Like all trends, wearable sports technology is constantly undergoing changes and improvements to keep consumers interested. Fitbits, Apple Watches, and other wearables
are well marketed to consumers, and companies have built their brands
to become a necessities for many people in their day to day lives.
Wearable gadgets are here to stay. Wrist gadgets, maybe not so much. New technological advancements and styles are reaching their way to full production with bigger data streaming and a larger audience.
The presence of wearable sports tech is even reaching professional sports teams.
In April of 2017, MLB and NFL approved the use of wearable technology that will influence the future of the sports
. MLB approved a compression sleeve made by Motus Global that is worn by the pitcher and tracks the workload of a pitcher's arm. They’re also implementing heart-monitoring straps made by Zephyr for further statistics on their players.
NFL expanded the use of the Zebra RFID player tracking system to all 33 stadiums, which tracks the performance of each individual player to better document specific stats.
Mounir Zok, director of technology and innovation for the U.S. Olympic Committee, credits wearable tech as a key part of Team USA’s success at last summer’s Olympic Games — the U.S. won 121 medals at Rio 2016, 18 more than at London 2012.
Some Wearable Problems Exist
However, there have been problems with the wrist-worn platform. “We’re measuring things in the wrong area of the body,” says Paul Robbins, director of elite performances at STATS LLC. “There’s nothing on the market today that really truly will give us the data that we need.”
A solution to these problems have come in the form of clothes instead of watches.
Devices that are sewn into the fabric and hidden inside shoes, in an exact location, will extract the most accurate data and give a better insight into player stats.
While this technology might take center spotlight in professional sports arenas
, many of these devices will be available (in some capacity) to the general public to purchase. Many brands will take advantage of ecommerce platforms to showcase their products, so be sure to follow online shopping best practices
to find the best (and safest) deals.
Both Oakley and Intel are coming together to create Radar Pace
These UV protected glasses ave earbuds attached to the temples of the athlete, containing a voice activated coaching system that creates unique training programs by tracking performance. It also has a coaching feature to guide you through getting to your next goal. This product is also water resistant, and high impact protection features. - $449
A sports bra from OMsignal
that has sensors sewn into the fabric for measuring breathing rhythms and calculates anaerobic threshold. The product boasts that it is also completely machine washable.
Runner's World Magazine says, “This sports bra is comfortable and easily adjustable, and you can’t even tell there are sensors built into the fabric to track heart rate, cadence, distance, and breathing rhythm. A companion app for the iPhone leverages that data to tell you when you should push harder and which days you should back off or rest." - $169
monitors specific characteristics of the athletes form by measuring the movement of the hips with a clip-on device placed on the back of the shorts. You track the stats from your iphone and create a personalized exercise plan.
“Lumo Run is a great device for helping you develop your running style so that you’re more efficient and less prone to injuries.” Says Ironman world champ and coach Mark Allen. “You’re going to become faster through the way that you move and I love that concept!” - $99
Gemini 2 Record Equipped
These sneakers, a product of Under Armour
, contain a sensor inside the midsole of the shoe, making it completely waterproof, and safe from excessive damage. The battery is designed to last longer than the shoe, so in other words, it will never need charging. - $112
Wrist-worn activity trackers were everywhere in 2016, but the new year will bring an increasing number of gadgets you can wear from head to toe, and they'll be a lot less visible. These wearables are just a glimpse at what’s to come in the near future.