Healthy technology is still hot for 2015, and the fitness trackers keep getting better (and cheaper)!
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is happening in Las Vegas right now—and it looks like fitness technology isn’t going anywhere in 2015. From souped-up fitness trackers to other self-tracking gadgets, health and fitness was at the forefront of the annual technology event. Here, the tech we’re most excited about. (Check out these 5 Digital Coaches to Help You Reach Your Health Goals).
A personal trainer in your ear? That's what Sony is planning with it's B-Trainer headphones, which allow you to load specific workouts to the headphones through an app, as well as store music locally, so you can go for a run without bringing your phone. While you run, the headphones also measure your heart rate and change the music to slower or faster songs to help you meet the heart rate threshold of your training program. (If you're not up for something this hi-tech, try one of these Best Headphones for Every Situation.)
Entering calories into an app or keeping a food journal can be helpful if you're trying to lose or maintain weight, but it's easy to cheat. Sure, you'l enter that healthy stir-fry you made for dinner, but maybe you'll just "forget" to record the Girl Scout cookies you scarfed down later... Not with the GoBe tracker, which claims to track your calorie intake through a wrist sensor. The sensor reads your glucose levels and monitors heart rate, blood flow, and fluid level in tissues. Sounds crazy, but if it really works, this could be a game changer.
Practice yoga at home with the kind of instruction you'd typically only get in a studio. The SmartMat senses your body placement and instructs you to make incremental changes until your form is correct in each pose. Choose a class to take through the companion app and let it coach you through, giving feedback as you go. If at home yoga isn't your thing, the mat also has an in-class mode, so you can take it to the studio and still get alignment assistance without disturbing your fellow yogis. (PS: Is This the Best Yoga Mat Ever?)
Forget steps and calories—Zensorium's new tracker will monitor your mood by taking into account heart rate, blood pressure, activity, sleep, and stress. Like most fitness trackers, it WILL tell you how many calories you've burned, but this piece of tech approaches self-monitoring not as a way to lose weight, but a way to be happier. Being promotes mindful living by mapping your mood into four zones (distress,excited, normal, calm), and differentiating between good and bad stress by looking at heart rate variability Bad stress will trigger suggestions for breathing exercises to help you calm down.
Sorry, slouchers, that look just isn't working for you! The founder of UpRight developed a sensor that vibrates when you slouch because of his mom—no, not because she nagged him to sit up straight, but because he realized that not only did she look better when she sat up straight, but she suffered less back pain. UpRight sits on the small of your back (it stays on with hypoallergenic adhesive stickers) and trains you to sit up straighter by zapping you (lightly) if your posture starts to suffer. (Check out How Texting Harms Your Posture too.)
Lenovo announced the Vibe Band VB10 smartwatch/fitness tracker, and there's one aspect that got everyone talking—the price. At only $89, it has most of the same functions as pricier versions, like phone notifications for social media, calls and texts, tracking capabilities for distance, steps, calories, and sleep, and a 7-day battery life. The interface can be changed to mimic three different types of watch faces, so a glance at your wrist won’t give away the fact that you’re tracking! (See How Food Technology Is Improving The Restaurant Industry).
Connected Cycle's smart bike pedals have built in GPS technology and sensors that track speed, distance, calories burned, and elevation. They connect with an app to record your route and, for a nice extra touch, can also tell you if your bike is moving when you're not on it to cut down on theft.
Jonathan Adler and Garmin have teamed up for the vivofit 2. The revamped model has a backlit screen for seeing in the dark, can last for almost a year on one charge, and features better screen visibility. It will retail for $129, with accessories to personalize your band sold separately.
Sony will be upgrading it's Smartwatch 3, which operates on Google’s Android Wear platform, to a stainless steel model, making it stylistically one of the most watch-like devices yet. The new band has a sharp and polished look, but the model can be a bit bulky if you have a small wrist. If you’ve been trying to convince the man in your life to try a fitness tracker, this could be the one that finally persuades him to start tracking his steps, calories, and workouts.
Popular fitness tracker Misfit has paired with Swarovski to create the first fitness tracker that requires no battery or recharging—yep, this tracker is solar-powered. The Swarovski Shine Collection consists of a starter kit that contains an “energy crystal” and an accessory to wear it in and ranges from $169.99 to $249.99. Additional accessories (including a 9-piece jewelry collection) will be available so you can glitz and glam up every outfit.
Serious boarders, take note! You’ll soon be able to track your movement and weight distribution as you ride, using the XON Snow-1 smart bindings. Check acceleration, center of gravity, top-side and tail-side board bend, and left and right foot weight balance through the smartphone app, so you can improve your slope skills. (See Would You Wear A Helmet That Reads Your Mind?)
Under Armour has been taking over the fitness industry lately, with it’s I Will What I Want campaign and all-star sponsored athletes and trainers. Naturally, an app was next. UA Record lets you sync all of your health and fitness apps in one place and gives you a visual dashboard of all your data. Invite up to 20 members to be part of your fitness community and compete in challenges and reach fitness goals together. The app also allows you to share videos, photos and workout stories and access original content on nutrition, training methodologies, injury prevention and more directly from leading health and fitness experts.