Death of Fitness Bands Imminent, Predicts Virgin Active CIO
It’s just been a few years since we’ve seen fitness bands hitting the market. The wearables from the likes of Fitbit and Jawbone are designed to track different activities, including step counting, sleep tracking and heart rate monitoring.
But CIO of international health club operator Virgin Active, Andy Caddy believes these high-end bands are already about to die. Talking to Computing, Caddy said he doesn’t think fitness bands would be around in the next two years or so.
“I’ve seen the fitness band market evolve over the last few years but I don’t think it’s going to last much longer in terms of the $100 bands,” he said.
Caddy believes wearables are actually in a transition phase at the moment, which may result in products that can compute multiple functions or into clothing.
After the launch of smartwatches, the signs of shift are becoming more evident. The high-end watches, especially the Apple Watch, come with all the functionalities of these smart bands, as they have built-in fitness and health apps, in addition to the typical smartphone features.
Caddy said Virgin Active has special interest in the wearable domain, but he believes the market is currently immature. What it really needs is a consumer-centric set of standards to which all the bigger technology vendors agree.
He said, “What I’d like to see is some of the big guys like Samsung, Apple and Google really come up with some standards because there aren’t really many standards in this space – a heart rate monitor on one device is different to another so I think it’s quite difficult for a consumer to use these devices in a really productive way.”