Athletech News does a deep dive into the wearable fitness technologies that made noise at CES 2021.
Between the pandemic, politics and everything else that’s going on in the world, just the slightest glance at your news feed is enough to jack up the calmest person’s blood pressure. So it was just perfect when OMRON Healthcare’s VitalSight, which can identify early warning signs of a heart attack or stroke before they strike, debuted at CES 2021. It was not the only new fitness tech or related product introduced at this year’s CES, however.
Since its inception in 1967, CES is the most influential electronics show of the year. It’s where innovative products have all been introduced to the public for the first time, from the VCR in 1970 to the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1985 to HDTV in 1998.
This year, for the first time in its history, the convention, organized by the Consumer and Technology Association, was moved online for a digital-only format. But just because people weren’t physically together, CES 2021 still packed its usual punch with a trove of new game-changing sports and fitness tech.
Among the most noteworthy, the VitalSight is a remote monitoring service built to boost patient-to-physician communication and empower more active management of hypertension. The company has a stated mission of “Going for Zero” heart attacks and strokes.
“We’ve applied over 40 years of category leadership, research, development, consumer feedback, and physician insights to the innovations OMRON has introduced here at CES that have redefined what a blood pressure monitor can do and how it can function. As we focus on our Going for Zero mission, we’re seeking to help those struggling to manage hypertension and its risks, especially with comorbidities and complications associated with this COVID-19 pandemic,” Ranndy Kellogg, president and CEO of OMRON Healthcare, said in a statement.
“VitalSight, our first remote patient monitoring service, and our new OMRON Connect 2.0 app, are designed to give consumers more power in managing their hypertension, give physicians more insights to evolve treatment, and to strengthen the patient-physician relationship via remote monitoring,” he said.
Here’s a look at other wearable fitness techs that were introduced at CES 2021:
AirPop Active+ Facemask
Analog facemasks are so 2020. Less than a year after the protective garment became ubiquitous during the coronavirus pandemic, facemasks are getting a lot smarter in 2021. The AirPop Active+ mask syncs to a smartphone or mobile device and monitors your breathing and all the pollutants the mask blocks the user from breathing in.
Amazfit GTS/GTR 2e
Amazfit introduced its two newest wearables at CES in January. The GTR 2e and GTS 2e smartwatches feature 24-hour heart rate monitoring, battery life for up to 24 days between charges, a Personal Activity Intelligence system that charts heart rate and other health data, in-depth sleep monitoring, a personal stress meter, and 90 built-in sports modes.
The Bioheart monitor is touted as the first-of-its-kind ECG monitoring device that keeps important heart data handy in real time on users’ smartphones. Bioheart uses advanced analysis to generate reports for every day application.
Smartglasses are finally becoming more practical with the Bosch Sensortec. This new wearable puts holographic images on-screen that are visible to only those wearing the device, while there is no visible camera making them less awkward to wear in public. The fitness tech allows hands-free viewing while biking or running for use with apps like navigation and fitness-tracking software.
Fossil Gen 5 LTE
The touchscreen smartwatch was one of many new fitness wearables that launched at CES 2021. What’s exciting about the Gen 5, thanks to LTE, is you can take calls on it without using a phone. Its battery lasts for several days before it needs to be charged, and the watch logs typical metrics such as heart rate, steps and calories burned.
H2Care developed the H2-BP to be the smallest and lightest blood pressure monitor in the world. By applying pressure on the radial artery, the device keeps track of blood pressure. It can be worn as a watch, and connected to its own app, users can remotely authorize doctors to check in on their data, too.
There are smartphones and smartwatches, and now HidrateSpark STEEL is billed as the world’s smartest water bottle ever created. The stainless steel vacuum insulated bottle keeps drinks cold for up for 24 hours, and if you forget to stay hydrated, the bottle has a glowing light to remind you when it’s time to drink up. The bottle tracks water intake via the Hidrate app, comes in 17 and 21 oz sizes, and features chug” and “straw” lid styles.
This wearable makes using an Apple Watch a snap. Literally. Electrical sensors enable this gesture-powered device to customize the controls of your watch, without even touching it. Imagine you’re doing the dishes and your hand is wet; Mudra Band lets you wiggle your fingers around to scroll through emails without missing a beat. Or maybe you’re out for a run; the band lets you toggle through texts without breaking stride. The Mudra Band uses sensors to detect hand movements, which can then be used for various functions. For example, you can program an iPhone to skip a song with the movement of one finger, while the flick of another can activate a separate function. The fitness tech is seen as a potential gateway to future advances in medicine and science. The technology also makes communicating more accessible for users with oral or physical disabilities, opening a whole new realm of possibilities.
Scosche Rhythm+ 2.0
Why would anyone want to train with a heart monitor? Users can maximize their workout if they know their limits, and train right up to them. Devices like the Scosche Rhythm+ 2.0 allow just that. This heart monitor, which consists of a “breathable” arm band, uses patented optical sensor technology for highly accurate monitoring and measurement.