Wearable health and fitness monitors are more than a trend in the connected-health space; they represent the future as more consumers become aware of the value realtime data can add to their lives. As the market for these devices and solutions broadens and diversifies, it’s up to devicemakers and technology providers to discover and deliver the experience and the formfactor consumers will respond to most.
In 2013, ABI Research, www.abiresearch.com, says wearable devices that monitor heart rate and activity levels made up the largest share of wireless device shipments. In fact, ABI found the most “popular” device functionality in 2013 was heart rate monitoring, with 12 million devices shipped. Dedicated pedometers and activity trackers came in second and third place, combining to account for 16 million of the devices that shipped last year. ABI predicts heart-rate monitors, pedometers, and activity trackers will continue to dominate the wearable-device scene in the near future—even as more sophisticated devices such as smart watches and even smart glasses enter the market.
A new wearable device from ieWei, www.eiwei.net, the ieWei Wristband, aims to claim a piece of the marketshare with the help of some unique features. ieWei describes its device as an “alert system” capable of measuring the wearer’s exposure to harmful radiation, in addition to monitoring heart rate and body temperature.
According to the company, electromagnetic radiation is an emerging health problem in today’s society; a problem that must be monitored. The ieWei Wristband detects harmful radiation levels and alerts the wearer so she can make an informed decision about her body and her environment.
In addition, the wristband can give the wearer realtime information about her heart rate, which can be a key indicator about a person’s stress levels. If the heart rate exceeds a certain level, the device will vibrate a subtle warning. In conjunction with the ieWei app, the solution is one example of how companies are helping consumers monitor their own health and wellness. The device is scheduled to become available in the U.S., Europe, and Asia this spring.
The intersection between health monitoring and wearable devices will be an important reality moving forward. As wearable devices inch closer to mainstream adoption, consumers’ preferences and buying patterns will dictate which types of devices make it big in 2014 and beyond.
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