Wearables go niche and narrow in the search for consumer relevance
"the device uses a patented algorithm that finds the relationship between heart rate, lactic acid buildup, and energy burn, and converts it all into a stamina percentage."
Wearables are looking for commitment. Manufacturers know that consumers discard many activity trackers within a year of purchase, and it seems that no advances in actual technology are helping new wristbands stand out.
So instead of trying to chase established general-purpose fitness trackers such as those from Jawbone and Fitbit, the manufacturers we saw at CES 2015 were much more focused on niche use-case scenarios, hawking purpose-built wearables for marathon runners, basketball players and even stressed-out cubicle workers. Vendors are clearly hoping that people will commit to devices that do only a single thing, but do so really, really well.
Old hardware, new tricks
For instance, an upcoming $150 tracker called GoMore (pictured at the top of this article) promises to approximate users’ stamina capacities based on their heart rate. While GoMore’s EKG sensors are nothing special, the device uses a patented algorithm that finds the relationship between heart rate, lactic acid buildup, and energy burn, and converts it all into a stamina percentage. With the device strapped to your chest, GoMore’s companion app tells you when you’re burning too much energy and says how much farther you could go if you managed stamina more effectively.