The Fitness Tech You'll Be Using In 2014
A trend forecast on health-geek gadgetry that will make headlines this year.
The good news: You can pretty much track every step taken, calorie burned, pace clocked, percentage of muscle gained and hour you’ve slept this year. The bad news: Deciding what device you want to do it with is no easy task. Our intrepid reporter hit the ground running at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last month to collect intel on every cool, new high-tech fitness tool we could find so you wouldn’t have to. Here are some of the latest and greatest gadgets to help you get stronger, fitter, faster and healthier this year.
Wahoo Fitness Kickr Power Trainer
The first iPhone-powered bike trainer, the Kickr allows you to control the resistance of your ride through your iPhone or iPad, using the cycling app of your choice, such as Wahoo Fitness, BKool or Trainer Road. The Bluetooth-enabled trainer is adjustable to fit most bikes, accurately measures your power (wattage), speed and distance, and provides a quiet, fluid, road-like experience, thanks to its heavy flywheel. ($1,099)FIND IT
In addition to tracking the usual suspects (calories, steps, sleep, etc.), this sleek cuff also takes note of what specific activities you do (thanks to its super accurate accelerometer) and indicates when it's best to push yourself and when you need to pull back, based on your heart rate variability. Plus, the Reign provides daily recommendations, via its iPhone or Android app, on what you should be doing (as far as sleeping, recovering and/or exercising is concerned), according to all of those numbers. (Available this May)FIND IT
Developed by a neurologist at Harvard Medical School and an electrical engineer from MIT, Aim measures the the level of strength and definition of individual muscles. Simply place the palm-sized device on one of your muscles (biceps, triceps, etc.), and a technology called Electrical Impedance Myography (EIM) delivers a small current to the area and then analyzes its flow to determine the muscle quality and fat percentage. Your results pop up instantly, and then they’re wirelessly transferred to a free app, where you’ll receive additional details, plus personalized workout recommendations. Skulpt is currently being used in some of the nation’s top hospitals. ($149)FIND IT
Garmin devotees can now manage everything (life, sleep, workouts) in the same place, at Garmin Connect (connect.garmin.com). The bright, interchangeable Vivofit band logs your steps, calories burned and distance. It also monitors your sleep and wirelessly syncs up to your heart rate monitor, if you’ve got one. Vivofit provides personalized daily goals for you to strive for, shows all your stats at a glance, and gives you a glaring red bar when you’ve been sitting for more than an hour. ($130)FIND IT
Babolat Play Pure Drive Racquet
The Babolat Play Pure Drive is the world’s first “connected” tennis racquet, meaning that sensor technology hidden within the handle of one of the brand’s most popular, lightweight performance racquets wirelessly collects data on your swing, where you hit the ball, spin speed, etc. while you play. The product has been in development for about 10 years, according to Babolat, and will provide players with quantifiable data that they can then use to help develop their skills and improve their games. ($399)FIND IT
If you’ve ever used a cardio machine featuring iFit technology (available on NordicTrack, ProForm and FreeMotion brands, among others), you know how cool it is: iFit utilizes Google Maps to help you replicate actual outdoor routes, indoors by automatically adjusting the machine’s incline and resistance throughout your workout. Well, now you can wear the iFit Active fitness band and track everything you do both on, and off, the machines. The tiny accelerometer can be worn as a band, a clip, or tossed in a pocket, and it displays your calorie intake versus outtake, sleep patterns, heart rate, steps and pace onscreen. ($130)FIND IT
For the just-announced partnership between designer Tory Burch and Fitbit, Burch will be creating a few new Fitbit Flex styles for the company this spring. And while the Flex—a wireless activity band that tracks steps, distance, calories burned and sleep quality, and helps you set (and meet) personal fitness goals—is not brand new, it has proven to be effective, and we’re pretty excited about seeing some sexy bracelet-like bands hit the gym scene soon. ($100)FIND IT
Using both a sensor placed under your mattress and a separate bedside device, the Aura monitors your personal sleeping patterns (body movements, breath cycle, heart rate) as well as the environment in which you’re snoozing. It then takes that info and creates a smart, scientifically proven light and sound system to improve your entire nighttime experience, relaxing you before bed and gently simulating you as you rise. All your data is wirelessly transferred to an app, where you can analyze everything and adjust the system as you wish. ($299)FIND IT