Wearables have a long way to go, and it's unlikely that devices such as Google Glass or smart-watches will be anything more than niche products for some time. Yet, one area that has seen moderate growth are sports related wearables.
The iPod is partly responsible, as many third-party manufacturers began producing arm bands, wrist straps, and other accessories as early as 2003. Apple's integration with Nike's fitness technology further expanded the iPod's popularity as a fitness device. Fitness related accessories like the FitBit and Fuelband were the next logical step.
Fitness wearables change our behaviour. They make the user aware that he/she is being monitored, which in-turn encourages one to take the stairs, go for a walk/run more often, carry the groceries home etc.
Patrick Moorhead ( in TechPinions) writes about how the FitBit changed his life, and encouraged him to go the "extra mile" so to speak. By simply making sure he had a fitness device on his person at all times, it encouraged him to be more active.
I believe that the more changes one is willing to make in their life to fit in a tech device, the more important, meaningful and game changing the device. Typically, the underlying driver is something deeper than it appears on the surface. Look at smartphones as an example. We now place smartphone by our beds and take them everywhere we go, incessantly checking them hourly (by the minute in the case of my teenage girls). This is driven by the strong need to communicate and be part of a community. My willingness to have the FitBit on my side or on my wrist 24×7 and change what and how I do things is driven by an even stronger need, the need to survive and thrive. I’ve made the personal connection with the device and my ability to live a healthier and longer life, so I’m willing to so many things differently that would be considered odd or anti-social. Let me take this one step further, and a bit on the scary side.
Moorhead makes a strong argument. Devices are tools designed to improve our lives, not simply gadgets to make our friends jealous. If a technology can actually change our behaviour for the better, than it has served its purpose. These devices are so successful (and inexpensive) that similar technology is being integrated into other wearables, as well as phones and tablets. In the not too distant future, all our devices will be able to monitor and share our activity, so we can get a more accurate picture of how we spend our time.
Make sure to check out Patrick's full article below.