Devices > Wearables Blog

Move over Self-Help Manuals, Self Help Wearables Have Arrived

by Nitesh Patel | Nov 18, 2013

Zepp’s 3D motion sensor wants to capture your data and help you train

Health & fitness and sports go hand in hand with each other. They are also linked together in the wearable device ecosystem with the newest devices, only this instance the device attaches to sporting equipment and not the user.

Vendors such as Zepp and SensoGlove are putting sports analysis technology into the hands of the consumer or amateur sportsperson, with the ultimate aim of improving the ability of the consumer at their chosen sport.

Zepp has designed a 1”, virtually weightless, wearable device that attaches to the end of a bat (or club or tennis racket). Zepp Sport’s Platform is home to the three mobile apps that go with each sport – Zepp Baseball, Zepp Tennis, and Zepp Golf. (Zepp also offers the Golf Sense app which is similar to the Zepp Golf app) These apps capture and analyze the swing while the consumer plays the sport and transmits the data via Bluetooth connectivity to an iOS or Android device. The apps capture a number of metrics including bat speed, swing plane, hitting zone, and impact angle.

The SensoGlove is a glove worn by the golfer that measures grip pressure, with the results being displayed on an LCD attached to the glove. The measurements allow the golfer to see their grip pressure at different parts of the swing, and strive for more even pressure and therefore more consistent swing.

Such analysis tools were once the domain of professional sports and sports science. However they represent a new dimension to wearable devices, which have for some time been a happy home for fitness tracking and monitoring devices such as Nike’s FuelBand and Fuelband SE

Strategy Analytics believes this is a new string to the bow of wearable devices in that they are not just recording and monitoring, or alerting the user to specific events on the companion smartphone; they are helping the user to improve at a given discipline.

Zepp’s baseball, golf, and tennis devices are each priced at $149, and the SensoGlove starts at $89. However with golf clubs easily reaching into the $ thousands, and hundreds of hours devoted to sports, that surely is a price many would happily pay.

Such devices are part of the Fitness Monitoring and Tracking category, which is one of four key categories making up the Wearable Devices market, as tracked by Strategy Analytics Wearable Device Ecosystems service and the apps are being tracked by AEO – Application Ecosystem Opportunities.

The wearable device market is still in the early stages and as the market begins to mature it is inevitable that more and more twists on fitness and sports devices are going begin to crop up. Perhaps the next stage in monitoring progress will be device inside a ball, like a football to measure spin rotation after a throw or a soccer ball that measures curve and power of a shot.

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