Fitness trackers are out! These seven pieces of smart gear are high-tech, high-performance, and very in
Smart Tools to Upgrade Your Workout
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Don't get us wrong—we're still addicted to our fitness tracker. But honestly, the wrist-worn wearables are starting to feel a little old hat. Even more: There are new tracker-studded Workout Clothes That Double As Wearable Tech and trainables are aiming to actually modify your behaviors rather than just keep tabs on them.
And now even fitness equipment is getting a high-tech makeover. These seven pieces of gym gear look like normal workout paraphernalia, but they're actually embedded with sensors that track your sweat session and provide real-time feedback. The result? Your gym visits get a little smarter—and you, a little fitter.
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This high-tech jump rope ($90; store.tangramfactory.com) sends your phone your fitness data, so after your workout you can analyze it and share it with friends. But it also uses LED lights to display the data mid-air as you jump, allowing you to stay on top of your workout in the moment—and making you feel like you're in an episode of Star Trek. (Left your jump rope skills in elementary school? Try this Jump Rope Workout to Burn Fat and Tone All Over.)
Photo: Smart Rope
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We love yoga videos, but one downside to practicing at home is that we're never totally confident in our form. Enter the SmartMat Yoga Mat ($297; available for pre-order at smartmat.com). It connects with your phone via a free app to tell you when you're out of balance. It can be used at home or in a class—and it's even hot yoga-friendly!
Babolat Play Tennis Racket
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It looks like a regular tennis racket, it feels like a regular racket...but the Babolat Play tennis rackets (sold at tennis shops around the U.S.) are actually super rackets, with sensors built into the handle that track a host of information including your shot, its spin, and where on the stringbed the ball made contact. (Psst... Check out this Venus Williams Interview That's Not About Tennis.)
LifeBEAM Smart Helmet
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Until recently, if you wanted to accurately measure your heart rate while you rode your bike, you'd have to wear a chest strap (uncomfortable and unwieldy!). Not anymore. The LifeBEAM Smart Helmet ($229; life-beam.com) monitors your heart rate, calorie burn, and performance (including skin temp and blood flow) with aerospace accuracy while you ride. It connects to most smartphones and sports watches. Cycling not your sport? LifeBEAM also makes regular hats and visors. (See also: 30 Reasons a Bike Is Better Than a Boyfriend.)
Madshus Skis Empower Technology
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This cross country ski company embeds some of their skis (sold at outdoor activity outfitters like REI) with a radio-frequency ID chip that connects with their Empower app (free; iOS and Android), which in turn lets you track your total distance covered, average speed, temp, and other important training data.
WX Connected Basketball
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The WX Connected Basketball ($200; wilson.com) tracks your made and missed shots, simulates crowd noise, and has four modes to help keep your practices fun: Free Range evaluates your performance from anywhere on the court, Free Throw does so from the free throw line, Buzzer Beater helps you learn how to shoot under the pressure of a countdown clock, and Game Time pits you against a simulated opponent.
Bragi Dash Earphones
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These little earbuds ($300; store.bragi.com) are everything we could ask for in fitness headphones. They're wireless and buttonless (to control volume or playback, you tap and swipe the sides of the buds), their sound quality is incredible, and they communicate with your smartphone so you can use them to pick up calls. Even better: They also track your activity and offer live feedback about your performance.