Wearables Week In Review

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Week In Review

Sweat like you mean it

It’s CES week and we can expect to see a plethora of new (and not so new) devices in the coming week. In our recent Spotlight LINK predicted a stronger emphasis on the combination of hardware and fitness services and it hasn’t taken long to see the first such case. Wondercise has expanded its existing on-demand fitness class functionality by adding new sensor straps for the consumer. These sensors increase the accuracy with which the app can track your movements, to see how well you are completing the on-demand training. Neatly, these straps will work with either the company’s own fitness band, or third part wearables that connect to the service including the Apple Watch. So you won’t have to give up your favorite watch to enjoy the Wondercise service, which is a good job since Apple now has its own competitive service.

The NPD Take:

  • As the pandemic continues to keep us away from gyms, the market for on-demand fitness tracking has increased. Frankly, we don’t see that changing anytime soon, even when (if?) the pandemic starts to fade. The most effective on-demand services are going to be those that are tightly integrated with hardware to more accurately reflect your true workout.

Look ma, no hands!

Sometimes it simply isn’t convenient to reach out and touch your smartphone. Perhaps you are driving, or in the middle of a run or so on. Cue the ArcX silicon ring, which has a small joystick in it that can be used to control your smartphone interactions “hands free”. It is, in many ways, reminiscent of North’s Focal’s controller (smart glasses), but with a more generic use case. Of course, it is yet another device to charge (standby time of 20 days) so consumers will have to weigh the benefits of handsfree control against carrying (and wearing) yet another device.

The NPD Take:

  • With many alternative ways to control your phone (voice commands, smartwatch and so on) we are not convinced that there is much of a market for third party devices such as this. But we’ve been wrong before…
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