Wearable Tech Gathers Pace as Sales Boom
2015 was hotly tipped to be the year that consumers would finally embrace wearable tech. A quick look around the table in any meeting room across the globe certainly illustrated how people’s wrists had been invaded by these devices that were counting their daily steps, but many doubted if it was being embraced by as many users as predicted.
However, the International Data Corporation advised that the worldwide wearable shipment volume soared by 197.6 percent with a phenomenal 21m devices sold in the third quarter of 2015. To put this into perspective, that’s nearly three times as many wearables as were shipped in the same quarter in 2014.
Delving further into that report, Fitbit remain in front with a 22.2 percent share of the market, but the Apple Watch is catching up very quickly with 18.6 percent thanks to selling a very impressive 3.9 million units.
Even critics who believe that these niche devices are just another fad that will quickly fade into obscurity cannot deny that a nearly 200% increase in only 12 months is impressive and suggests that mainstream adoption of wearable tech is certainly picking up the pace.
Technology enables us all to control nearly every aspect of our lives, but the only element that remains beyond our reach is our fate. This has given birth to the ‘worried well’ who spend both time and money attempting to regain the upper hand in their lives by understanding their personal data.
Sitting down in an office for 8 hours per day only to return home and sit down while watching TV illustrates the sedentary lifestyle that many have happily subscribed to and why many feel that sitting down is the new smoking and the biggest threat to our health or wellbeing.
The best exercise doesn’t have to mean hitting the gym or going on a 5-mile run but can be only walking for 10,000 steps a day that is around 5 miles or 85 minutes of brisk walking. Although, not completely accurate, many have turned to wearable devices to tweak their daily habits to keep themselves relatively active and healthier thanks to a healthy dose of motivation from those wearable devices.
Many are also combining the use of these tech wearables’s with another set of buzzwords known as lifelogging, self-hacking, body hacking or the quantified self where tech fans are increasingly using technology to track measure and analyse data from their daily life as our obsession with information reaches new heights.
Quantified-self facilitates the tracking of diet, sleep, heart rate, activity, exercise, moods and allows individuals to gain better insights on physiological parameters – Sumit Kumar Pa
This new movement of the data-obsessed is seeing users tracking every aspect of their lives through a variety of smartphone apps that allows them to monitor themselves, in the same way, they would analyze tweak and improve a website after studying their own personal dashboard.
There is an argument that we probably know more about friends, colleagues and people that we don’t know from Social Media sites than we know about our own self. Wearable tech offers an opportunity to improve our health and lifestyle through our own data. Obtaining an incredible amount of self-knowledge and self-awareness and understanding the dramatic differences that tiny changes could make to your life can only be positive right?
However, there is more to the human condition than can ever be captured in a spreadsheet and it’s just important to listen to our inner instincts as no person or machine knows your body like you do.
There is also no way of measuring our stress or indeed the positive impacts of spending time with friends and family or going out to the cinema for example. Just like anything in life there is no all or nothing approach, and the truth is that wearable technology is just another tool that enables people to change some of those bad habits that have been picked up over the years.
Although Fitbit’s or Apple Watches do not offer a silver bullet to all of your problems, there is no denying they can help you make positive changes to your lifestyle when used as a rough guide rather than expecting scientific accuracy.
For this reason alone we can expect more and more people to monitor their personal data through these devices and if it helps educate them to eat less and move more through tweaking their daily routine they should be championed rather than maligned.
Have wearable devices helped steer you towards better habits? Let me know your thoughts on wearable technology and personal data tracking by commenting below.