If this year’s CES in Las Vegas is any indication, then the future of consumer electronics in health and fitness is going to be exciting to say the least. Advances in miniaturization and digital technology is driving a wave of innovations and new technologies that are bound to change the way we view and take charge of our own health.
While much of the leading wave is in wearable technology or “wearables” as they are more popularly referred to, there are also very interesting developments in areas a little less “wearable”. Majority of developments in wearables has to do with tracking and monitoring health and fitness related statistics. It’s a testament to the ever growing trend towards healthier lifestyles.
Personal fitness trackers are becoming a daily tool for us to understand not only overall health but to focus our efforts in areas that will have a greater impact.
Of course, leading the wave in wearables are personal fitness trackers that employ varying methods to monitor fitness. These cover a broad range of methods like the Fitbit line of trackers that monitors your heart rate and other activity stats as well as integrating music controls and smartphone notifications into a small watchlike wristband.
There’s also the Upright which aims to develop better posture and consequently prevent back problems. It fits in the small of your back and vibrates to remind you about your posture. What’s great about it is that it’s a training tool; when you have regained the habit of maintaining good posture, you don’t need to wear it anymore.
Technology trends in health and fitness are not solely in the area of wearables. As our understanding of health has broadened we are also seeing technologies in the “not so wearable” arena.
For instance, yoga and pilates lovers can look at the SmartMat as more of a coach than just a mat. It has a dock for your iPad so you can subscribe to yoga classes. The exciting feature are the embedded sensors that can detect your position and give instant feedback so you can improve your yoga posture.
Another cool and interesting “gadget” is the Tao Chair. It’s cool and elegant design belies it’s core purpose of being able to give you a nice workout. It’s not meant to replace the gym but it gives you easy access to regular exercise as opposed to the effort that comes with gym work and other fitness activities. A mobile app and digital display will walk you through several exercises while sitting on the chair and will also let you know the calories you burn.
Another exciting technology that has gained more traction in recent years are infrared saunas. These high-tech saunas emit infrared light to directly heat your body in a more efficient way compared to traditional convection heating methods. Saunas are great for relieving chronic pains and detoxifying aside from the main benefit of relaxation.
What differentiates infrared saunas are their portability and relatively easy setup and maintenance, which makes them convenient for home use installation.
These exciting trends in consumer technologies for health and fitness are just the leading wave. As our understanding of overall health continues to deepen, we are sure to see more exciting and fascinating innovations.