Within the last few years, the market for wearable computers has exploded. Today, we’re looking at five such devices that help you monitor your physical activity, stay in shape, keep track of your sleeping patterns, and go everywhere you go. You see, the best innovations are those that are exceedingly simple to use and assume a natural place in your life.
I looked at the latest and greatest fitness gadgets for this post: the Fitbit Force, the BodyBugg LINK, the Jawbone UP, the Nike FuelBand SE, and the Ssmart Dynamo. By and large, they do many of the same things, so how do you decide which one is right for you? Here are ten key features about each to help you decide which fits your lifestyle.
A few key takeaways from the data I gathered.
The Nike FuelBand SE has the longest battery life. If you’re on the go more than you’re at home, this is something to consider. With the FuelBand, you can expect 12 days between charges.
If you already use a smartphone app to track your fitness or food intake, you’ll want one that plays nicely with your favorite app. The Fitbit Force, BodyBugg LINK, and Jawbone UP are the three models to look at for this.
All models have a pedometer function to track your steps throughout the day. And all models, except the FuelBand, include sleep monitoring and calorie tracking.
Each of the five I looked at had some kind of special feature. The BodyBugg LINK, for example, is the preferred gadget of contestants on The Biggest Loser. The FitBit has a built-in clock and alarm. The Jawbone has a mood tracking feature that associates your mood with your activity.
Each of these comes bundled with a companion smartphone app that syncs data and provides a history of your results. All but the Nike FuelBand have compatible apps for Android and iPhone, while the FuelBand only supports iOS at the moment.
From a price perspective, these five models range from $79 to $149. The BodyBugg LINK is the only model to require a subscription, which runs $6.95 a month for online activity tracking and syncing your data.
Regardless of which gadget you decide to buy, make a commitment to wear it consistently for the best results. Each of the models I looked at are weatherproof and water resistant, so there shouldn’t be many reasons for taking it off. Before long, wearing it will become second nature, which is exactly what it’s intended to be.
Author Mike Beauchamp can be followed on Twitter for more great tech insights and good conversation. Be sure to say hello! You can also keep up with Mike on his personal blog MikeBeauchamp.me or on Facebook.
December 3rd, 2013