Health and fitness products are taking center stage at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. From wrist band heart monitors to handheld blood oxygen readers to sleep trackers, these products are a major draw at the annual technology convention. More than 200 companies showcased their health and fitness products at CES. According the Consumer Electronic Association CEO Gary Shapiro, that’s a 30% increase over last year’s show! “It’s definitely an active category at CES,” said Shapiro. “Health is everything, and technology can play a major role in making people more responsible and bringing healthcare costs down.” A recent study by the CEA found that more than half of online consumers used some kind of fitness tech in the past year and usage is expected to more than double by the end of the year. Note, however that their definition of fitness tech isn’t listed and seems to be broad.
While more fit tech is showing up at the convention, there’s skepticism as to whether this trend will actually take hold with consumers.
According to the Boston Globe, “Lindsey Colella, senior community manager of qualitative research at Forrester Research in Cambridge, said that so far, these products have only attracted hard-core fitness buffs and the technology pace-setters who must be first to try everything. ‘When it comes to ordinary consumers, they’re not much interested,’ Colella said. ‘They think it’s just a waste of money.'”
Wearable devices showed up quite a bit. No doubt companies are trying to compete with the Jawbone UP and the Nike FuelBand. Check out Gizmodo’s reviews of the Fitbit Flex and LG Smart activity trackers. However, fitness trend watchers have reservations as to whether this trend will take off. It’s fin to wear one of these bands for a while, but then most people take them off. One company stated that they were looking to integrate their device with a social media game; the game would most likely look like Fitocracy.
The oddest health and fitness device to come out of CES is definately the HAPIfork and its counterpart the HAPIspoon. Made by Hapilabs, these utensils contain a motion sensor and will vibrate when they think you are eating too fast. They are also able to connect with your computer through USB cables so you can upload the data about your meal. And then post it on Facebook.
Do you Rockhead use any fitness tech? Let me know in the comments!