The Past, Present and Future of Wearable Technology
The wearable technology market is projected to skyrocket to $51.6 billion by the year 2022, according to B2B research firm Markets and Markets. Leading the pack when it comes to the trend? Wearable fitness devices. Here’s a closer look at wearables, along with why all forward-thinking fitness businesses should embrace the potential of this innovative new technology.
The Rise of Wearables
While mention of the word “wearables” brings to mind thoughts of smartwatches and fitness trackers, the first wearables date back much further than that. In fact, the first-ever corrective lenses, AKA eyeglasses, were worn more than 700 years ago! Since that time, everything from “abacus rings” to “wristwatch calculators” has altered how people interacted with the world around them.
It wasn’t until the early 2000s, in fact, that the wearables we know and love today exploded onto the scene with the likes of Bluetooth headsets, Google Glass, and smartphone-synced fitness trackers. Which brings us to the here and now. Says Business Insider, “Today, we've reached a sweet spot for wearable devices. Companies are producing mass quantities of wearable technology, but the market is not oversaturated.”
There’s good reason for the widespread adoption of wearables. According to Salesforce, "Wearables allow businesses not only to bolster their brand by allowing their audience to access their content, products, and services on another platform but also to expand the scope of the company by designing services and events with wearables in mind.”
Wearables and the Fitness Industry
While the wearables concept is applicable to many industries ranging from healthcare to retail, there’s perhaps not a more perfect place for the integration of wearables than the fitness industry.
As Shawn DuBravac, chief economist of the Consumer Technology Association, told Sports Illustrated, “If we were to go show up at a marathon somewhere, my bet would be that everybody in that first corral has a wearable on, if not more than one. They consider that as important as, if not more important than other things that they might have on.”
But wearables are far from the exclusive domain of elite athletes. In fact, they very much have a place with recreational fitness enthusiasts, as well. Proposes Inc., “Gyms are constantly looking for ways to enter the digital world in order to take their businesses to the next level, and many gyms have focused on integrating technology into every facet of the fitness experience as a means to acquiring and retaining members. Wearables can be a game changer for improving upon that experience.”
Which begs the question: In what ways, specifically, can wearables help your fitness business grow? For starters, it lets gyms understand more about their members’ wants and needs in order to deliver greater value to them. This is not only a vital retention strategy but can also prompt members to increase engagement across services, such as personal training and other types of paid programming.
And then there’s the fun factor. Not only does the “gamification” aspect of wearable fitness trackers make working out more entertaining, but also more social -- the imperative when you consider the social nature of your Millennial members.
While we may not know what the future holds when it comes to fitness technology, we do know that wearables will be a major part of it. To learn more about how the Accurofit System can help you leverage the power of wearables for your fitness business or health care center, request a demo today.