Guest Blog: The Hype Surrounding Wearables is becoming Palpable
Every week, we’re shown a glimpse at the future through the eyes of some new garment, tracker or gizmo that emerges in mainstream media, only to be pushed back into the laboratory it came from (Google glasses anyone?).
I’m a wearable realist, in that I hope for a future in which wearables do what they promise, but I am also bracing for the inevitable disappointment that will follow the release of the said wearable. One such notable example has got to be the ridiculously overhyped FitBit. As a fitness fanatic, I laughed when I read before the launch that there would be a fitness tracker that could track your steps, pulse and even distance travelled.
I don’t believe that I could find three more useless evaluations of fitness to spend my money on if I tried. Steps taken means absolutely nothing to bottom line health, it’s a cute goal that doctors set for overweight patients to get them to commit to leaving the couch. A pulse can be taken at any time for free by placing your fingers on your wrist or neck and timing for a minute and distance has been tracked via many other free applications, including the fabulous Google Maps, so why did everyone fork out hundreds of dollars for something that looks like a Livestrong bracelet?
In my opinion, we are still in that gullible stage of adoption and are willing to believe anything that bears the title of ‘wearable’. Having said that, there are three outstanding wearable fitness products that have me poised for my wallet.
Live Athos- the California based startup raised approximately $50million to support its wearable technology that is connected to workout clothing. With the ability to track movement and muscle activation, it represents the future of fitness and may spell the death of the personal trainer.
OM Signal- the Montreal based startup raised $14.5 million for its bio-sensing clothing with heart rate, breathing and activity monitors and perhaps even more interestingly, an open source style approach to building a platform for other wearable start-ups to do it themselves with the OM hardware and software.
Perhaps the start-up that has me the most excited of the three is LifeBeam; an Israeli based wearable provider with a focus on sensing human performance and a history of providing monitoring devices for the Israeli air force and elite combat units. I met the founder Omri Yoffe in his glass-walled office set in the heart of Tel Aviv, with a view of a nearby exercise park where his employees were testing the latest products. As I watched them perform chin ups and push-ups whilst being closely monitored by a team of engineers, Omri described his vision to me. For now, they are focusing on bicycle helmets and hats for running, but the greater goal is to build the software by which all other wearables would base themselves. Given their recent raise of $2.7million in seed funding and the announcement of a partnership with compression giant 2XU, it’s a product that I am anticipating with bated breath.
David Zeff is a fitness expert and entrepreneur. Having sold his first fit-tech start-up to move to Israel, he now works as a Sales Director for a leading Israeli Hi-tech company, focused on connecting alumni from around the globe. An accomplished speaker and writer, David is often flown to conferences to share his insights and has been known to guest blog and advise wearable fitness companies on best practice and upcoming trends. David sees his living in Israel as critical to being at the forefront of the Start-up world and has an eye for exciting opportunities that improve the ways in which people connect to each other and the world around them. He can be reached at: email@example.com.
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