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The other day I talked to someone who is training for a marathon. They tried a couple wearables to help in their process but wanted something more. Both Luke and I look into the mind of a runner and hopefully help in conveying the message. Luke also got a 360 camera and was showing us what it can do for his trip to Europe.
Season 3 of Wearable Today comes to an end with episode 99. Since Luke will be in Europe and I will be heading to SXSW, we will be taking a few weeks off before we jump into Season 4.Wearable Today Episode 99 Show Notes
Last night I sat down and talked with a friend who got a wearable because they are training for a half-marathon. In the next half hour I started to understand what they really want in a wearable. It’s the same thing we’ve talked about here.
To replace the phone.
Not completely, though. They want this to be something that can separate from the mobile and have some important functions. Like music. Any wearable nowadays should have some base storage on it. Doesn’t have to be big – 4 GB is more than enough to store music, contacts, and a few other things.
According to a CES 2016 Runners World Article, the Fitbit Blaze is what they think runners want. Only problem is it isn’t. The biggest issue for this device is its size – too big and heavy for a runner who is pairing down as much as possible.
The best watch would be one that is lightweight, stores music, allows for note-taking via voice – possibly something that can send quick texts at a coffeeshop wifi. It doesn’t have to contain LTE just yet, but wouldn’t be an issue if it did.
Pairable with a Bluetooth headest, GPS tracking, and most important, the size of a wristband that can fit snug against the skin so it’s not flopping around. Of course, not forgetting the sensors needed to monitor all the vitals.
Can that be accomplished in a 2016 wearable? Maybe. Then again, if it was incorporated into more than just the wrist without adding any major weight, then runners will definitely consider it.
If the electronics can be distributed in a shirt or shorts to give the runners what they need, that would help emmensley. But no 5.7 inch smartphone.Luke’s Take
I am not a runner. But I have run a few 5Ks, and ridden my bike to work a couple of times. So I understand some of the concerns about a fitness wearable.
One guy at our office rides his bike to work almost every day. For him, that’s 35 miles or more per day. He had an iPhone, so he got an Apple Watch. He carries his phone in a pocket on the back of his riding jersey, and wears his watch. He can easily call home without getting his phone out, but he has other fitness apps that require getting the phone out anyways. He also carries his laptop and extra clothes with him on his bike, so saving the weight of a few ounces from his phone would not be a big deal for him.
I do think a great offline experience is important, and Android Wear seems to be moving faster in this direction than the Apple Watch, of course it’s not well publicized by Google or the media.
Until developers really start using the offline features, it won’t take off. Google can build a few apps, just like Apple does, but 3rd parties are what really drive the market.
Offline run tracking with GPS, maybe a news reader, and of course hybrid fitness apps like Zombie Run would make for great offline experiences. Add a mapping solution to locate your favorite eatery, and throw in form of payment like a barcode for your Starbucks, and you have a real offline experience.Contact Wearable Today Contact Jeff - Contact Luke
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Luke and I have been doing some house cleaning. Luke shows off some old iPod mini watch bands and I talk about the tech upgrades in the house including a new Netgear Nighthawk X4S Smart WiFi Router.
Wearable Today Episode #95 Show Notes...