Fitness gadgets are now undoubtedly big business, with estimated figures predicting shipment rises for fitness gadgets to 56.2 million in 2017, up from 43.8 million in 2013.
IHS iSuppli’s IMS Research’s statement, recently highlighted in PC Magazine, perhaps reflects the growing trend of current fitness tech as increasingly engaging, exciting devices embracing social networking and innovation. Improved sleek designs have seen a move away from previously primitive and obtrusive fitness devices and into a new, social propelled world of instantly shareable personal fitness related goals and stories.
Leading dedicated fitness gadget companies such as Fitbit will delight at the healthy prospects outlined by IMS Research, itself a leading supplier of market research for the electronics industry.
Total sales of fitness gadgets are set to top out at 250 million within the next five years, with Shane Walker, senior manager for consumer & digital health research at IHS, adding further credence to the industry’s cause for optimism by stating – “Fitness monitoring is big business, spanning the glamorous world of famous sports figures, to the burgeoning fitness industry, to the realms of clinical and military research, to the health-enhancing fields of chronic disease management and corporate wellness programs”.
Specific fitness gadgets observed in the research included fitness and heart-rate monitors, sports and running computers, outdoor pursuit computers, cycle computers, activity monitors, and pedometers, most of which are priced below an affordable $200 (£130).
Currently, heart rate monitors complete with straps are taking the lion’s share of revenue, although GPS-enabled, strapless monitors are likely to cut into this domination imminently. Increasingly accommodating smartphones and investment into competent smartphone apps and hassle free wrist based heart-rate monitors such as the Nike+ FuelBand, will likely replace now outdated standalone pedometers.
It will be interesting to observe in the coming months and years whether the figures will convert into sales reality. Will big brands such as Under Armour, Nike and Adidas seek out continued investment and competition into the fitness gadget industry? Will our current satiation for all things modern fitness tech eventually wane with natural variations in fitness trends?