Fitness Wearables Target More Specific Uses
Artificial intelligence and voice are coming to
wearables as the devices get tuned to much more specific uses.
Companies are starting to tap AI to give consumers actionable information for fitness wearables, according to a new fitness
Fitness devices also are expanding, with strong growth in clothing and ear-based fitness wearables projected. The shipment of such devices will grow 60% a year over the next
four years, according to the report by Juniper Research.
This means specialized wearable devices will account for 25% of the market within four years.
Wearables began with fitness
trackers and then branched out into more sophisticated devices, most notably the Apple Watch, though not in the category of fitness trackers.
Fitness trackers basically became smarter
over time, providing health measures, such as steps taken, heart rate and oxygenation.
The ongoing challenge for fitness trackers is continued usage. For example, fewer than 60% of registered
users of Fitbit devices are classed as active users in any given year, according to the study.
Going forward, there are three elements a fitness wearable must have to succeed, according to the
report by Juniper Research.
- Multiple metrics – Tracking numerous metrics, such as heart rate, calorie burn, distance, location and step counting, will be required and made
possible by the miniaturization of a range of sensors that can feed more information into a system.
- Artificial intelligence – Some companies are promoting their products as having AI,
leading to the analytics platform being the primary offering of wearables. The data platform is projected to become more important to consumers than the device.
- Targeted fitness –
Several wearables now target more precise uses, such as smart running shoes, biometric-tracking hearables and specialist running smartwatches. These types of devices are not intended to be constantly
worn and are likely to be higher priced.
One of the most significant expectations from AI being used in wearables is the addition of voice-based advice on training techniques,
according to Juniper. This advice is expected to be delivered via hearables.
Voice is entering yet another area of the Internet of Things.