International CES ’14: More fitness, outdoor companies enter fitness tracking market

As wearable fitness tracker trend grows, so does the number of options for consumers.
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Everybody wants a piece of a trend that takes off.

iFit

Fitness trackers are that hot trend right now, and lots of companies have jumped into the space to offer their own versions for data-collecting consumers.

Folks have tossed aside the old-school methods of journaling fitness progress in lieu of a more modern version of wearing a tracker and having the device upload everything to some sort of cloud so users can track movements, sleep and create personalized workouts. Earlier this month, dozens of fitness trackers debuted at the International CES show in Las Vegas, including one from Icon Health and Fitness.

“It was a great show,” said Colleen Logan, vice president of marketing for Icon Health and Fitness. “Overall the whole show had a lot of energy behind it and a lot of attendees.”

International CES officials reported that the 2014 event was the largest in its 47-year history with the fitness footprint growing 30 percent since the 2013 event. The Consumer Electronics Association noted the market for fitness technology will grow 25 percent this year and Icon Health and Fitness was one of the newcomers launching a tracking device this show.

Icon launched its iFit Active wearable fitness band (MSRP $129), which enables users to track data and use it on their equipment, at home and at the gym. Tracking both sleep and movement automatically allows the device to suggest caloric intake and personalized workouts. All data is stored and accessible via the web or the app.

“We just had a lot of people interested in what we were doing with our iFit technology because it represented two of the five trends people were talking about,” Logan explained. “The big stories were this digital health and fitness, or connected health and fitness, and tracker bands.”

Icon joins other notable big companies like Garmin, which is known for its wearable GPS units for outdoor enthusiasts, in creating trackers. Garmin launched its the Vívofit, which monitors both movement and quality of sleep.

"Being able to monitor the quality of rest after retiring for the night, being challenged by personalized daily goals and doing so without having to charge it every few days, makes Vívofit a fitness band that should be on everyone's wrist,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of worldwide sales, in a news release.

The Vívofit (MSRP $130) displays the data right on the band, unlike other popular brands.

LG also enters the space with its Lifeband Touch that tracks activity and connects via Bluetooth to a phone or LG fitness app. This pairs nicely with the company’s Heart Rate Earphones that measure your heart rate as you listen to music during your workout.

Sony’s SmartBand goes beyond tracking sleep and movement and also keeps a log of what music you listened to while working and where you conducted said workouts.

Sony

Fitness trackers already on the market got some upgrades like the FibBug Orb, which launched its new Kik Plans, target workouts for toning, trimming and aerobic fitness.

Another specialized tracker is the Notch system, which incorporates 10 different sensors to be placed on different parts of a user’s body to track complex motions for more targeted practice like tennis serves or baseball pitches.

Start making your plans if you’re looking to stock up on fitness trackers or other electronic gadgets for your store – the 2015 International CES is scheduled for January 6-9 in Las Vegas. Click here for more information.

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