Advancements in the fitness tracker market is arguably one of the greatest breakthroughs of the 21st century since the introduction of smartphones. They have – in less than 5 years – grown to become a tool that is used and loved by all forms of people. Whether you are an Ironman athlete, a weekend warrior, or someone looking to make some positive lifestyle changes, we can all benefit from the quickly changing health tracking and feedback technology.
Types of Fitness Trackers in the Marketplace
The most common fitness trackers tend to take the shape of a wristwatch or wristband. Others are worn as garments, jewelry, chest straps and even headphones. What really determines how and where a fitness tracker will be worn has very little to do with the functionality but rather when and where the tracker would be worn.
— Dai Manuel (@daimanuel) October 7, 2014
With competition for market share stiffening and marketing becoming more global in reach with social media, it's easier and less costly for anyone, regardless of whether or not they are established, can earn a customer base with a well-planned marketing strategy.
That calls for a smarter way to get a competitive edge over rivals and attract potential users, which has led to manufacturers integrating as many features as they possibly can, as well as leveraging the power of social networks, influencer marketing and let's be honest, which one looks sexier and cooler on my person.
Fashion trends, for instance, have inspired a number of manufacturers including Bragi who built in-ear headphones with appended fitness tracking sensors. Wireless Bluetooth earphones was, and still is, an upcoming fashion trend that Bragi wanted to take advantage of. Hexoskin and Heddoko are also cases in point, are two apparel manufacturers have come up with shirts that can record various health data during workout sessions and connect with your smartphone or computer for easy display and readily available feedback.
— Dai Manuel (@daimanuel) June 2, 2016
Manufacturers are drawing inspiration from everyday phenomena and events hoping it will attract the interest of prospective buyers, and that’s pressuring the rapid evolution of both tech and design.
Fitness Tracker Brands
There's dozens and dozens of different fitness tracker brands, pedaling thousands of models on the market right now. However only but a few have gained the trust of significant customer bases and made it into the mainstream.
The likes of Fitbit, Jawbone, TomTom and Garmin are ruling the market as specialized manufacturers while tech giants such as Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, Lenovo, LG and Sony are also making way into the activity tracker market in a big way.
— Dai Manuel (@daimanuel) September 24, 2016
No one brand has owned the Global market outright as brands and manufacturers are constantly improving their designs, and increasing the sophistication of the tech daily. That being said, geographically speaking there's some notable leaders based on their market dominance. Xiaomi, for instance is an indisputable giant in China and most parts of Asia but cannot compete with Garmin and Vivofit in Europe and America.
Apple Watch on the other hand has relatively lower sales in Asia and African countries yet does very well within the United States and Western European markets.
Brand Classifications of Activity Trackers
Wearable devices come in various forms:
- Fitness trackers
- Smart bracelets
Since the wearable industry is still in evolution, there is no particular shape and size that has been identified as “THE” standard for a wearable device.
Most of these manufacturers are still trying to find that most desirable design, which is driving a lot of the innovative (and weird) frames that have come and gone in the wearable market. One thing to note is that the shape and size barely have anything to do with functionality; virtually all fitness trackers perform the same basic functions.
The State of Fitness Trackers – a Manifesto [an Infographic]
If you would like to know more about the current state of fitness trackers, our friends from appcessories.co.uk have created this handy infographic to show where we are and where we’re going. Check out the full article here.