Wearable technology devices – all the rage (?) part 1

Global sales of smart watches, glasses and medical products were about US$10 billion last year and are forecast to triple by 2018, according to researcher IHS. Progressively, the newer devices are featuring the integration of sensors and becoming more miniaturized.

Tech wearables, particularly those for health and fitness and mostly activity trackers designed to worn on the wrist, fail to keep the interest of users for more than a few months. A survey of 6,223 US adults revealed that one in ten consumers age 18 and over owns a modern activity tracker such as Jawbone, Fitbit, Nike+ Fuelband or Misfit Wearables. Yet, more than half of the survey’s respondents said that they no longer use their activity tracker, and a third of those stopped using the device within six months of receiving it. Crucial is the need for products to fit well, be comfortable, and compatible with lifestyle. There are three main factors for long-term engagement: Habit formation, social motivation and goal reinforcement. All this revolves around behaviour change and there is, it seems, much more to learn to make wearables more engaging.

The survey was conducted by Endeavour Partners and the results were published last month in a white paper, “Inside Wearables: How the Science of Human Behavior Change Offers the Secret to Long-Term Engagement.” The goal of the paper is to help the manufacturers of wearables learn how to make their products more enticing, and therefore, more successful.

Most recently at the Mobile World Congress., Huawei Technologies Co., China’s biggest smartphone maker, unveiled its first smart bracelet while Samsung Electronics Co. introduced wristwatches based on its Tizen operating system. Huawei said its bracelet will satisfy demand by customers who want wearable devices that can be used for everything from monitoring health to messaging functions. Samsung introduced the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo. The 1.63-inch wristwatches will go on sale from April and are compatible with more than dozens of Samsung’s Android-based Galaxy smartphones.

Part 2 of this article appears on the New Millennium Business blog at http://new-mb.com.au/wearable-technology-devices-part-2/

The following is a survey of most of the devices available in the market with some commentary.

Wearable Technology and other Innovative Designs

Nike Fuel Band



  • Activity tracker wristband that tracks your active life by measuring whole body movement
  • Nike+ FuelBand SE now tracks not only how much, but also how often and how intensely you move. And it gives you real-time feedback, move reminders and insights to help you move more and move better.
  • Install the Nike+ Connect software on your computer and create a Nike+ account, you can set a daily goal for daily.
  • On the FuelBand, a row of colored lights underneath the main screen gives you a visual summary of your daily progress, lighting up from red to green as you get closer to your goal of taking a certain number of steps.
  • Plugging the device into your computer and logging into your account gives you more detailed information, including the distance you've traveled and total activity time, as well as how your daily activity compares with your activity in previous days, and how it compares with the average person in the Nike+ community.
  • ALWAYS CONNECTED See your progress on the LED display at the press of a button. And with Bluetooth 4.0 you stay constantly connected, syncing the data from your band with your Nike+ account and giving you feedback and motivation as you need it.
  • Second generation of the Nike FuelBand really focused on the way the customers were using the product and less on the way Nike thought it should be used.
  • The new Nike+ FuelBand opens up more ways to connect with your friends so you can keep each other going. Create or join a group and go after a goal together. Share your progress, cheer each other on and compete for top slot on the leaderboard.
  • Nike Fuel Points
  • default setting is 2,000 Fuel points for a normal day, 3,000 for an active day, and 5,000 for a high-energy day


  • FuelBand has an accelerometer to track movement, and so there are ways to "trick" the device. For instance, raising your arms above your head 10 times will give you the same number of Fuel points as doing 10 jumping jacks
  • the device does not award you for physical activity in which your wrist remains still, as it would during a pushup but will award you points if you are driving because your wrist is moving.
  • device does not track sleep
  • has a clock does not automatically change when you move into a different time zone


Jawbone UP 24



  • Works with 3.0 App, Connect wirelessly with real-time insights to turn intentions into actions.
  • UP helps you understand how you sleep, move and eat so you can make smarter choices.
  • displays movement and sleep details from your UP24 or UP band and delivers insights
  • Share accomplishments with friends by teaming up in the UP App
  • always connected to your smartphone via Bluetooth® Smart, helping you achieve your goals with real-time updates on your progress and notifications when you need them.
  • plugs into your phone via the Simple Sync connector to help you learn how you sleep, move and eat
  • UP App's Insight Engine ties yur activities together and helps you find hidden connections and patterns between your daily and nightly activities.
  • UP Insight Engine suggests daily goals based on your unique patterns
  • celebrates meaningful milestones such as your millionth step taken or hitting your sleep goal seven days in row, and helps you achieve your next important milestone


System Features

INSIGHT ENGINE - Discover hidden connections and patterns in your day-to-day activities.

LOG WORKOUTS OF ALL KINDS - Track calories burned, intensity and more for any type of workout.

FOOD & DRINK TRACKING - UP makes it easy to track your food. Scan a barcode or type it in.

SLEEP TRACKING - Intelligently tracks hours slept, light vs. deep sleep and waking moments.

SMART ALARM + POWER NAP - UP vibrates to wake you at the optimal moment in your sleep cycle so you feel refreshed.

CUSTOMIZABLE IDLE ALERT - Set a reminder to move when you've been inactive for too long.

SYNC - Connect to your phone via Simple Sync or Bluetooth Smart.

DAY AND NIGHT FORM FACTOR – Designed for comfort. Because the more you wear it, the more you'll track.

MOOD TRACKING – Log your moods and discover connections that affect how you feel.

Applications that work with Jawbone UP

  • Strava – biking
  • Wello  – working out
  • RunKeeper – jogging
  • MyFitness Pal
  • MapMyFitness
  • Sleepio
  • Lose It!
  • Maxwell Health
  • FitCoin
  • Tictrac
  • Gympact
  • CarePass
  • Withings



  • Doesn’t have a screen so you can only view your data using the 3.0 app
  • Since you have to use your mobile, it doesn’t encourage much because you can’t view your goals or check your daily activity right away. 
  • water resistant and can endure a few splashes of water, but  it can't be submerged in a pool or bath tub.



Adidas miCoach Elite Platform aggregates team and individual data for competitive advantage


  • Clip miCoach X_Cell on the waistband of your shorts or wear the chest strap provided and hit the button to start recording.
  • Whatever position you play, whatever the sport, miCoach X_CELL tracks your acceleration, your ability to change direction, your vertical and your heart rate.



True jump height measured in CMs or In, calculated from the force you create to move your center of mass upwards.


Every offensive and defensive move requires effort and X_Cell measures this. Play harder for longer to get a high hustle score.


Measured in Gs per second, quickness shows your pure acceleration as well and ability to change direction.


Worn with the included chest strap, X_Cell will record your heart rate for every second of the game. You can also use X_Cell as a heart rate monitor for coached cardio training with the miCoach Train & Run app.



  • Worn invisibly in miCoach compatible boots or shoes (or the supplied lace clip for everything else) the SPEED_CELL captures your 360º movement so you know how long, far and how fast how fast you are
  • You’ll see your high-intensity distance from the pitch, your bursts from the basketball court and rallies in tennis. You can even use the SPEED_CELL to track your running.



See your speed profiled for the whole game.


Prove you’re fast! Your max. speed is shown from every game.


Know how much ground you’ve covered and at what speed.


With the miCoach Mobile app the SPEED_CELL enables you to track your stride rate.

When used with ADIDAS miCoach Multi-Sport app, you can see every minute of your game – it is ‘visualised’ and your performance profiled so you can focus your training more effectively.

Benefits: Daily training recommendations including animated instructions by elite coaches to help you create good training habits. They start off short to get you started and focus on improving your vertical, quickness, hustle and endurance.


ADIDAS SMART RUN-  allows athletes to track their performance right from a high-tech wristwatch, give coaching features that runners can use to ensure a successful workout.


Eric Winton

Director, New Millennium Business

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