expected to jump 17 percent, eclipsing the former as the most successful wearable design to date.

 Why is this? Fitness wristbands just don't do enough to excite consumers when compared with devices like the Apple Watch (expected to be released early this year) and Motorola's Moto 360 smartwatch -- or do very little that a smartwatch can't do and more.

 The Apple Watch will have a full colour screen, heart-rate-reading technology, fitness- and health-tracking software and a host of apps, from productivity to communication at a cost upward of $350. Apple is not alone in its ‘all for one’ approach - the Moto 360 smartwatch, for instance, can play games, sport an interactive James Bond-inspired watch face, run note-taking app Evernote and take voice commands to feed walking and driving directions to your wrist. Samsung's Gear S watch has a cellular radio in it so users can make phone calls if they leave their phones behind!

However not everyone agrees with this approach. A growing collection of startups are making specialized devices instead. They're outfitting sensors on everything from shirts to skis to and because these devices are not trying to do everything for everyone, they're both less expensive and potentially more useful and powerful in performing specific tasks. 

Jawbone has chosen this route and has positioned itself as a "lifestyle tracker" that could be worn in conjunction with smartwatches and other wearables. The UP3 activity tracker, Jawbone’s product launched in September last year, does not include a screen.

Hedging their bets however, are Fitbit, the leading maker of wristbands and clip-on trackers, who are attempting to differentiate themselves by launching its own smartwatch. Their product, the Surge, doesn’t run third party apps but takes on some smartphone features such as notifications.

So where is all this heading? Who will win and who will lose?

Who knows but one thing is sure, the quintessential device we associate with wearable tech is on the move.


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 Who knows but one thing is sure, the quintessential device we associate with wearable tech is on the move.