SOURCE: Lux Research

Lux Research

August 16, 2016 07:30 ET

Sports Wearables Must Offer Better Advice to Meet Athletes' Needs

Simpler Solutions With Concrete Call to Action Can Be Better, Says Lux Research, After a Review of Three Devices -- Under Armour's HealthBox, Xmetrics, and Vert

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwired - August 16, 2016) - Sports have been a big driver of the market for wearable electronics since 2014 but much improvement is needed before these devices can help athletes achieve their goals, according to Lux Research.

"Most wearables today do a great job of reporting factual information but fail to educate consumers on how to modify their behavior to achieve their health and performance goals," said Noa Ghersin, Lux Research Associate and lead author of the report titled, "From Tracking to Intelligence: Uncovering the Unmet Needs of Today's Athlete."

"The 2016 Rio Olympics have highlighted how wearables can provide technique tracking, not just fitness monitoring," Ghersin added. "However, other major applications for sports wearables -- like team strategy and safety -- deserve more attention, too."

Lux Research analysts evaluated the state of innovation of wearable devices that exist today and spoke with an Olympic gymnast, a professional swimmer, and a collegiate coach, to assess the gaps that remain between what athletes need and what is available. Among their findings:

  • HealthBox needs more instructive tips. Under Armour's HealthBox includes a heart rate strap, band, and scale. It has the potential to replace a personal trainer or coach but for that to happen, HealthBox needs to deliver more instructive insights than simple biometric comparisons by age, gender, and weight.

  • Xmetrics' value lies in real-time feedback. Xmetrics uses three sensors to yield data on a swimmer's breathing pattern, stroke efficiency, time and number of laps, among other metrics. Its biggest value proposition is real-time feedback, but to be more than an intelligent timer, it needs to better educate its users on the meaning and importance of the metrics it reports.

  • Vert's value proposition is injury prevention. Vert is a wearable clip that allows users to view data on an athlete's jumps. Mary Wise, head coach of Florida's women's volleyball team, uses Vert primarily to prevent injuries, but it too could benefit by providing alerts or recommendations to users on how to avoid injuries.

The report, titled "From Tracking to Intelligence: Uncovering the Unmet Needs of Today's Athlete," is part of the Lux Research Wearable Electronics Intelligence service.

About Lux Research

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