Everywhere we turned during our time at CES 2013 we saw all sorts of fitness gadgets. And we can’t say we’re surprised. With the huge popularity last year of products like the Nike+ Fuel Band, Jawbone Up and Fitbit, we expected to discover a lot more in this arena this year. And we did!
Whether you’re looking to drop a few pounds in 2013 or just live more healthily, here’s some of the coolest fitness tech we saw at CES. You can be sure we’re going to be keeping our eye on them all as they launch throughout the year.
We’re big fans of the FitBit products, so we were pleased to see that they’re jumping on the fitness bracelet bandwagon (like Nike and Jawbone) with the new FitBit Flex, priced similarly to their FitBit One product. The band is small and comfortable, and will utilize the same smart interface that their other products use as well to hep track your fitness goals.
The LarkLife fitness bracelet differentiates itself from the other products out there as being prescriptive, so rather than just telling you about the way you’re already eating, sleeping and exercising, the bracelet also suggests what you need to do.. This means you’ll get push notifications sent to your phone if, for example, you’ve been sitting too long and need to get up and move. Or if you haven’t gotten enough sleep for a few nights in a row, which for parents would be almost every night. It works in collaboration with fitness and health experts so presumably the suggestions have been vetted.
I will say the bracelet looked a bit large for me, and while I like the idea of getting notifications, I wonder if that could get annoying after awhile. I suggested that they deliver them using a Ryan Gosling voice: Hey Girl, you need to get some water! We’ll see if they take my idea and run with it.
But really, wouldn’t you be more apt to buy it then?
Similar to the bracelet technology we saw popping up everywhere, Body Media is worn on your upper arm, and provides information regarding your activity, calorie burn, and sleep, all of which you can track using their app and web interface. What’s different about Body Media is that it uses skin sensors, which not only track motion and steps, but Galvanic Skin Response, skin temperature, and heat flux for more accurate tracking. Additionally, users can examine the quality of their diet, not just the quantity of the food they’re eating. We’ll be testing this out ourselves soon, so keep your eye out for a full feature.
The folks at GeoPalz are looking to encourage a healthy lifestyle in kids and their parents with their new iBitz. This small fitness gadget syncs to your mobile gadgets to help track your activity, along with Unity, which is the adult version. Not only does it provide helpful data, it even allows you to start fitness groups with friends. For kids, there’s The iBitz PowerKey which actually features GeoBotz characters who are kept “alive” by your kids’ walking, moving, and healthy eating. Kind of like a virtual pet but you have to do a whole lot more to take care of it.
I’m curious to see how that works, exactly, but an interesting concept, and one we’ve seen in similar gadgets like Striiv. What’s especially cool is that your kids can earn spendable parent-directed rewards through Amazon, based on levels they unlock and goals they achieve.
Should you want to tie rewards to fitness with your kids.
New Bike Computers (with bike mounts) from Garmin Edge 810, 510
Garmin is known for their amazing fitness products, like the Garmin 610 Runners Watch, and this year at CES they launched two new Bike Computers with bike mounts. Given the high price, these are definitely aimed at serious bikers, but it’s quite amazing what sort of data you can get, along with their signature GPS. Plus, you can set it up so folks can track you on their mobile devices while you’re riding, which is a smart safety feature.
(We have visions of 127 Hours in our heads!)
With the addition of so many fitness-related games for XBOX and Wii, it’s no surprise that Samsung is expanding their Smart TV with a whole new interface which includes apps and motion detection. In particular, we saw a crop of fitness apps, including a super cool cycling app demonstrated on the CES floor, which allows you to get an interactive spinning experience right in your own home by facing the screen when you peal. Folks who have last year’s Smart TV will need the new Samsung Evolution Kit to get all the cool new features that were just launched.
If you’ve ever been curious about how the way you’re eating is affecting your health, then you’ll may want to check out the HapiFork from French company Hapilaps. It’s designed to measure your “fork servings”–basically, the number of times you lift the fork to your mouth–and gives you all sorts of data, like how long it took you to eat, how many fork servings you had per meal, even intervals between fork servings. It will even flash at you if you’re eating too fast, which presumably is a cause of overeating; then all the data is available on your online dashboard or through the upcoming mobile app.
It’s definitely a little quirky, and certainly got a lot of attention at CES. We’d say this one is aimed at data lovers or control freaks (ha) for sure. Just don’t let your sitter stick it in the dishwasher!