Industry Buzz: Wearable Technology Continues to Make Headlines

shutterstock_188507768There’s no question wearable technology is having a moment. And tech giants from Google to Fitbit, and Jawbone to Nike, have taken notice. As a result, there are a slew of wearable tech gadgets currently on the market targeting consumers.

Many of those consumers are in your clubs, tracking their steps, calories burned, distance traveled, sleep and more. However, it’s still up in the air as to the exact impact wearable tech will have on the health club industry. Does it have a place?

Many club operators believe it does. I’ve written before about how Anytime Fitness and Life Time Fitness have begun integrating wearable tech into their memberships and programs. However, it’s still important to keep an eye on the wearable tech market so that you can stay ahead of the curve.

According to TIME Tech contributor Tim Bajarin, the author of “Where Wearable Health Gadgets Are Headed,” wearable tech fulfills a specific need. “In the world of tech, most successful products address serious needs that people have,” Bajarin stated in the article. “This is very much the case behind the current movement to create all types of wearable devices designed to make people healthier.”

Although some have speculated wearable tech is just a fad, Barjarin doesn’t agree:

“While there is some chatter about the market for wearable technology not being a sustainable one, I suspect that it will stay on track to eventually become integrated into everyday objects such as watches, hats and even clothes, becoming part of a broader trend called ‘self-health monitoring.’ This trend basically says that people will want to have more and more information about calories, the number of calories they’ve burned, the number of steps they’ve taken, their pulse and other metrics. Thanks to these new technologies, this data would be available to them in a variety of ways.”

We live in a day and age where the topic of health and fitness is at the forefront of people’s minds, and the success of the wearable tech market is an example of that. “Most researchers that track this market believe that the wearable health market will represent at least $2 billion in revenue worldwide by 2018,” Barjarin explained.

With this in mind, it’s important you consider how wearable technology plays a role in your club, and if and how you can capitalize on it. In fact, according to Barjarin, research suggests that, “at least one-fourth of U.S. adults have these types of health-related monitoring devices on their personal radars.”

Have you noticed members wearing Fitbits or Jawbone Ups?  Share your thoughts on wearable tech and the impact your foresee it having on the health club industry.

 

Rachel Zabonick is the assistant editor for Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@clubsolutionsmagazine.com. Reach out to her about exciting events or programs your club has implemented, or to share the amazing accomplishments of a member.

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