Ownership of fitness tracker devices in the U.S. grew from about four million users at the beginning of 2013 to an estimated to an estimated 15 million in 2014, according to research from Parks Associates. The sales of fitness tracker devices will reach 15.6 million units in 2015, according to Consumer Technology Association, formerly Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).
As the connected fitness tracker market grows, expect competition to mount not only from within but especially outside the market from other devices including smartwatches and smartphones/apps. In this study, you can learn more about the technology and market trends.
Fitness tracker devices - Fitbit
Zip one flex charge chargeHR Surge
$59.95 $99.95 $99.95 $129.95 $149.95 $249.95
Steps, calories, distance V
Auto sleep tracking
Silent wake alarm
Floor climbed V
Battery/life up to 7 days/GPS 10 hours5 days
Music control V
20.88mm x 24.36mm touch screenDisplay/Screen size OLED
V V V VVV
Auto exercise recognition VV
GPS tracking V
7-10 days5 days10+ days6 months
LCD OLED LED
Fitness tracker devices - Jawbone
Up Move Up2 Up3 Up4
$49.99 $99.99 $179.99 $199.99
Activity tracking V
Food logging/Sleep tracking
Smart Alarm V
Heart health monitoring
Idle alert/Auto sleep detection
Battery/life up to
V V V
Advanced sleep tracking
7 days7 days10 days6 months
V V VV
V V VV
V V V V
Fitness tracker devices - Misfit
Shine2 Shine Speedo Shine
$99.99 $99.99 $79.99 $169
Activity tracking V
Vibrating Alarm V
Battery/life up to 6 months6 months6 months6 months
V V VV
V V VV
V V V
crystal slake set
6 months6 months
All come with 12 multicolor LEDs
Water resistant Up to 50 meters
Watch function (clock) V
Up to 50 meters
Up to 50 meters Up to 50 meters
Up to 30 meters
Up to 30 metersUp to 50 meters
V V V V
Fitness tracker devices – Garmin & Microsoft
vivofit vivofit2 vivosmart vivosmart HR
$69 & up $99.99 & up $149.99 $149.99
Display size WxH 25.5mmx10mm
Display resolution, WxH
Smart notifications (email, text…)
Steps, distance, sleep
Battery/life up to
V V V
Heart rate monitor
5 days7 days1+ yr1+ yr
V V VV
Floors climbed V
Microsoft Band 2
Best-selling fitness trackers – Best Buy
Fitbit Garmin Samsung Misfit
(as of Dec 20, 2015)
Walmart home health care product category page
Fitbit Misfit (as of Dec 20, 2015)
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Fitbit will remain king of the activity trackers
Note: Fitbit said that nearly 80% of revenue came from the three most expensive products in
the lineup that were launched within the past year, the Charge, Charge HR, and Surge.
Competition will heat up for Fitbit
Then there's Garmin, a company known mostly for its portable navigation devices and
another potential Fitbit rival. Its "focus on citizen athletes with wearables for running,
golf, swimming, hiking, and aquatics kept the company well entrenched," according to
IDC. "With a deep and broad product portfolio and multiple price points, Garmin has
been well-positioned to cover numerous market segments and address the rising fitness
tracker category with its Vivo sub-brand of bands and watches.“
Garmin is already a popular choice among athletes. In a
November 2015 Piper Jaffray survey of 221 U.S. athletes, 91
percent said they wear a watch when running, and 70 percent of
those people named Garmin as their brand of choice. Fitbit was
the top pick among people who wore dedicated fitness bands,
with 73 percent of the market, according to the survey.
Fitbit has some work to do. The newly-IPO'd incumbent of the fitness
tracker castle was the biggest selling wearable in 2015, but there are
pretenders plotting against it. From the far cheaper Xiaomi to the more
innovative coaching style of Moov.
The answer to the competition is a three-pronged protection of the crown:
more advanced sensors to pick up the likes of stress and blood
pressure, more insights from the gathered data for more specific
coaching advice and, perhaps key, where other makers will struggle to
match Fitbit, is bigger and better partnerships with fashion brands.
Thought Fitbit was finished? Think again.
Competition will heat up for Fitbit
Fitbit will add 'advanced sensors' to maintain a
Fitbit also "plans to strike partnerships with fashion
brands as it has done with Tory Burch in the past,"
Park told Time. Third-party developers could also
integrate their software into more advanced Fitbit
devices in the future.
A Fitbit representative says the company is "looking
at all of the critical imperatives for health and
wellness, such as activity level, sleep, nutrition —
and the connection to chronic diseases (diabetes,
heart disease, obesity, and more) that impact the
global population to see how we can further help
Wearable apps will become more sophisticated
— and expensive
However, with mounting pressure to keep activity-
tracker prices competitive in 2016, it will be harder
for the manufacturers to make profits, according to
Henderek. One way to offset shrinking profit margins
will be to charge monthly subscription fees for
premium services and data, he says. Some companies
already do. Fitbit's Premium Membership, for
example, costs $50 a year, and gives subscribers
personalized 12-week fitness plans and more
detailed sleep reports, among other features.
Athletes will embrace 'smart clothing'
Niche wearables will become commonplace
A focus on sleep in 2016
A wider variety of technology designed to not only
track sleep but also improve it will hit the market.
The "first-of-its-kind" Nuyu Sleep System ($500),
for instance, adjusts the user's body temperature
and warms him up as he goes to bed to help
relax, then cools him off to increase the quality of
sleep, according to the company.
Activity trackers will remind more people to stand up
Traditional watch makers will add 'smart' elements
Hackers will target wearables
Nearly three-quarters of IT professional
respondents believe the risk of hackers targeting
organizations via IoT devices, such as activity
trackers, is medium or high, according to
ISACA's IT Risk/Reward Barometer study. In
particular, IoT devices are convenient targets for
fraudsters who want to use ransomware, according
to Christos Dimitriadis, international president of
ISACA and group director of information security
Apple Watch 2
The Apple Watch is the hottest wearable of the year.
Perhaps, once again, the smart money is on the Apple Watch 2 to be
another huge deal as the calendar ticks over. The first iPhone had no 3G
or Bluetooth. What style gaps and feature flaws will the Apple Watch 2
set out to fill? We look forward to finding out.
Massive in 2015 and even bigger in 2016 is what we say. The Chinese
juggernaut was second only to Fibit in wearable sales but, with its move
across to the West timed to coincide with Fitbit's assault on Asia, it's going
to be fascinating to see who turns up trumps.
2016 will see the heart-rate monitor-toting Mi Band 1S, a ceramic tracker
known as Amazefit and, surely, fruit from the long-standing rumour that
Xiaomi will unveil its very first smartwatch. That will begin a shake-up like
Samsung Gear S2
The Gear S2 represents Samsung's real arrival on the smartwatch scene.
It's a 2015 smash but its real legacy will be how brightly it burns in 2016.
Samsung Pay is set to land some time soon but the real boon is the news
that you'll be able to use the S2 with an iPhone and other Android devices.
That opens up an enormous opportunity for both the Korean giants and for
those iOS users whom are so far unconvinced by what the Apple Watch can
do. Expect the fireworks to fly when Apple realizes that Samsung is eating
Tag Heuer did it right - plenty of hype, the biggest of partners
and an unsliceable wheel of cheese. All the these elements, plus
old-fashioned good design, have meant that the Tag Heuer
Connected is very credible and very good-looking smartwatch
indeed, and it's promised new designs in 2016. It's the new
blueprint that other smartwatch manufacturers are set to ape.
Moto 360 Sport
The New Year starts with this new sports watch on sale from
December in Europe and January in the States. Only the second
Android Wear watch to come with GPS, the Moto 360 Sport has a
reasonable price tag, heart rate monitoring and, of course, also
comes with all the usual smartwatch features.
Striving to touch hearts and move markets, Frog has worked
with Unicef in the Wearables for Good challenge as well as
designing the hit Chinese smartwatch, Ticwatch. With clear ideas
about the role wearables can play in society, expect big things from
this ethical design and strategy firm which should be the hot
company to work with next year.
In an inspired move, the Pebble Time now comes with the ability
to accept smartstraps containing whatever gadgets and chips
third party developers can dream up. Expect a flow of them
GPS is integral to proper sports tracking, and TomTom is set to
transform itself into a sports brand in 2016. With 10 different sports
products across running, fitness and golf, TomTom has the stripes it
deserves. It's already worked for Garmin; 2016 is TomTom time.
Xmetrics is the hottest swimming wearable in what is otherwise a
fairly tepid pool. Designed for pros and enthusiasts, it sits on the
back of your head to minimize drag and measures a broader set of
bio-mechanics than any other swimming wearable. Between kick-
turn times, breath counts, stroke efficiency - plus all the usuals - all
fed back to you in real time audio; it's a far more detailed and
complete platform than anyone's made before. It should sell big.
The big frustration with fitness platforms is that those programs
they assign to us are far too general and wearables in 2015 have
begun to clue up to this. Moov has already tackled the problem
and Fitbit has promised a bigger emphasis on coaching, too.
We're going to see even more sensors in play from the German
company next year. After the $239m investment in Runtastic
back in August, we're expecting big things from Adidas over the
next 12 months.
Under Armour is going all out attack on the world of sports goods, and
wearables are its weapon. It partnered with HTC for the (missing in
action)Grip and back in February, the US giant scoffed up three of the
biggest fitness platforms - Endomondo, MyFitnessPal and MapMyFitness -
to make the biggest online fitness community.
It's since struck deals with sports retailers using those three app tools as
tempters such that it can gain customer shopping data. With that Under
Armour can ensure it's creating the very smart sports clothing that people
are looking for, exactly when they're looking for it.
St. Petersburg-based tech company Jabil and its Peak+ programme is one
of the biggest chances for getting smart clothing for sports done properly in
2016. Having acquired Clothing+, a Finnish expert that's been responsible
for embedding the sensors into Adidas, Polar, Garmin and Philips
equipment up until now, Jabil has assembled all the right pieces of the
puzzle to bring this development on a pace. It's set to create the standard of
how to build sensors into t-shirts and sports bras and how to record
biometric data without sacrificing comfort.
Part pet tracker, part insurance company; Nuzzle is the GPS
collar that goes the extra mile when it comes to looking after
your furry friends. Activity monitoring and GPS mapping feature
alongside data on favourite walks and wellness stats in the
companion app. Fetch.
Yes, yes, yes; can we say yes again? Yes! Is it because there's an unusual
amount of female top brass in the wearable world or just that the gap in
the market is so utterly cavernous? We're not sure. Either way, we've
seen a hint of it already, but 2016 will be the year that women get
wearable. Why? Because companies are actually starting to cater for
them in both style and size.
The Moto 360 2, the Apple Watch, the Pebble Time Round have clued up
to it, plus there's the growing availability of the smart jewellery, smart
clothing products and the quantified fertility sensors.
Wearables' unique position on the body make them more personal
than ever before, and offer the chance for them to become real life
savers. CrowdfundedAthena smashed its goal thanks to its promise
to protect women via an alarm and GPS alerts. Cheaper sensors also
help tech companies build for the developing world. From storing
medical records or even warning people about floods and
earthquakes, wearables are set to make a difference in 2016.
Kids' wearable toys
Disney is leading the line with making children's wearables and its
Playmation wearable toys are set to be hot for 2016 with Iron
Man first out of the blocks. The idea, much like The Void, is to turn
everyday place spaces like homes and gardens into virtual game
environments that you can change with every update and purchase.
Wearable data in sports coverage
The 2015 NFL season kicked off with all 1,696 players fitted with a
set of RFID chips capable of sending back stats on position, pace,
distance travelled and acceleration in real time. While it's great for
sports scientists, 2016 will see TV networks wake up to the
entertainment potential of the data. The NBA are supposedly keen
and the right kind of kit is already in place in cycling and
motorsports. The only question is whether the teams choose to grant
The newly rebranded Google Life Sciences already has some
ambitious projects including its glucose-detecting contact lens.
Google's also set to use tech to target cardiovascular disease,
cancer and mental health problems too.
As smartwatches mature, the need for a constant digital
umbilical chord to a smartphone starts to feel a little antiquated.
The great separation is already underway with Android Wear and
the Samsung Gear S2 both supporting e-SIMs, which tap into
your pre-existing cell network at no extra cost. While the first
untethered Android Wear device, the LG Watch Urbane Second
Edition has been cancelled, we'd bet that every smartwatch
brand with have an LTE version by the end of 2016.
Ears are perfect for biometric measurements and a natural home
for all those virtual assistants from the likes of Google, Amazon
and Apple. Microsoft is working on a hearable called Clip, Jabra's
CEO is in on the game, we're expecting a second crack at the Moto
Hint and Bragi Dash is just about to ship. You heard it here first.
Now that wearables have started to address the issues of design
and function, it's now the cost that needs to be addressed. Xiaomi
has shown that fitness tracking can be done on the cheap, and as
the likes of Apple and Tag fight it out at the top, expect more
manufacturers to do battle at the budget end of the market.
Gesture control is nothing new but it's only just starting to get good
enough to enjoy. Forget the TV magic remotes, it's wearables that are
embedding to make navigating your smartwatch, smartphone and
everything else a whole lot more intuitive. Android Wear has introduced a
few simple gesture controls, VR is going to need them to keep the
experience natural and immersive and there are devices like the Myo
armband looking to stake their reputations on it. Move over touchscreens.
It's all about gestures.
Mind reading tech
Wearables have more or less bested the body, now it's time for
them to master our minds. There have been only tentative steps
with the likes of Thync and Muse but, with an interesting bunch of
crowdfunded brain training start-ups ready to ship in 2016, it's
going to be a fascinating time as we begin to get an idea of exactly
what's going on inside our noodles.
Medical grade consumer tech
Digital health is an enormous opportunity for both the private and public
sectors. More accurate, more constant and better respected measures of
individual's biometrics mean both money- and life-saving. If you're the
NHS, you can axe millions from your costs by ensuring that people are
compliant with drugs. If you're an insurance company, you can price your
premiums accordingly. If you're a tech giant you can capitalize with your
health platform and data sales. Whomever you are, it's a winning situation.
The only haunting figure is the spectre of possible identity theft; no small
deal but perhaps no big problem.
We've been talking about it for years but the rest of the world needs to
catch up on invisibles. Sensory tech is far easier to design when you don't
have to worry about it looking great, so there are tech tattoos in
development from Chaotic Moon, New Deal Design and more which
might only need power from your movement or the current across your
skin. And what they could learn from your sweat, we're sure to find out.
You might be wearing an invisible in 2016 but, then, we'll never know.
What can fitness trackers record after steps and sleep? Well, 2016 will see
your Fitbit keeping tabs on your stress levels as well as your activity.
A trend towards clever coaching platforms piecing together our different
biometrics - our sleep patterns, our heart-rate, even our galvanic skin
response - and send users both warnings of stress levels and ways that,
perhaps, we can try to reduce them.
And stress is the focus for a number of companies. Fitbit is working on it,
and Withings revealed that it had found stress metrics in its sensor data,
which could feature on forthcoming devices to be announced at CES.
The infrastructure is here but people aren't paying from their
wrists – yet. But wearable payments are set to become the norm
in 2016. A few million Apple Watches in the wild, Samsung Pay,
Apple Pay, bPay, plus MasterCard backing the likes of Ringly
and Nymi mean that there are going to be more ways to pay, and
more securely than ever. With so many of the big players behind
it, it's sure to be the year for wearable payments.
Smart home platforms
The smart home is here, but tying all these disparate gadgets together is still
a challenge. Technologies like Zigbee, Z-Wave and Thread are now ready to
sit in the background while the major players fight for control with their
entire platform solutions.
As we enter the ring in 2016, Samsung SmartThings, Apple HomeKit and
Google Brillo will slug it out while the nimbler and more specialist Nest,
Hive, Canary and co. will squabble over whose is the system to trust.
It's the beginning of another format war of sorts. Which will you choose?
When it comes to connected clothing, there isn't a bigger
partnership than Levi's and Google. The two giants teamed up
in May to develop a way to take the physical interface away
from your devices and onto your clothes, and the fruits of the
marriage should be seen in 2016.
Sonny Vu & Fossil
Not only does this impressive partnership sound like a hip-hop act, it also
represents two very big players in the field of wearable technology. Fossil
got serious about smart kit when it launched the Q Founder and three
fitness trackers. Buying up the already highly successful Misfit Wearables
and its inspirational leader Sonny Vu for $260 million means absorbing a
whole load of clever battery-saving and sleep tracking tech that it would
have taken years to develop otherwise. Kept on as president of Misfit and
CTO of all connected devices at Fossil, the voodoo that Vu does with that
multinational weight behind him is going to be magic.
Co-founder and CEO of Moov, Li has zipped from crowdfunded
success to start-up superstar in less than two years. With her company
now as firmly established as her reputation thanks to the
fantastic Moov Now, the company is one of the hottest properties in
fitness tech, and we'd be surprised if a huge sports brand doesn't
swoop this year.
Meng Li & Moov
Christina Mercando d'Avignon & Ringly
Ringly CEO Mercando d'Avignon is set for a storming 2016, after
securing a fresh $5m in investment for her smart ring. With
MasterCard mobile payment tech incoming along with new form
factors, it looks like this lady's the diamond of smart jewelery.
Intel's wearable tech reality show
Under the working title of America's Greatest Makers, and set to
air in 2016, is the rather bonkers sounding concept of Intel's
reality TV show where the contestants are inventors and their
turns are their wearable tech innovations. There's a $1m prize at
stake and a format that seems to work with everything from
singing to pottery, so who'd bet against it?
Future wearables will be less … wearable