Humankind has always asked more from their watches. Simply telling the time was never enough. Back in the early days of computers, digital watches were in vogue and were thought of as cutting edge technology.
“Orbiting this [the sun] at a distance of roughly ninety-eight million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.”
-Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
In 2018, digital watches are almost about to be replaced. By what? Fitness bands. They tell the time, of course, so the need of a watch is moot. (And they’re digital too.) Off late, the awareness of fitness and the necessity to lead a fitter life is on the rise, almost like a global phenomenon and fitness bands are riding that awareness wave with great success. Take an example of an average person: Once the fitness bug bites him, he’ll go shopping for accessories to match his needs and taste. Shoes, the workout attire, a gym bag, possibly new socks and in recent days a fitness band/tracker. He may or may not work out, or maybe try and fizzle out in a few days, but the fitness tracker will be on his hand. It’ll serve as a reminder that he needs to be fitter than he already is and it’ll tell the world that he is interested in his personal fitness.
How It Helps?
We all yearn to be something we are not. But that’s a cynical example. There may be another average person who uses the fitness bands to track his workouts. Maybe he’s a jogger and it’s easier for him to track the distance he has covered and give a good estimate on the calories he’s burnt. These stats were never possible to get before, and rudimentary methods of judging a distance were used, but an almost accurate calorie burn count was always hard to get. Now, no more.
But what are these stats good for? Today, they are great bragging rights.
Person A: I walked 3000 steps yesterday.
Person B: That’s all? I went up to 5000.
These stats are, for now, are just numbers. Data available to the public so they can quantify their effort they have put into personal fitness. It helps. When something is quantified, you can clearly see the growth or the decline in it. And this helps put the abstract notions of leading a fitter life into the comfortable realm of numbers where everything has a value, and it’s easier for the average person to value his own effort, and to share/compare with other people.
Fitness Industry- Choosing a Direction to Move
These stats are data points and if mined well can give a good idea of a person’s health. Not many strides have been taken in this direction, but that’s where the fitness band world is heading. Apple has been on the forefront of this, allowing the Apple Watch to track the heartbeat rhythms during and post workouts to check how long does the heart take to reach normal conditions. If it’s too fast or too slow to reach its normal state, it can alert the user that there is some problem with his heart and he should visit the doctor. An Apple a day might not keep the doctor away anymore, but it’ll definitely save your life.
Old time watch connoisseurs will not disappear and they will keep the watch alive. But fitness bands are here to stay. Will they take over and completely replace the watch. We doubt it, but then again, only time will tell.
This article has been authored by Huzefa Lokhandwala, Programme Director, TrainMe