Fitness Trackers Through out the years fitness tracker have evolved and improved to become as popular as they have today.


PAI score (Personal Activity Intelligence (PAI) score): Turns your heart rate into a personal score, showing you how much activity you need to stay healthy.

Well Designed: When something is put together good and effectively to make a better product.

Accelerometers: Something used for measuring acceleration or detecting/measuring movement.

Target Weight: How much you would like to weigh (your goal or dream weight)

Beyond: Going above expectations and being better than before

Wireless: not using wires or cables to transmit signals in order to connect to internet, ect.

What improvements have been made over the years to make fitness trackers more accurate?

Fitness trackers use new techniques and technology to give consumers more accurate results. For example, the Mio Slice is the first fitness tracker to use the proprietary Personal Activity Intelligence (PAI) score. A PIA score is generated by technology that collects physical activity and health outcomes and finds a PIA score that if you hit everyday, will give the best results to keep people healthy. The Mio Slice goes on the wrist where it monitors heart rate during rest and activity, and then applies a proprietary algorithm, which is a sequence of steps or rules performed to achieve a specific goal, to generate the PAI score (Rose). This actually tells people how to reach their goal in order to become more fit rather than just counting the steps taken. The PIA score is not the only way to get accurate results from fitness tracker, other tracker use things like accelerometers. Fitness trackers use accelerometers which are devices that detect the body's movement and convert it into data (“How fitness trackers can improve your health: EBSCOhost”). These are how the trackers count steps. The accelerometers can detect when someone actually take a step, jump, and more, so it will not count any random movement or shaking as a step, which allows a person to get better and more accurate results. However, fitbits and the Mio Slice are not the only types of fitness tracker that have evolved.

What's the difference between the various types of fitness trackers?

Fitness trackers use sensors and give someone results on the tracker itself while others connect to a wireless mobile device and feed data to that. For example, two types specifically are the Budget Tracker and the Pedal Maker. The Budget Tracker has a heart rate sensor or light sensor that can tell a heart rate from the color of lights, while the Pedal Maker has sensors that detect the distance ran (“How a Fitness Tracker works”). Much like the Budget Tracker uses lights and the Pedal Maker uses sensors, different fitness tracker use different techniques to track fitness. Not only are there watch fitness trackers either, but there's also types that come in forms of things like rings. The Motiv ring is a new fitness tracking ring. This ring feeds data into a mobile app that tracks someone's progress and calculates fitness goals based on the previous day's activity (Tynan). So, this fitness tracker connects to your phone so people can see all their data on there rather than on the actual tracker itself. Fitness tracker come in all shapes and sizes and each has its own way of tracking fitness activity. In addition to having all these different types of fitness trackers, new features are also being added to them.

What additional features have been added on to fitness trackers?

When fitness tracker were first made, many just counted steps taken and some had a clock. Today, fitness trackers have a range of different features from tracking diets to tracking sleep patterns. Most also track the duration and intensity of activity and estimate calorie use. A few have alarms to remind people to get up and move around when they have been sitting for too long. Some also log the minutes you spend sleeping, tossing and turning, and waking during the night. Plus many are now waterproof (“How fitness trackers can improve your health: EBSCOhost”). Fitness trackers have gone above and beyond just tracking your fitness in being able to track your health, sleep, and much more. It doesn't stop there either, one of the latest additional improvements in fitness trackers, specifically fitbits, is being able to wirelessly sync trackers. “I have the FitBit Aria scales and they sync with the app in my phone and record my weight wirelessly so I don’t even have to think about entering it” (Jacobs). Not only can fitbits and other trackers sync to mobile devices wirelessly to record and track weight but also much more through different apps. Most can transfer all your data from a fitness tracker to a phone so people can track their results from anywhere. Now that the new features of fitness trackers have been introduced, let's get into how some of these features work.

How do fitness tracking devices work?

Fitness trackers have many different functions that use sensors, wireless connection and more. An example of one function of a fitness tracker is tracking sleep. How these trackers track sleep is based on wrist movement. It can tell when someone is awake and moving their wrist or in a deep or light sleep from their wrist movement as well (“How a Fitness Tracker works”). Like the sleep sensors, and other fitness trackers mentioned, most use sensors to track a person's activity. It can detect steps, jumping, sleeping and more based off of a person’s movement while wearing the tracker. Other important functions of fitness trackers that do not use sensors are being able to keep track of a person’s health, specifically calorie intake. Before, people always use to use calorie logs and activity journals to record their information, but now people have found a way to track that information using a fitness tracker. To do this, people enter their current weight and target weight, and the app will calculate a daily calorie allowance to meet that goal. If a person types in the food they eat throughout the day, the app will compute the calories they have consumed, calculate the calories they burned, and tell them how many calories they have left in their daily allowance (“How fitness trackers can improve your health: EBSCOhost”). So, some features in fitness trackers require a person to actually manually type stuff in to track things instead of using a sensor. All fitness trackers are different as well as their features and all use different techniques and technology to keep track of a person’s fitness activity. As new fitness trackers are created they are starting to go beyond tracking your physical health and are taking a new shape.

What is the future trends of fitness trackers?

Fitness trackers are no longer limited to tracking a person's fitness. Devices are being developed to be able to track emotional health along with the reformation of normal fitness wearables. In the near future, there will be the launch of Zenta, the exciting emotion focused wearable. This biometric bracelet tracks galvanic skin response (another trendy metric alongside HRV) in order to determine how happy, angry, stressed or relaxed people are (Charara). A person's emotional health is just as important as physical, so these new trackers are giving people a way to track that as well. Something else fitness trackers are working towards is being “invisible”. It is anticipated that by the year 2017 the focus will be more on invisibility of wearables. This means that the wearables will be crafted in a manner that will be more comfortable for people to use and will be visibly more appealing (Andreas). People are starting to not want the watches because they are too big and uncomfortable to workout in. Instead, they want smaller trackers they they are able to wear like the motovi ring or trackers you can put on your sports bra or shoe. Fitness trackers are going to keep finding new ways to adapt to people's needs and improve which is why people are going to start seeing Zentas and these new invisible trackers.

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Jessica Millis

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