The Internet is changing the world of fitness equipment. It is changing the way we look at it and even the way it actually functions. Due to the Internet of Things (IoT) these devices can actually share information with people like your doctor or your personal trainer. You can now easily send the data over the Internet, because nowadays, nearly every kind of personal fitness device is equipped with special sensors and has its own unique IP address.
What Devices Fall Into This Category?
In the past, fitness devices were defined as those devices which were essential parts of a person’s fitness and exercise routine. Some examples of such devices are blood pressure, calorie and heart rate monitors. These are still considered to be fitness devices, but now this definition has expanded to include many other functions, such as:
- Posture management
- Oxygen usage and level in the body
- Blood pressure
- Brainwave mapping
- Digestive health
- Sleep health
- Glucose measurement
- Rate of respiration
- Rate of exposure to radiation
- Conduction of the skin
Here, it is useful to discuss some of the connected fitness equipment available in the modern market:
- Apple Watch — The Apple Watch is a real innovation in the world of personal fitness devices. It is capable of measuring all your activities including your movement, taking the stairs, walking, playing and many other activities. The activity app keeps track of your daily activities like how many times you have done brisk activities, how many times you have taken a break and stood up from your chair, how many calories you have burned, etc. So it can be described as a complete solution for personal fitness management.
- Jabra Sport Pulse Earbuds — These earbuds are capable of tracking your heartbeat.
- Lumbo Lift — This is a posture-correction device which can detect if you slouch, and will immediately alert you.
- Withings Sleep Tracker — This device tracks different kinds of sleep patterns and sleep stages like that of light dozing and rapid eye movement. It can even calculate the total amount of sleeping time of the user. It can also give the user tips according to his/her sleeping pattern.
- Mimo Baby Monitor — Using this gadget, you can monitor your baby’s major health stats like rate of respiration, body posture, temperature and sleeping duration from anywhere in the entire world.
Based on all this high-tech equipment, it is apparent that the worldwide market for fitness equipment is gradually expanding, and we are just in the beginning stages of this expansion. A rough estimate states that in three years' time, the initial market for such fitness equipment will be as high as $53 billion.
It is also estimates that smartwatches, like the Apple Watch, alone will make up 40 percent of this figure. Even if the famous Apple devices are excluded from this total, it would still be a very profitable business.
Many surveys have been carried out, and the following information has been found:
- Hospitals still don’t consider the fitness devices as very important.
- Many hospitals still cannot utilize the data from such devices to its full extent.
However, seeing the amount of data that these devices are producing at present, the amount that will be produced in the near future has the potential to be huge. So, with a good analytics platform, the data can be a digital treasure trove.
How Is Data From Fitness Devices Processed?
If you want to generate meaningful information from the data generated by the many personal fitness devices that are active around the world, then you’ll need a really powerful integrated analytics platform. Mere low-powered tools or slower platforms won’t be adequate to handle such a vast amount of information. This job can only be completed with the help of an integrated solution, which will integrate many kinds of tools that would normally be too different from one another, like relational DBMS, an execution engine, data mining tools and tools that can fetch and process unusual data.
The aim and the purpose of a good integrated analytics platform is to process hugely varied types of data coming from different types of personal fitness devices, as normal tools are unable to do so. The main trial is to process a large amount of dissimilar data in a short time and produce a meaningful and useful output. So, a good integrated solution is a very urgent need. If you are still in doubt of this solution, then maybe these reasons will convince you:
- Cost-efficient solution — These connected devices, when their data is processed by a good integrated solution, can cut a lot of costs and can improve the overall healthcare architecture of a country. Thanks to these devices, doctors will have access to a person's health information like never before, allowing them to give a more accurate diagnosis and prescribe the best possible treatment to patients. This will ensure that the patient stays healthier, and when there is some kind of problem, the doctor can diagnose the disease from a distance and prescribe the most appropriate medicines.
- All types of data are compatible — An integrated solution has many dissimilar tools and platforms combined into one, providing a solid solution. These combined platforms have a large memory. The data from different types of personal fitness devices will obviously be very dissimilar, but the integrated analytics platform would easily store and process this kind of data. This also ensures speed and quality.
- High-quality output — An integrated analytics solution can do a deep analysis of the data and produce a very meaningful output. A normal analytics solution would be unable to process large amounts of data quickly, but an integrated solution can do it with double the work quality, and in a fraction of the time taken by the regular solution.
IoT has played a large part in the making and expansion of connected personal fitness solutions. While these devices are still in their infancy, the technology is being developed at a steady pace. Some people consider these devices expensive and needless, while others see them as essential to their personal fitness. As the devices continue to advance, and offer more benefits to more people, they will doubtless gain popularity in the coming years.