polo ralph lauren polos experts look to next generation of devices to move beyond step counts By Ryan Johnson Forum News Service FARGO
HomenewsHeadlinesSuperior bill gets hearingSean Duffy optimistic Trump tariffs will boost economyWisDOT hopes to involve public on plans for East Second StreetDNR announces first state elk hunt in northern Wisconsin this fallAngel donors help Superior studentssportsHeadlinesPrep Playoffs March 14Onwudiegwu, Pedraines double winners at Track O RamaYoung, Pearson named all state in hockeyPackers release Nelson, to sign GrahamSports Echoes March 13opinionHeadlinesHopeful signs on the horizonOpees recognize good deeds and badPeterson ready to serve hometownRe elect Kern for 9th DistrictHope for future needs investment
Forum News Service
FARGO We’re living in an era of “Jetsons” like technological possibilities.
But Adrian Dawson Becker, a mobile strategist for Fargo based Myriad Mobile, said those rapidly evolving capabilities, including video communications, portable electronic devices and home appliance automation, haven’t translated into the “perfect” wearable device at least not yet.
Consumers know they want these devices to connect with their phones and offer a unique experience beyond what they’d get from a wristwatch.
“But they don’t really have a vision for what they want that to be,” he said.
That uncertainty, according to Dawson Becker, is behind the meteoric rise in the popularity of wearable fitness trackers, including the Fitbit, Nike FuelBand and Jawbone UP three brands that accounted for 97 percent of all smartphone enabled activity trackers sold last year.
“Fitness wearables took off because they met a specific need,” he said.
Juniper Research said 13 million wearable devices were sold in 2013. By 2018, that number is expected to balloon to 130 million,
equaling $19 billion in sales.
But the capabilities are still limited on many of the most popular fitness tracker models today, and as new features and technology are developed, Dawson Becker said consumers can expect to see a sea change in the possibilities that will be available from a wristband or pair of glasses.
The new exercise gear
Scheels All Sports in Fargo sells two wearable fitness devices, the Polar Loop and Garmin Vivofit, and will soon carry the iFit , which will be compatible with the newest line of treadmills.
At this point, many entry level models are a “really advanced pedometer,” according to Evonne Saleh, the Scheels exercise shop manager. The devices keep track of movement, tallying steps taken to come up with a baseline of activity.
But their utility at this point comes down to encouraging people to be more active or just realize how inactive they are, she said.
“With the Vivofit , there’s actually a little red line that goes across the top of it,” she said. “If you’re inactive for an hour or more, the line is fully across the top, telling you to get up and move. I don’t think people realize how much they’re sedentary versus walking around and being active.”
Most consumers interested in these devices want to lose weight and become more active, Saleh said. Others like the ability to track sleep patterns. For an additional price,
some models also are compatible with heart rate straps that can make the device’s estimate of calories burned more accurate and help customize workout routines to get the best results.