3 Cool Fitness Trends at CES 2015
Are they serious? These techs can now monitor hydration status, lactic acid accumulation, blood-glucose levels, body-fat percentage, blood pressure, stress levels, and automatically compute the number of calories eaten ON TOP of tracking mileage, pace, elevation, steps taken, route, heart rate, number of calories burned, and sleep quality? OMG. That’s pretty phenomenal! Check out the latest Techs from CES 2015!
Article by Dean Karnazes, Runner’s World
No need to wait for the future to arrive. It’s already five strides ahead of us. Having just returned from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada—the largest show of its type in the world—my mind has been sufficiently blown. Here are the hottest fitness trends that created the most buzz on the show floor.
1. WEARABLE TECH
Whether it’s on your wrist, integrated into your clothing, or placed within your shoe as you walk or run, specialized sensors, monitors, and trackers are able to record your activity levels and physiology like never before. Here are some ways they’re doing it:
On Your Wrist: Using sophisticated optical and pressure sensors, GPS, and accelerometers, the next generation of wristbands can provide nearly continuous and complete body management. I’ve been testing the new Fitbit Surge, and it tracks mileage, pace, elevation, steps taken, route, heart rate, number of calories burned, and sleep quality. It also displays incoming calls and texts, feels almost weightless, and has a battery life for up to seven days on a single charge. (Full disclosure: I work with Fitbit and that’s how I was able to test the new Surge before its release date.)
Other wrist straps can now monitor hydration status, lactic acid accumulation, blood-glucose levels, body-fat percentage, blood pressure, stress levels, and automatically compute the number of calories eaten. That’s right, no need to keep a food log for counting calories—the wristband computes it all for you!
On Your Body: Adaptive “smart fabrics” can now measure vital signs, movement, and core body temperature. For instance, Cambridge Consultantsunveiled its XelfleX smart fabric that uses fiber-optic threads embedded directly into the clothing to measure motion—like your posture as you run or angle of your arms—and vital signs.
If you’d rather go the minimalist route, FitLinxx introduced AmpStrip (seen above), a waterproof adhesive fitness activity monitor that’s about the size of a Band-Aid. The gadget iss looking to start production this summer and could be good for a sweaty summer run. And if wearing a patch is too unsightly, several companies showcased implantable technology that will do all of this monitoring while being conveniently hidden beneath the skin.
In Your Shoe: When it comes to your running technique, there are now sensors for your feet that not only detect pronation or supination, but also tell you if your form is falling apart and whether you should adjust your pace, gait, or cadence to prevent injury.
For example, the Lechal insole provides this feedback using active vibrations along pressure points. If you’d rather have the monitor directly on your foot, Sensoria introduced a smart sock (seen above) that measures excess stress on the wearer’s foot while running and offers real-time input on how best to adjust via Bluetooth.
2. BIG DATA
Now that you can collect all this data, what should you actually do with it? There are companies that are turning this information into knowledge and knowhow. An example would be FitStar.
Founded by a couple fitness buffs from Electronic Arts, the creators of FitStar looked to translate their gaming experience into a workout program that automatically adjusts to your exertion level, ability, and performance—similar to how a video game adapts to a user’s ability by making the challenge either harder or easier. They have a cardio/muscle building workout, a yoga workout ,and soon will be introducing an adaptive running app.
3. FASTER RECOVERY
Marc Pro has a small, portable electronic muscle stimulator that can easily fit into a carry-on bag or backpack that could be your cure to help speed recovery, condition, and relieve pain and soreness.
There were plenty of other advanced pinpointing massage devices, chairs, and smart beds that automatically shape-shift to prevent pressure points while simultaneously monitoring the sleeper’s temperature to create the perfect snoozing environment.
So there you have it. Of course, all this great technology is well and good but it doesn’t replace one thing—you still need to exercise.
With that, I’m off on a run…
Yours in fitness & health,
Dean Karnazes is a renowned ultramarathoner and the author of several books chronicling his long-distance, international running exploits. His latest book is Run! 26.2 Stories of Blisters and Bliss.