Next Generation of Fitness Trackers Emerges
Fortune reported recently on the shifting market for fitness trackers, arguing that although sales of fitness trackers declined in 2017, the future of fitness trackers with integrated medical capabilities is promising.
In 2017, Fitbit, one of the biggest players in fitness trackers, saw sales drop 40%. And out of Fitbit’s more that 50.2 million registered users, only about 23.3 million still remain active. So with sales dropping and popularity fading, it seems like the first generation of fitness trackers have run their course. But the race to come up with the next breakthrough is on. And now, players much bigger than Fitbit want in.
One of the main objectives: medical capabilities… In 2016, Google partnered with Sanofi to form Onduo, a company working to develop devices to treat diabetes. Johnson & Johnson developed their own wearable insulin delivery device called OneTouch Via and Apple has been reportedly working on a glucose-monitoring device as well. Even Fitbit recognizes that the future is in medical applications. Fitbit announces it’s developing tools that will allow users to diagnose and monitor sleep apnea.
However, for data gathered by wearables to be useful for health professionals, the data needs to be precise and reliable, and older Americans need to be willing to adopt the technology. Matrix Industries recently released the PowerWatch, a smartwatch that is powered entirely by body heat, eliminating the need for daily charging, which is often cited as one of the reasons consumers abandon wearable technology. And because users don’t have to take the watch off to charge it, the PowerWatch can collect useable data around the clock.
Matrix Industries says its PowerWatch, a cutting-edge new wearable, is the first smartwatch powered by body heat. The watch uses thermoelectric technology to harness the electrical power naturally produced by the human body, converting it to an energy source that can keep the battery continuously charged, no wires or cables required.
Akram Boukai, CEO of Matrix Industries, says that because the PowerWatch, measures the amount of body heat produced during activity, it can provide a more accurate assessment of calories burned than traditional smartwatches.
As your body produces more energy — during a workout, for example — it provides the watch with more power, which can be tracked with a gauge on its face.
In addition to electricity, the PowerWatch measures calories burned, activity level and sleep. These numbers can be tracked through an accompanying mobile app.