Get set for a fitness market buzzword likely to get louder in 2014, the quantitative self. Sensors embedded in wearable items communicating data via Bluetooth to people’s watches, smartphones, and tablets will be promoted to help athletes and workout enthusiasts track how well they are doing and how well they ought to be doing, and will take various measurements along the way. The expectation is that the fitness-prone consumer, more and more aware of all that can be known about technique and competency level, will be motivated to buy such wearables, using them as quantitative tools to achieve fitness goals. A new force set to play in the fitness niche is a Redmond, Washington startup called Heapsylon.
This is a company focused on smart-fabric enabled wearable devices for health and fitness. The entire product line includes washable t-shirts and sports bras with heart-rate monitoring capabilities as well as smart socks. Attracting much media attention lately is particularly its prototype smart sock system. The offering is the Sensoria sock, a three-part item consisting of washable smart sock, electronic anklet that magnetically snaps on the cuff of the sock, and mobile application that not only monitors but can guide the user’s steps and pace with realtime audio cues. The anklet gathers data from the sock sensors which via Bluetooth is sent to the user’s Bluetooth-enabled smartphone.