Wearable fitness trackers continue to gain popularity, mostly thanks to their ability to read and store fitness-related data like heart rate, mileage, speed, and form. Analyzing this data helps people know where they’re at with their goals to get stronger and leaner, and what they need to focus on the next time they hit the fitness center.
Fitness trackers can help you stay motivated, but for the most part, the wearer is still responsible for putting together the data they provide and drawing conclusions about their current fitness level (and how to improve it) both during and after workouts. Wouldn’t it be nice if your tracker also did this part for you?
Many wearable technology companies are starting to design devices that can deliver this kind of feedback, with the help of artificial intelligence. For instance, in 2016, a company known as LifeBEAM introduced the Vi — the world’s first AI personal trainer. The Vi’s earbuds monitor your workout using bio-sensors, GPS tracking, and cloud-based data. The device’s AI then gives you real-time feedback about how you’re doing and what you can do to improve your form, calorie-burn, etc. LifeBEAM calls this “Awareable” technology.
Here are a few examples of other new fitness trackers capable of this level of “awareness” and personalized real-time coaching during your workouts:
- Move Now — a running coach
- Oakley Radar Pace — sport sunglasses that monitor cycling or running
- Atlas Wristband – a fitness gym coach ideal for strength training workouts
- XMetrics Pro – a swim tracker that monitors your strokes and helps you set the pace with rhythmic beeps
- ShotTracker – a tracker designed for the ball court that helps you improve your skills during the game (there’s even a team kit)
- Carv – a real-time tracker that gives feedback on your skiing technique
- Garmin Tru-Swing – a real-time tracker for golf enthusiasts
The Benefits of Real-Time Intelligence
Of course, regardless of how “intelligent” a device is, it can’t do your workout for you – that’s still your responsibility. Nevertheless, these tools can help you stay motivated when no one else is around to encourage or push you to improve. In the absence of a personal fitness center coach, a wearable with this level of intelligence can be the next best thing.
The greatest benefit of real-time tracking and personalized coaching is that each workout becomes an opportunity to learn and improve, moment by moment. This means you’ll be more on-point with hitting your target heart rate and calorie-burn while maintaining better form (which protects you from injuries).
Using Your Own “Fitness Intelligence”
As a word of caution, remember that no device can substitute for common sense and the advice of trained fitness professionals (who play an important role in helping companies design wearable technology). Use smart devices as a supplement to your workouts within a community of others who can provide real-life support, encouragement, and sound advice. With greater real-time awareness and personalized coaching on all fronts, you’ll be sure to succeed.