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From embedded sensors and biometrics to elite training and maximising performance, the progressive world of fitness technology took centre stage at the FitnessTech Summit, presented by Living in Digital Times at the 2015 International CES held in January in Las Vegas.

“Fitness technology has become a national obsession,” says Robin Raskin, founder and CEO of Living in Digital Times. “It continues to be one of the fastest growing sectors of the industry – a place for well-established brands like Under Armour, adidas and Timex to join company pioneers like Polar, Jaybird and iFit with an astounding rich and diverse showcase of products. As technology improves and consumers take charge of their own health and wellbeing, we think products like these will continue to dominate the market and really result in a healthier, more fit consumer.”

The bond between fitness and technology is clearly stronger than ever, as the industry evolves into being less about devices and more about the human body.


Thanks to a movement tracking shirt from fashion designer Ralph Lauren, in 2015 tennis enthusiasts will be able to record metrics and data from recent performances to improve their game. The luxury brand’s Polo Tech T-shirt uses sensors knitted into the fabric to read heartbeat, respiration and other
biometrics. Data collected by the shirt is stored by a “black box system”, which also captures movement and direction metrics. These findings, along with data
related to energy output and stress levels, are sent to the cloud and are accessible via a tablet or smartphone.

In a similar move, Sony is also preparing to launch its attachable Smart Tennis Sensor early next year. The US$200 device attaches to rackets and will record up to
12,000 shots of swing and serve data.


FreeWavz is currently creating earphones that will collate health and fitness metrics and audibly relay this information to exercisers. Ideal for cyclists and joggers, who don’t want to take their eyes off the road, these earphones have been designed by otolaryngology specialist Dr Eric Hensen. Operating without the need for any other wearable tech, these innovative earphones will offer wireless connectivity to music streaming, a step counter, as well as heart rate and oxygen saturation monitoring. Hensen was motivated to develop a product that would not disrupt people’s workouts by falling out or causing injuries. Hensen’s creation will allow exercisers to change or pause music via voice commands and will have smartphone connectivity for data collation. The earphones will also feature an extra speaker above the standard ear bud, which allows users to listen to music while being able to hear surrounding sounds (e.g., passing cars). For more information, visit


Researchers in the UK predict the number of people who own wearable technology will double in 2015 – from 6 to 13 per cent – directly due to the impact of Christmas. These are the findings from YouGov’s recent analysis of wearable tech prospects, which predicts that the number of owners of wearable technology
would have increased by the end of the festive season, from 2.8 million to 4.7 million. This trend is tipped to continue, with estimates of 6 million by September 2015. The research found that in the UK, three per cent of the population owns a fitness band, making fitness devices the most popular wearable tech category. Despite the recent hype around new products such as the Apple Watch, approximately one per cent of the population currently owns a smartwatch, although this is expected to increase.


Wouldn’t it be nice if we could sit in the comfort of our favourite chair in front of the TV, burn calories, reduce stress, build stronger muscles and improve our posture? The Tao Chair could be the answer to your dreams! As president and co-founder Philo Northrup puts it, this revolution “turns downtime into exercise time.” One of the biggest excuses we hear when it comes to not exercising is ‘lack of time’. The Tao Chair will, however, throw that excuse out the window.

When seated, users can use their legs or arms to push or pull in any direction against the Tao Chair’s upholstered arms. With no movement, the arms simply resist the pressure exerted by the user while the built-in sensors monitor how much effort is being exerted. The workout stats are presented on one of the arms and can even be synched with the Tao mobile app.


Fit Fling: An Aussie innovation is helping gymgoers find love. Inspired by the success of dating site RSVP, Fit Fling was developed as a way to connect like-minded
exercisers with other gym-goers. Ideal for those who are sick of meeting potential suitors at a cafe or bar, Fit Fling enables you to set up your first date at the gym or on a walk – whatever tickles your fancy! The app has been built specifically for those who take pride in their health and fitness, and who want to meet someone who feels the same. The app is free and available to download now on iTunes / Google Play. For more information, visit

Brain Coach: Within the first three weeks of its global launch, Brain+ has been featured as ‘best new app’ in Apple’s iTunes Store in 44 countries around the world, including UK, France, Italy and Scandinavia, and quickly found its way into top 10 in the educational category in App Store across 40 countries. With downloads from almost 20,000 new users each day, the Brain+ app has proved a huge success, and has shown that people are clearly interested in training their brain with fun
and engaging mobile games. Built on cuttingedge neuro-scientific methods, insights and training principles, Brain+ delivers effective exercises for improving and protecting the brain’s abilities. Because the app offers an experience resembling state-of-the art mobile gaming, Brain+ is fun while maintaining an emphasis on strengthening brain functions. The Brain+ exercises are developed in collaboration with leading brain scientists from Copenhagen University and are suitable for people of all ages. Currently available for iOS devices, accessibility on Android, Windows Mobile and other operating systems is planned for later this year. Upon download, users have 18 minutes of free, uninterrupted training to be used at will, followed by six minutes of free time each day. Affordable subscription plans are
available for longer periods for users who wish to maximise training intensity and effect. For more information, visit

Dminder: A sufficient vitamin D level is one of the most important ways to stay healthy. Wherever you go in the world, dminder tracks the sun and tells you when you can get vitamin D. The stopwatch interface lets you set your session target by the amount of D or time. Then it will count up or down to your target, applying all the factors that determine how much D you can get: skin tone, age, weight, amount of skin exposed. All your doses of D, from the sun or supplements, are used to continuously estimate your current level. This app has been developed in conjunction with Dr Michael Holick, a world authority on vitamin D. For more information, visit

Listen To Your Heart by Metamucil, by BioBeats: This unique app plays music that is unique to your heartbeat. Brought to you by Metamucil and Heart Research Australia, this app is an Australian first. The app is free and available to download now on iTunes / Google Play. For more information, visit


Accenture’s digital consumer study has revealed that of 24,000 consumers surveyed, 83 per cent reported difficulty using their intelligent device. This included 21 per cent who thought the products were too difficult to use and 19 per cent reporting the device didn’t work as advertised. With ‘ease of use’ being placed as of highest importance when purchasing intelligent devices, it seems they are falling short of what consumers are looking for. In 2015 it is predicted consumers will move away from smartphones, HDTVs and tablets and toward easy-to-use devices such as fitness monitors and smartwatches. For more information, visit

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