How Smartphones are Just as Good as Fitness Bands in Tracking Health
Wearable technology is the field where most of the innovations are taking place in the tech sector. All technology brands are trying to woo consumers with new wearable devices. One of the basic features of most of the wearables, especially smartwatches is their ability track the fitness activities of the user. A new study might just spoil the fun for the makers of such fitness trackers as it says that smartphone apps may be just as good as wearables in tracking fitness.
The research letter was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study was conducted by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
The researchers used ten most selling smartphone apps as well as devices for the test. They made participants walk twice on a treadmill for 500 steps and 1500 steps. The participants of the study were packed up with multiple devices during the test. They were made to wear a waistband with one pedometer and two accelerometers, three wearable devices and two smartphones where one was running three apps while the other was running one app.
In their results, the researchers found the smartphone apps to be reasonably accurate, and there was at most a 7% difference in figures between the apps. But when it came to fitness wearables, they found the result varying across the different devices. Devices like the Fitbit One and Zip were found to be accurate in their readings while the Nike Fuelband was found to be off by a huge margin.
This revelation might get consumers to question the need for buying a wearable fitness sensor. Well, the newer smartwatches are coming with more features that give you broader health data than just the distance covered in a day. This study didn’t consider the new smartwatches. Apart from their health benefits, the smartwatches also act as remotes for your various digital appliances and their functionalities will just keep on increasing. So while the study puts to question the need for fitness sensors, the wearable market is still a fertile market for investment by the tech industry.