Looking ahead to 2016 and beyond, Garmin Australasia general manager Matt DeMoss believes that wearables technology will evolve to become more sophisticated and more tailored for individual users.“We’re already moving beyond step count and heart rate monitoring, and will see fitness trackers become smarter, more integrated and more connected than ever before,” DeMoss notes.
2016 and beyond will see wearables become more integrated, with apps using and sharing data from numerous devices for a seamless user experience, with apps built to “talk” to each other and integrate data from wearable devices.
“We may even eventually see wearables integrate with targeted marketing and promotional opportunities,” DeMoss commented.
“For example, imagine you’re out for a run and your fitness tracker beeps at you with an offer to stop in for a free drink at the cafe you just passed. Developing applications that talk to each other and integrate with fitness tracking and GPS data makes this a real possibility for the future.”
Customisation is another trend set to emerge, with more apps for wearables becoming available, allowing users to both personalise their devices and use them for multiple purposes, such as tracking weather, locating their cars and listening to music.
“Many of the apps we see available on smartphones will eventually become available on smartwatches and other fitness trackers, giving us access to unlimited content on our wrists,” DeMoss stated.
Meanwhile, more data will lead to more informed health and fitness choices.
“Garmin has already designed running watches specifically tailored to capture data like cadence, vertical oscillation, ground contact time and stride length so athletes can improve their performance at an elite level,” DeMoss stated.
“We’ll see more detailed, more targeted metrics for all kinds of sports, from cycling to skiing to golfing. And who knows? Maybe one day we’ll even find a way to measure the calmness and pose accuracy of yogis. Although this might be a while away yet.”
Fashion is also set to be a trend next year, with DeMoss expecting more fashion-focused activity trackers, with interchangeable colours and bands.
DeMoss believes “the possibilities for the future are endless”.
“Years from now, we may even see wearables become life-saving devices,” he commented.
“Imagine a smartwatch that could alert a diabetic their blood sugar levels were low? Or even that someone was at risk of stroke or about to have an epileptic seizure? We’re living in an incredibly exciting time where innovation and technology are making just about anything possible, things we could never have dreamed of.
“While wearables and their role in our lives will change and evolve as time goes on, one thing is for certain – wearable technology is here to stay. And that’s a good thing, as it’s only going to make our lives better.”