Health and fitness tech is making big strides this year, especially when it comes to “wearables.” From tracking sleep to steps, to blood pressure monitors to stress relief, wearables are on the rise and so are the range of options available for you to track your health.
Much like the concept of counting calories, when we pay attention to our movement, we’re more likely to make the right decisions. Brands are catching on and providing more than just basic steps or heart rate. Some wearables track everything from fertility to sleep, with a new line of wearables targeted specifically for seniors. And though we’ve traditionally only been given the option to count basic activity levels, developers are looking to play the role of doctor and create technology that can go deeper and give us real data that is both preventative and proactive.
In 2017, wearable makers finally caught on to the demand by swimmers. In 2018 swimming will remain a big focus for brands, offering better analysis and accuracy when it comes to tracking sessions in the pool and swimming laps.
2. Smart Patches
Not everyone wants their wrist connected to technology, let alone the challenge of fitting a bunch of software into one tiny modular devise. However, companies such as Qualcomm and Samsung are creating Smart Patches to offer more space for the technology to monitor health and compete with watch wearables.
The Women’s Safety X Prize is looking into how wearables, targeted for women, can help protect against violence and harassment. Announced back in November 2017, the X Prize has narrowed down 21 final entrants who will compete to become the most impactful women’s safety wearable. Final winner to be announced this June 2018.
Runners have long been the primary benefactor of wearables, but companies are improving the support they offer for cyclists. Some brands in 2018 are looking to focus on keeping cyclists safe on the road, provide better support on smartwatches, and further develop AR smart glasses like Raptor’s.
5. Solar Power
Companies such as the MATRIX PowerWatch are listening to complaints about low-battery alerts and the need to keep charging wearables. Some brands are focusing on ways to keep wearables charged using solar power and body heat.
LifeBEAM’s Vi headphones are competing with wearables by offering hearables. These headphones serve as both voice assistants and fitness coach and provides heart-rate data. The company is looking to make improvements with its voice recognition and adding other features for fitness enthusiasts. Apple’s AirPods remain a big hit as Apple has big plans to improve Siri, real-time translation and incorporate heart rate into their hearables.
WEAR Sustain is on a mission to make sustainable wearables look good, do cool things, and stay environmental and people friendly. The second batch of eco-friendly wearables is set to be released in earlier 2018.
Nanotechnology is helping Ingestibles become the next wave of wearable technology, by helping doctors detect and fight cancer, take your internal temperature via smart pills and help physicians ensure your medication is being ingested correctly.
9. Women’s Heath
Companies are looking to tackle everything from period pains to fertility to pregnancy detection. Many brands are focusing on the health of women, incorporating additional data into wearables to provide this extra step for women looking to take control of their health this year.