Posted By Simon Montford on April 1, 2015
As I've said previously, the fitness tracker's days are numbered. I just can't see why anyone would bother with a FitBit or a Jawbone once the smartwatch goes mainstream (which it will). Highly specialised devices, however, that are designed for elite athletes, and those with specific requirements such as swimmers (xmetrics), weightlifters, CrossFitters (Beast, PushStrength, GymWatch, Atlas, Moov), and yoga (Smartmat) will continue to thrive.
A more recent addition to this high potential sector is Oli. This smart workout device doesn't just count reps and the amount of weight lifted, but it also helps improve form, by tracking each lift. It does this by using accelerometers and algorithms to chart the path of the bar. Users can use the app to video themselves while lifting, presumably referred to as a "liftie", and during play-back the app cleverly overlays the bar's path of travel, so that form can be viewed and corrected.
As someone who loves CrossFit, and Olympic lifting in particular, I found that my FitBit just didn't cut it, which is one of the reasons why I stopped using it. Those that lift weights strive to improve three things; speed, strength, and power. Technique is, therefore, critical. Poor Olympic lifting practices can be very dangerous, leading to all kinds of nasty injuries from chipped teeth, to broken limbs when getting "under the bar". Anything that provides features beyond the capability of a smartwatch, and offer real value to customers, will succeed in the wearables sector. Fitness devices that don't will become obsolete.
The Oli is potentially a great product, but it isn't available until next year, and will cost $199 (£135). The estimated shipping date is January 2016, but you can pre-order one on Kickstarter today (the early bird discount price of $149 (£100) is still available).
If you don't want to wait, and like me, you do a lot of Olympic lifting or CrossFit, I'd go out and buy a Beast (see video below), because it's a great product and it's available now.
© Simon Montford (WEB3IOT), 2014-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Simon Montford and WEB3IOT with appropriate and specific direction to the original content at web3iot.com.