By Hannah Gilroy of DW Fitness Clubs
The American College of Sports and Medicine revealed that fitness tech will be the biggest health and fitness trend in 2016. In particular wearable fitness tech will continue to be popular and there will be a range of new smartwatches, fitness trackers and heart rate monitors expected to hit the shelves over the course of the New Year.
With such a huge array of fitness tech already on the market, I wonder how the various gadgets and gizmos that we use in the gym will evolve in 2016.
Fewer devices, more features
According to research by DW Fitness Clubs, 44% of UK consumers think that fitness tech is too expensive, while 24% of people feel that the biggest drawback is that there isn’t one piece of equipment that does everything.
As technology becomes more advanced, we hope that manufacturers will create fitness tech that has more than one main feature, so people need to spend less money overall. For example, many of the devices on the market today are not 100% waterproof. This can affect the average gym goer who is interested in tracking their progress in the pool but doesn’t want to splash out on an expensive piece of swimming equipment.
In addition to this, some may track steps but won’t monitor heart rate, while others may lack a sleep measuring feature. We want to see gadgets that do everything!
Smarter fitness tech
Gadgets are set to become more personalised. Rather than creating a device that caters for the general population, developers are working on bringing us technology that understands our individual needs and goals.
As well as presenting you with the information you put in, the future of fitness tech lies in being able to offer advice and raise awareness of your habits to help you improve.
Wearables and fashion
According to DW Fitness Clubs’ survey, 13% of people said the biggest drawback of fitness tech is how bulky it is. Fitness tech is still very far away from commercial fashion and the majority of pieces are meant to be worn purely for practicality rather than for style.
As fitness tech is a relatively new phenomenon, we believe it will naturally become more streamlined and integrated into fashion. For example, developers are currently working on heart rate monitors that are built into your clothes, for ease, comfort and style.
A decade from now, fitness tech will have advanced so much that we will look back on the clunky pieces of equipment we have now with a wry smile, much like we do when we think back to the brick-like mobile phones we had in the ‘80s.
Future of fitness tech
The future of technology in the fitness industry is boundless. One example of a company pushing ides further is Chaotic Moon, which has taken wearable fitness to the next level by creating ‘tech tattoos’ that use innovative technology to combine temporary tattoos with microchips to measure your health.
Chaotic Moon’s vision for the product is that you would have a tech tattoo placed on once a year, which monitors and transmits information about your health to your doctor, so they will be able to assess your vital statistics instantly. While the product is still in development, and it will be a long time before it’s available to the general public, it’s a fantastic example of the kind of health and fitness technology we can expect to see in the future.
DW Sports Fitness is a British retailing and fitness business.