What Insights Do Fitness Bands Like Gear Fit Provide?
Fitness gadgets have been around for yonks. Step counters that clip onto your belt; armbands that measure your heart rate while you’re jogging; exercise calorie counters; fitness software and games; mobile apps with a fitness focus; in reality, these have been more fad than fab, failing to make a dent in the health and fitness stakes for most people. Sure, some people use these well and find them useful, but for most, they end up being just another contraption relegated to the bottom of a drawer.
So, are fitness bands like the new Samsung Gear Fit going to fall into the same fad then fade trajectory? Or, is there something different here, something finally providing useful health and fitness data in a package designed to keep us engaged long-term.
Fitness Manager Features
However, it’s the fitness manager features of the band we’re really interested in, and these include:
- a pedometer
- an accelerometer
- gyro and heart rate sensors
- social network sharing
- health-tracking software, and
- usability with third-party mobile apps, and (one would expect) desktop programs.
Usefulness of Tracking Data
The tiny screen size brings some restrictions to data being easily analysed and visually brought together. Being able to upload or synchronize data across fibre optic internet connections for detailed analysis (whether by yourself or a health professional) could be a real boon.
Fitness and Health Insights
Consider managing a health condition like asthma, high blood pressure or a heart related problem and being able to show your doctor a set of up to date data on resting heart rate, general daily activity and how your heart responds, and your sleeping patterns. This kind of data could be of great assist in managing health conditions.
Different age groups could use the data to highlight how they measure up on fitness norms for their age range. Older groups could benefit from setting exercise targets that ensure they don’t exceed target heart rates. And the same goes for people just starting out on a new fitness regime after being inactive for some time.
For those with good fitness levels, the continuous data feedback can be useful in seeing that their exercise regime is not becoming stale and losing effectiveness, or may require a bit of a shakeup to maintain peak fitness.
Design and Basic Features
At first glance, Gear Fit seems to be user friendly and a bit of fun with social media sharing capability. The lightweight band has some smart features including Bluetooth; a distinctive AMOLED display; interface with other Samsung Galaxy devices, allowing notification of SMS, email and the like; a long life battery; and ability to easily change different strap designs. Data displays are accessed on the go by swiping across multiple screens.
Gear Fit has a lot in common with competing fitness bands including Fuel Ban and Fitbit. Whether it can hold attention long term depends on the sophistication of its data integration, presentation and ability to value add to captured data. Watch this space after its release to see how it holds up.
Christopher is a fitness fanatic and technology geek. He being able to monitor his progress and performance.