This post was inspired by a research report produced by our partners at the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).

Consumer Interest in Purchasing Wearable Fitness Devices in 2014 Quadruples, According to CEA Study Arlington, VA – 12/11/2013 – Consumer interest in purchasing dedicated wearable fitness devices in the next 12 months quadrupled to 13 percent in 2013, from just three percent in 2012, making it the largest year–over–year increase for any category of fitness device, according to new research by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) The results from the study, Understanding the Market for Wearable Health and Fitness Devices, were announced on Monday at a mHealth Summit session featuring panelists from CEA, Qualcomm Life, Fitbit and Symphony Health.

The Future of Wearable Tech

The report (SEE BELOW) 'The Future of Wearable Tech' produced by PSFK in partnership with iQ by intel examines 10 key trends that are impacting the future of wearable technologies with a focus on the basic features, form and functions of these devices and technologies and what they might replace. Aided by the increased processing speed of chips, capacity of batteries and precision of sensor technologies, devices are becoming smaller, faster and more feature heavy, nearly replacing entire electronic categories in the process and furthermore impacting the way we live, work and socialize.

First it is important to understand the time–frame in which consumers will adopt wearable technology and what functions wearable technology will serve.

The original fintess trackers came in a band form–factor, tracked steps, distance, calories and monitored your sleep.

The fitness bands are paired with apps that enable you to monitor, store, set goals and analyze your fitness activity.

Jawbone''s UP Smart Coach. It's like a partner in fitness–an intelligent guide that helps you make at least one healthy choice every day. Smart Coach goes well beyond delivering measurements to show you the meaning behind the numbers.

Basis' Peak uses the habit system to help you make small but powerful changes to your sleep or activity patterns. Peak automatically adjusts weekly goals based on your performance. Habit notifications when you're on track or need a nudge.

And fitness trackers are becoming more fashionable.

Withings was a poineer in the market introducing the Activité. Misfit first intorduced the Shine and recently revealed a new fitness tracker in partnership with Swarovski. Fitbit has partnered with Tory Burch to offer a fashionable fitnes tracker. Intel and Opening Ceremony got together to develop the My Intelligent Communications Accessory (MICA).

Traditional watch makers, such as Tag Heuer, Fossil and even Guess, are all said to have fitness tracking watches in the works.

Gartner Says Worldwide Smartwatch and Wristband Market Is Poised for Take Off

Gartner, Inc. predicts that by 2016 smartwatches will comprise about 40 percent of consumer wristworn devices. Gartner said that nine out of the top 10 smartphone vendors have entered the wearables market to date or are about to ship a first product, while a year ago only two vendors were in that space.

“Apple has finally unveiled its Apple Watch, which we expect to trigger more consumer interest once it starts shipping in 2015. Apple introduced three smartwatch models that will sell at a wide price range, with the lowest starting at $349. As with the iPhone, Apple's high–price strategy for the Watch will limit its market share; yet, with its attention to design and the user interface, we believe this product will attract many users.”

– Angela McIntyre, research director at Gartner

Pebble Steel
A great smartwatch for anyone who's in the market. Always on, always readable, and the battery lasts for 5 days. Pebble Steel works with Android and iOS. Design≵wise it's small enough that it looks fine even on daintier wrists. It's got leather and metal band options and many different faces to choose from.

The Demographic Divide: Fitness Trackers and Smartwatches Attracting Very Different Segments of the Market

Fitness Trackers vs. Smart Watches

Fitness trackers, which have a strong presence in the wearables market, have gained a large mainstream following. According to the report 36 percent of fitness tracker owners in the US are 35–54 years old, 41 percent had an average income of more than $100,000, and 54 percent were women. One-in-ten U.S. adults now own a fitness tracker.

Motorola Mota Ring

Update yourself from calls, texts, and social media with vibrations from your finger. The MOTA SmartRing lets you live your busy schedule, but still be able to interact with your social life and what's important to you.

NeuroSky Biosensor

Biosensor innovation to power breakthrough wearable technologies today and tomorrow.

ECG and EEG biosensors deliver the intelligence that enables hundreds of health and wellness, education and entertainment products.

Smart Health & Fitness Wearables

Almost 60 million fitness trackers will be in use by 2018, tripling the number of the devices used in 2014, says a new research report from Juniper Research.

The firm says fitness trackers like the Fitbit Charge and the Jawbone UP24 will triple to about 57 million in use in the wild worldwide by 2018, up from just 19 million this year.

Fitness trackers, which have a strong presence in the wearables market, have gained a large mainstream following. According to the report 36 percent of fitness tracker owners in the US are 35–54 years old, 41 percent had an average income of more than $100,000, and 54 percent were women. One-in-ten U.S. adults now own a fitness tracker.

Juniper analysts expect fitness to remain the dominant segment in wearable devices until that time, pushed ahead by new fitness use cases, new biometrics measurements, and lower prices.

But from now until 2018, the smartwatch category will be gaining steam and by 2018 will take over as the most-worn wearable device. This movement will begin in earnest with the launch of Apple's long awaited Watch, which is expected to show up on the market in the first half of 2015. Apple reportedly expects to sell 15 million of the devices in the first year. If this happens, smartwatch sales would overwhelm fitness tracker sales far sooner that 2018, as Juniper predicts.

Juniper believes that there are basically two types of fitness trackers – less expensive ones like the $13 Xiaomi MiBand, which will compete mainly on price, and more complex devices, such as the Fitbit Surge, Microsoft Band, and Samsung Gear Fit, which will offer additional features beyond fitness, such as notifications and music control.

Fitbit will remain the leading player for fitness tracking, Juniper says, although its decision not to integrate with Apple Health may harm its market share in the short term.

More capable devices will compete with smart watches, especially those that offer similar notification functions, like the MetaWatch M1 and Martian Notifier, Juniper believes. 'However, more aesthetically minded consumers will still choose watches, as fitness-focused devices will prioritize function over form,' Juniper notes in a report.

MetaWatch M1
Smart looks. Smart function. The META M1 combines the rich traditions and craftsmanship of fine watches carefully blended with modern innovation.

Martian Notifier
The Martian Notifier is an attractive, colorful analog wristwatch with an integrated OLED readout that acts as a hands–free gateway to the world, keeping you well informed while your phone remains in a pocket, purse or backpack.

“Amazingly, some 75 percent of US adults already own a health and fitness device, if you include things like pedometers, fitness video games, portable blood-pressure and heart-rate monitors, fitness apps, digital sports watches, and scales. That's up 12 percent, but the real story is that while only 9 percent of Americans own a dedicated fitness device, that's triple last years figure. Some 60 percent plan to purchase a fitness consumer electronics product in the next year, with 13 percent desiring a wearable fitness device – a year–over–year increase of more than four times.”

– Kevin Tillmann, senior research analyst for the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)

The Unexpected State of Consumer Wearable Technology

Surprising New Research on U.S. Consumer Attitudes toward Wearable Technology across Generations, October 2014.

Consumer wearable tech is one of the most exciting, and polarizing, categories of wearables. Do U.S. consumers think wearable tech is a fad or the future? asked America what they think, and the response was most unexpected.

88% of Americans believe wearable technology is not a fad. In fact, 24% see tracking technology as progressive. However, nearly half (48%) admitted that technology that tracks and records where they are and what they are doing is creepy. This tells us that there are still some hurdles to overcome in showing consumers the benefits they can derive from using these tracking devices, and exactly what and how data is tracked.

But do consumers actually believe they'll own a wearable technology item?

Yes, a majority of Americans do. The younger the generation, the more likely they are to believe they will own a wearable. Over half (54%) of Americans anticipate they'll own a wearable someday. Two–thirds (67%) of Millennials predict they'll own a wearable compared to less than half (43%) of non–Millennials. 64% of all Americans have already considered purchasing a wearable technology item, with cost being the primary deterrent (56%).

What features and brands do Americans most want as part of their technology experiences?

45% of US consumers want to learn more about wearables for dating, sports, or work. Though consumer interest with wearable technology continues to be solid within specific use cases, interest across applications shows the opportunity for consumer wearables that tackle multiple activities and can be worn all day.

Parrot Zik Sport Headphones

These lightweight 75g, wireless Bluetooth 4.0 headband-style headphones offer voice calling via microphones and app–controlled noise cancelling but the real innovation is their ability to track your run using 'intra-auricular biometric sensors'.

FitLinxx AmpStrip

A small, beautiful, thin, sensor-filled strip you wear on your torso all day, every day. It continuously monitors your heart to provide feedback about your athletic performance and recovery - helping you find the edge between too little and too much training.

Bragi Dash

The Dash consists of a pair of discrete and completely wireless stereo earphones.They will playback music through a Bluetooth connection or use the embedded 4GB/1000 song music player. Everything about the design is focused on delivering freedom of movement, incredible sound and comfort. The Dash is awesome for sports and great for everything else.

Healbe GoBe

Healbe is dedicated to making people's lives happier, healthier, and easier.

Far more than a simple activity tracker, Healbe GoBe provides the most accurate, comprehensive information from your body, delivered effortlessly to your smartphone.

“Humans have a powerful, innate desire to enhance our experiences through technology and information. Wearable technology is a vital missing link that has long been dreamt about – and is finally here.”

– Luis Felipe Rincon, Co-Founder/CEO,
– Jason Dorsey, CSO, The Center for Generational Kinetics

Who's Buying These Devices, and Why?

According to the CEA's research, wearable fitness devices owners are predominantly male (60 percent) and often young (56 percent are under 34). Some 43 percent earn less than $50,000, which may reflect their relative youth, while 36% represent a more affluent segment earning more than $75,000 a year, who may be more aware of their own fitness goals – and have the scratch to purchase these relatively expensive products.

Tellingly, 67 percent of fitness device buyers are already getting regular exercise, compared to just 40 percent of the general population. Some 57 percent of people who plan to buy these devices exercise regularly. That means fitness wearables are not yet motivating couch potatoes to use them to get moving.

Still, most buyers are satisfied with their purchases: almost half use them daily, and another third use them several times per week.

TechnoGym and Google Glass

Technogym created an app on UNITY to connect the user's Google Glass with the treadmill. As a result, voice or touch commands projected to Google Glass can control the treadmill, thereby allowing for a hands–free, intuitive workout experience with real–time training feedback available on both the UNITY screen as well as on the Google Glass lens.

“With the look and feel of a tablet, Technogym's UNITY console offers a revolutionary, interactive training experience. It provides users with a personalized training program, favorite apps, TV programs, and entertainment and it's open to any third party app and device, like Google Glass or the many movement tracking devices.”

– Nerio Alessandri, President and Founder of Technogym

Sproing and Polar

Sproing Sport is a High-Intensity Interval Training workout rooted in running that combines cardio with strength, power and balance, all on a soft, low-impact surface.

Sproing uses Polar's FLOW to capture members activity, display data and progress in the classes and allows memebrs to set goals, track progress, measure and share achievements with other members.


For comprehensive coverage, in–depth analysis and insightful stratigies that provide you with the knowledge You Need to run your gym / studio or personal training business purchase Fitness Insider's Report Understanding the Market for Health and Fitness Devices or sign up for one of our Premium Memberships.

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Master FitTech Trainer
Article by: Jonathan C. Miller

I am first and foremost a fitness fanatic! I love exercising and eating right. Labeled a 'gadget freak' at an early age, I have channeled my disposition for technology into a passion for FitTech. My job is to provide the FitTech Knowledge you need to run your business. email

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