We’ve all noticed the surge in popularity of fitness tracker watches – everything from the market leading and premium FitBit to the daily deals on Amazon featuring brands you’ve never heard of for a few pounds.
It’s not often that a craze like these devices strike and stick around, normally they’d be long gone, vanishing almost as quickly as they arrived. We’re not here to talk about the watches themselves though today, instead our focus is the apps that we use to connect our smartphones to them.
You’re probably aware that for walking and jogging, the watches can beam the data they collect into the mobile apps via (usually) Bluetooth, not least because most of us turn the air blue trying to connect the damn things together. Bluetooth syncing errors aside though, what twenty years ago would have seemed like black magic is something we now don’t bat an eyelid about.
In a truly mobile world, we expect things to happen near instantly, and the thought of connecting devices together with cables is nearing the unacceptable. Heck – we’re even getting to the point where our smartphones don’t even need to be plugged in to charge:
The chances are, all devices will be wireless before long, so what about other types of fitness beyond walking, jogging and running?
Well, at present, we’re having to add things like gym sessions and swimming manually into the apps, but that is beginning to change too. Let’s take an example – some elliptical machines in the gym are beginning to support Bluetooth too – meaning that they’ll be ready to upload your workout data to your smartphone apps once they hit the App Stores. So, you might find that exercise equipment like this will soon be silently providing you with a huge amount of information about your workout without you even thinking about it.
On the face of it, that’s great for keeping track of your longer term goals – no more forgetting to add a gym visit or even a few lengths at the pool, with waterproof devices gaining traction in the market, getting wet won’t be a barrier much longer either!
What about going out to eat, or even staying in? Restaurants could soon be getting in on the act too, updating apps as you pay your bills, or even for the less technically advanced, providing QR codes to scan on the menu.
Fundamentally we’re heading more and more towards a future where data is tracked about our entire lives. Yes, some people will opt out and scream about privacy violations, but that may die down too – what if you had documented proof for life insurance companies about how well you look after yourself?
Some of this may seem a little far fetched, and may well be. On the other hand, though, it could go a lot further, and touch on more and more parts of our lives. What’s certain though, is that as long as we’re prepared to buy the latest technology, the more innovative companies will get with helping us to integrate their products into our lives.
Our smartphones go everywhere with us, so why not take advantage of everything they have to offer us. Maybe the paranoid aren’t so paranoid and the government are watching. They can’t be interested in watching all of us though, can they?