It was not until fairly recently that wearable devices entered our everyday lives, but we have already got used to reading notifications on the run from the screens of our smartwatches and tracking fitness achievements with fitness bands. Wearables have also made their way to the corporate environment - many companies now launch so-called “wellness programmes” for their employees to improve their health and encourage team building activities with the help of wearables like smartwatches or fitness trackers. It is estimated that in a couple of years around 15 million wearable devices will be used in various industries. However, its advantages are not limited to wellness programmes. Apart from popular fitness bands, enterprises also introduce smartwatches, health scanners and GPS-tracking devices into their workflow. Most modern wearables can monitor sleep, fitness activities, stress level, heart rate and other metrics, as well as track geolocation and even record biometric data.
Due to a heavy demand, more and more wearables are being introduced to the market, which makes it difficult to navigate through such a great variety of devices. We have come up with a list of the most technologically advanced and user-friendly wearables to help you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and find the device that suits you best. But be aware, not all of the devices mentioned will work with your smartphone, you should always check wearables for compatibility.
Withings Activité Watches
Withings Activité and its cheaper version Withings Activité Pop, which is made of plastic, are all about style. Wearable.com says the smartwatch, priced between £119.95 to £320, is a “jewel in the wearable crown, packing step counting, distance checking and sleep tracking into a Swiss made analogue watch, that looks frankly glorious”. Withings Activité is also considered one of the best trackers for people who wish to lose weight, because it has connectable scales, a blood pressure monitor and the Withings Aura sleep monitor.
TomTom Spark is a perfect choice for fitness lovers who enjoy listening to music while exercising. Moreover, it is the most budget-friendly solution, if you want to launch a wellness program for your staff. The major advantages of the device are its full compatibility with the Garmin watch and a much cheaper price, compared to the other players on the market, as well as a 3GB storage and an integrated music player that enables you to keep your favourite tracks at hand. You can store about 500 energetic songs of your choice or listen to the preloaded Ministry of Sound Running Trax over your wireless headphones.
TomTom boasts a good heart rate monitor and enables you to create training routines based on your heart beat, so that you can combine your daily fat burning exercises with endurance workouts. It also monitors other movements for those who want to keep track of their general daily activity, namely walking.
Fitbit Surge fitness super watch with its sleek black designs, multiple features, and a clear display has gained wide recognition among amateur and professional cyclists. Its Fitbit PurePulse continuous wrist-based heart rate technology provides the most accurate results during and after any activities.
Apart from keeping track of burned calories, it can record traveled distances, average speed and the topography of your running or cycling activities with their GPS technology. As a result, Fitbit Surge makes a perfect device for those who are willing to conquer peaks and cares about their health.
Another candidate for the title of the most stylish wearable device is the £259+ Apple Watch. It comes in a great variety of styles - you can buy a steel, aluminium, or even a posh 18-carat gold version if you have enough money in your pockets. Every detail of the smartwatch is thoroughly designed and the interchangeable bands are amazing - even with a simple £39.00 Sport band your wristwatch will look superb. Needless to say, other straps are truly luxurious too, but probably, a bit too much for a miniature computer that in a couple of years will be totally out of date, given how fast technological progress accelerates.
Of course, the next generation of Apple Watch, which is rumoured to be presented by Apple on the tomorrow’s event, has all the potential to become the most technically advanced wearable of today, but the recent device has a long way to go. Nevertheless, it is still more functional than most of the smartwatches on the market. But do not get too excited - some of its functions do not perform particularly well. Another disadvantage is that you can use them only with an iPhone 5 or a newer iOS device. Taking all these points together, it might be better to wait for Apple Watch 2, or go for an Android device.
Jawbone Up3 is built on a sophisticated multi-sensor platform that packs in an innovative tri-axis accelerometer, bio-impedance sensors, as well as a galvanic skin response and temperature sensors. No wonder that the device is advertised as “the most advanced activity tracker known to man” - thanks to these multiple sensors, it can measure resting and passive heart rate to provide its wearers with a holistic view of their heart.
Although, the technology is not implemented particularly well. You can get no more than one reading a day and cannot track your heart rate whenever you want, for example, during workouts, which can be absolutely necessary for some users. Another drawback is that even the available resting heart rate measurements seem to be not entirely correct - many users have noticed that they are a bit too low compared to the results on other devices.
Microsoft Band 2
If you are looking for a smartwatch and a fitness tracker all in one - take a closer look at the Microsoft Band 2 by Redmond, which can display notifications and calendars on an amazing colour screen while also keeping track of your fitness activities.
It is equipped with twelve sensors that monitor calories, sleep, heart rate, stress level, geolocation and even UV ray exposure. At the end of a desired period, be it a day or a week, it gives you a full report of all your activities and burned calories. To increase your motivation, the Microsoft Health app rewards you for your achievements and sets further targets to encourage progress.
While it is not exactly the most user-friendly wearable available, it has forged ahead of the first generation and many reviewers have been impressed with the accuracy of its measurements and the detailed information provided by its cycle and sleep trackers. Another clear advantage of the Microsoft Band 2 is its compatibility with all existing mobile operating systems.
Of course, the selection of smartwatches and fitness trackers is not limited to these six brilliant wearables. Some other feature-rich and comfortable devices that are worth considering but just did not make it to our list for some reason or another are Misfit Shine 2, Moto 360 2, Sony SmartBand 2, Huawei Watch and LG G Watch Urbane.
Wearables As Business Devices of the FutureIn a couple of years, miniature computers may completely replace ordinary wristwatches due to their manifold functionality and customisation options. The smartwatch is not only a handy device to keep track of your health and increase productivity, but also a powerful tool for businesses, the potential of this functionality has not been unlocked yet.
Here are several cases, illustrating how smartwatches can be beneficial in the business area:
- Smartwatches can be used by field service staff to receive job tasks and notifications on the go.
- Traders could use them to monitor stock prices and make trades on-the-fly.
- Restaurants and cafes may benefit from wearable technologies too, sending service notifications to their staff’s devices from an ordering system via the internet or Bluetooth.
If you have any creative ideas of app development for wearables, or you wish to increase your business productivity with the help of a smartwatch or fitness trackers, our developers are always here to consult you. Maybe It is you who will unleash the full power of wearables.