The way that in recent years personal tech has impacted on sports lovers and those with health and fitness regimes has taken many by surprise. Although there are now any number of dedicated devices and systems out there vying for both your attention and your dollars, the great thing to know is that the Android device you already have may well be able to do everything these more limited options, and sometimes quite expensive items can offer.
There are plenty of ways Android can assist you because your favorite tech can already help with everything from performance analytics to dealing with health monitoring issues, and all of this can be managed from your existing personal device.
One of the most dramatic advances has been in wearable tech that is now big news. A survey by The American College of Sports Medicine identified wearable technology as being the top fitness trend of 2016. Fitness trackers, tech-embedded clothing, smart glasses and other items are expected to account for an industry that will be worth more than $30 billion this year, with the 140 million devices expected to be shipped outstripping 2015’s totals by a multiple of three.
As already mentioned, being the owner of an Android device means you don’t have to shell out dollars to buy new feature specific tech. There are well over a million Android apps out there in the marketplace and that means every kind of sport and exercise regime is covered. Many of the better apps often support Android Wear smartwatches, which means greater flexibility in the way that you can receive and manage information. Good Android fitness apps are available for fans of running, cycling and gym regimes. More specialized apps cover everything from sleep monitoring duties through to Pilates. Google’s own Fit app is perfect for pretty much every general usage you can think of too.
Runkeeper is a great example of the way that android apps can cover so much ground – pun fully intended. Proven one of the most popular running apps across any OS or device, Runkeeper comes complete with a full GPS tracking tool that means anything from a brisk walk or a full marathon can benefit from it. Accessories such as Polar heart rate monitors, Fitbit trackers and Android Wear watches can be paired with your main device through the app, meaning your smartwatch can provide you with basic run stats.
Traditional wearable tech
The idea of wearable tech predates smartphones and Android and in fact goes back a long way. Any development that has been aimed at improving performance, reducing the risk of injury or helping with recovery, can be said to be an evolution of technology. This is obvious in specific items such as protective headgear across many sports, lightweight clothing using new materials and aerodynamic designs, and of course clothing designed to give support to injured muscles or ligaments by taking the strain on their behalf. If you have suffered a groin injury or muscle pull you will probably already be aware of the way certain items are designed to be enhanced for compression. Sports clothing such as compression shorts are a perfect example of the way that wearable tech has been incorporated in specialist items for many years to aid recovery from injury and give the ability to continue activity with the least interference or limitation.
A knowledge of the way things have worked in the past can often give important pointers to the way they are likely to develop in the future. When it comes to tech for sports lovers this means looking at the way in which traditional applications such as breathable, stronger and more lightweight fabrics were used to create clothing that offer revolutionary improvements in performance and well-being. Taking these approaches into account, together with the way that the continual ongoing miniaturization of digital tech is packing even more power into smaller spaces, it’s likely that the next few years will see some dramatic moves forward.
Wearable tech is likely to become even more powerful, and intelligent clothing covering specific areas or the entire body will become the norm – much like the way that current motion capture suits are used to generate data for games and visual FX. In the future similar tech is likely to offer both health benefits and improved performance too.