It is hard to be alive in 2017 and not have heard of the Fitbit. You may know a fitness wearable by another name but if you think that the advent of apps and modern technology has spawned the dawn of fitness wearables, you have another thing coming. They have been around for decades. What they will do has improved but the accuracy has not because Polar has made heart rate wearables for years that have been nearly as accurate as an EKG for decades. As a result of my experience with fitness wearables, I can predict what will happen with them over the long pull…very few people will be using them in 5 years. Your phone might take it’s place…I know my iPhone essentially is a pedometer for me but I might check it 10 times a year. Even though it has the ability, I typically don’t have an interest in knowing that information unless I have exerted some heroic levels of activity. For the marathon runner or Ironman competitor who wants to track every detail of her activity, these are a godsend but for the average person…who cares? I know the fitness purists are going to want to hang me on a cross but that’s what happens when new technology or at least the new application of technology appears. The problem is with human behavior and it is very predictable. Just like when new exercise machines have come on the market, it is always easy to predict which ones will be around forever as a big seller and those that might have a brief flash in the pan but then will fade away. The reason the treadmill is still popular more than 50 years past it’s introduction in it’s current form is that it is an easy exercise. The reason the elliptical is still selling in a big volume nearly 30 years past its’ introduction is because it is an easy exercise. The reason the NordicTrack skier is no longer sold in high volume is because it is not an easy exercise. The reason rowers have come and gone over the years (sorry Frank Underwood fans from the House of Cards series) is that it is a tough exercise. People buy fitness wearables and unless they have a heart condition, are a fitness nerd, or have a need to track their activity for performance training, the wearable eventually goes into a drawer only to be found during spring cleaning years later. So, if you believe that you are going to make a million dollars on your wearable idea, you might just do so but if someone offers you a million dollars for the idea or your fledgeling company, you might be smart to take the money and run (of course while wearing your new fitness wearable device).
8 Mar '17 Blog