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The Future of Wearable Fitness

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For our final Analyzing Trends project, we were challenged to create a presentation deck that answers the question "What is the future of ___?", then build a strategy for a potential client in who has not yet dabbled in the industry based on key insights. My topic: Wearable technology. My client: Soul Cycle. The process involved first researching current trend forces shaping the world of wearables, then forecasting ones which may emerge in the future.

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The Future of Wearable Fitness

  1. 1. The Future of Wearable Fitness Anne Chen Winter 2014 Analyzing Trends – Final Project
  2. 2. The World of Wearables First came fitness… Then life-logging… Augmented reality… Everything else. SAFETY / STEALTH HOME / ARCHITECTURE FASHION ENTERTAINMENT TRANSPORTATION HEALTHCARE THE ASSORTMENT THE APPLICATIONSTHE REAL ESTATE SUPPORT RECORD NUDGE MONITOR COMMUNICATE WAYFIND CONTROL AUGMENT ALIGN MIRROR ATTUNED
  3. 3. Why Fitness? Who Owns Fitness Bands? Nielsen. Connected Life Report.
  4. 4. Hypothesis Why hasn’t this happened yet? For a fitness wearable to go mainstream, it needs to think less like the techies developing them and more like the mass consumer. Innovation ≠ FLASHY + ADVANCED. Innovation = DESIGNED FOR MY NEEDS. The novelty eventually wears off…
  5. 5. The Trend Forces THE UNREADY USER HARDWARE’S HARD DATA DILEMMA
  6. 6. THE UNREADY USER
  7. 7. Problem: Early users ≠ Mass adopters. “If you’re not a techie or an early adopter, people are very discerning about what they’re willing to wear every day.“ -Tracey Samuelson, Marketplace How Innovations Diffuse Geoffrey A. Moore. Crossing the Chasm.
  8. 8. The Fitness Tribes STYLISH YOGISNACKER / FALSE STARTEREXTREMIST / DEVOTEE Problem: Unique and similar needs. “We're starting to see fashion companies turn into tech companies and vice versa, but there are still gaps in the language the two fields use and the life cycles of the products they make. […] But for now, there are myriad round-ish, single-purpose, wearable-device startups that continue to test the waters.” -Becky Stern No workout’s too challenging. Demands high-performance apparel and intense training. Requires instruction and positive reinforcement. Looks for simple, instantly-gratifying activities. Has a regular routine. Loves wear anywhere clothes with a fashion slant. 83% of the $27B yoga industry are women. Huffington Post Swimming, athletics and cycling are the top three ‘sports’ that women take part in on a weekly basis. Women’s Sports & Fitness Foundation In 2007, health club membership in the US stood at 41.5 M, up 139% from 1987. Women’s Sports Foundation
  9. 9. “Though nearly half of Americans said they’d be interested in wearable tech in the future, 72% wish devices were cheaper.” -Nielson, 2014 Take-Away: Make It Affordable JAWBONE UP24 - $129.99 FITBIT FLEX - $99.95 NIKE+ FUELBAND - $99 Problem: The Price Issue
  10. 10. HARDWARE’S HARD
  11. 11. The Hardware-Software Debate Problem: Too many choices. “The silo mentality of the major players in the tech industry like Samsung or Apple that allows them to build their own ecosystems—each with their own unique devices, platforms, and operating systems, is creating further friction in the industry. And that’s not including all the startups with their own respective platforms.” -Janice Cuban, Wearable World News
  12. 12. “Despite sustained media attention (and fashion spreads), wearable products are yet to gain traction. For an industry that is projected to grow to 45 million shipments by 2017, sales volumes for wearable tech lag significantly behind those for mainstream products. But, the problem isn’t about marketing. It is about design.” -Rakesh Sharma, Forbes Problem: Form has yet to meet function. The Wrong “Whys” 53% of users want devices that look more like jewelry. Nielsen
  13. 13. Take-Away: Make It Seamless Problem: Not user-friendly. “[…] companies should also note that in most of our work and play, we want things to be usefully inconspicuous, according to experimental research. […] As we go about our business in the physical world, the distance between mind, body, and things fades away. -H. James Wilson, Harvard Business Review “[…] most of the current offerings are classic cases of technology in search of a use case… too reliant on the lazy assumption that advanced or extreme users are bellwethers for the mass market. It doesn’t follow that what sports geeks and self-quantifiers do today, the masses will do tomorrow.” -Fast Company Endeavor Partners. Inside Wearables – Part 2.
  14. 14. DATA DILEMMA
  15. 15. Data’s Personal Problem: How close is “too” close? An extreme example: Biostamp’s "seamless sensing sticker“. “At the center of the wearables business ecosystem are the device manufacturers who make money primarily through the sales of their devices. However, unlike many other consumer electronics categories, the smart wearables business ecosystem extends well beyond the hardware providers. […] The expanse of the ecosystem is primarily driven by the fact most of the smart wearables on the market have an open API (Application Programming Interface).” -Endeavor Partners. Inside Wearables – Part 2.
  16. 16. Data’s Hoarded, But Not Utilized “Once users are being measured and quantified, the data must be interactive and easy to understand. The users need to be able to look at their data in ways that are interesting to them, but also know what to do to influence their measurements and scores. […] Insight, not data, is the key. When it comes to productizing these solutions for consumers, it’s important for entrepreneurs to remember to package their offerings not as Analytics, Data or Tools, but instead to sell Insights from the numbers. That’s where I think Quantification can move away from just efficacy and become about taking control of your own life.” -Richard Yao, IPG Media Lab Problem: How to harness it?
  17. 17. Take-Away: Ask for Permission “According to the report, one glaring concern users have about wearable devices is skepticism about privacy and security. Of respondents participating in a survey, 82% said they were worried that wearable technology would invade their privacy. Similarly, 86% expressed concern that wearables would make them more prone to security breaches.” -William Welsh, Information Week Problem: Everyone in Stealth-Mode CV Dazzle explores how fashion can be used as camouflage from face-detection technology. Stealth Wear’s counter- surveillance designs.
  18. 18. = FORMULA TO SUCCESS: INTENSE WORKOUTS HEALTH x MIND FOCUS COMRADERY FITNESS GEAR + + + A CULT FOLLOWING
  19. 19. Recommendations MAKE IT AFFORDABLE. MAKE IT SEAMLESS. ASK FOR PERMISSION.
  20. 20. It doesn’t matter where it’s on us. Anything that touches our bodies automatically inherits a high level of intimacy. Tech can’t speak its own language. It needs to speak our’s. Dissolving into our bodies, dissolving into our lives. Remove the “Tech” from “Wearable Technology”. Concept Specifics Leverage existing competencies. Activewear sales growing more 4x as fast as the $201 billion US apparel industry. NPD Group Keep thinking “clothes”. Partner Equinox recently launched a workout-tracking App. Bloomberg Wearables have a long way to go before replacing Smartphones.

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