Fitness Gadgets: The growing circle of self care

The smart wearables industry in India is expected to witness significant growth in the coming years as more people become aware of the benefits of these devices. With the entry of new players in the market and their focus on providing innovative products, the fitness wearables sector is likely to expand its offerings in the near future.

With increased competition and price pressure, smart wearables could become more affordable for a larger spectrum of users. 

health & fitness gadgets

Photo Source: Pexels

New Delhi, May 4: Maintaining health and wellness is no longer force of habit or a need of the hour. A content state of mind can also stem from a healthy body, a mantra that many of us may agree with. To achieve our goals, we need a helping hand in the form of robotics. Although fitness bands have been available for almost a decade now, the current trend is to possess lightweight and compact health trackers.

Advancements in fitness tracking have been transformative, and in some instances, life-saving. With devices ranging from Fitbit bands to smartwatches, compact oximeters, and blood pressure monitors, we are now equipped with gadgets that can aid us in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. India is the fastest-growing medical devices market amongst emerging markets valued at US$ 11 billion.

In addition to this fact, the fitness industry has shifted to the online realm in order to sustain itself since the advent of the pandemic. As people become more aware of the importance of maintaining an active lifestyle, the demand for self-directed fitness routines has increased. As a result, a number of fitness technology tools and products are constantly being introduced in the market.

Changing Lifestyles

Let’s understand the term smart wearables. “Smart wearable” refers to a class of electronic devices that can be worn on the body as accessories, usually as watches or fitness bands, and are created to offer a variety of functions and functionalities in addition to the more common timekeeping and fitness tracking. Users can access and manage various programmes and tasks, thanks to their frequent Bluetooth or other wireless technology connections to smartphones and other devices

Varied uses of fitness gadgets allow users to track fitness performance and create a customisable chart of diet and exercises related to physical well-being, weight management, stamina, and core strength. This is where fitness-dedicated gadgets come into play. Health experts say that gadgets such as smartwatches and mobile applications do monitor health, but the compulsion to constantly look at the screen can be anxiety-inducing.

Prakriti Sharma, a fitness coach, spoke with IBT and said, “Peeking into the phone or smartwatch every now and then can be overwhelming. This often consumes the complete attention of the user. Tracking the number of steps in a day and calories burnt can become an obsession. We do recommend people to monitor their fitness levels, but there is a fine line between monitoring and obsessing over it.”

She added that though compact fitness gadgets are rather helpful, their price range can compel people to opt for a smartwatch or fitness bands.

Price competition

Fitness devices are becoming price competitive given the technological advancements which may cater to different health needs. A vast pool of India-made fitness devices has captured the market based on their size, mobility and even colour. IBT spoke with Pi Ring, an Indian electronics manufacturing company on the changing requirements of fitness enthusiasts. Mukesh Sharma, accounts executive, Pi Ring, said that the experience of wearing compact fitness gadgets is rather new amongst India’s young population.

“Consumers have become aware of the need for self-care post-Covid and this is where products such as ours come into the picture. Our gadget, in the form of a finger ring, weighs less than 30 grams. People are tired of wearing smartwatches and usually take them off while sleeping because of their weight. Smart rings need not be taken off at any point. It tracks your BP, oxygen level and sleeping pattern and sends a consolidated report to your mobile,” Sharma explained.

On the competition of smart fitness devices in India, Sharma added that companies are investing in creating reliable algorithms, and quality hardware which gives a justification for the high price. He has also claimed that compact fitness gadgets are popular amongst millennials and Gen Z. “Post Covid, people want to monitor the health of their parents as well. We are seeing a decent amount of traction across Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities,” he added.

Smart fitness wearables

In India, cardiovascular ailments are on the rise in the past 2 years and have been identified as the deadliest diseases in the country. This includes a group of conditions that involve the heart and blood vessels. The most common forms of cardiovascular diseases in India are coronary artery disease, heart attacks, and stroke.

According to recent data published by International Data Corporation (IDC), the Indian wearables market has grown by a staggering 144.3% YoY, with a total of 11.4 million units shipped in 2022. This growth can be attributed to the increasing adoption of smart wearables such as smartwatches and earwear, as well as the growing interest in fitness and health-tracking devices

Manav Bhandari, CEO and Co-founder of Fourth Frontier spoke with IBT. The company set up in 2020, manufactures a chest-worn smart heart monitor that can provide real-time feedback of a user’s heart health.

“We’ve built around 10,000 customers in the last few years, spread across US, UK, Europe and India. The heart is one of the leading causes of death around the world. We believe that having a personalised smart heart monitor is extremely important. Our device intimates, in the form of vibration, if the heart is entering a dangerous zone,” the CEO told IBT.

Manav said that the device built by the company has been specifically designed for people suffering from heart disease, however, it can be utilised by those who are interested in cardio exercise. He said that the higher cost margin of the device can be a deterrent, and the company is looking towards other models to offer similar services to those who can’t afford to purchase the smart heart device.

A short wait to purchase an affordable fitness device?

According to a study by Stratview Research, there may be a wide range of variables present in India, which could result in the health and fitness sector in India expanding by double digits. The availability of different ways to exercise, and monitor fitness levels remotely is through the progress of technology. Additionally, a number of investors are stepping up to make large investments in this business due to the great potential and market fragmentation.

The rise in internet usage, especially among young consumers, has led to an increase in awareness, resulting in people taking health and fitness seriously. This was further supported by the global pandemic, which caused customers to actively seek information about all services and goods available to aid in their fitness.

The market for wearable technology has been rapidly growing in India. With the rising demand for smartwatches, fitness trackers, and other wearables, India’s Smart Wearables market is expected to register a CAGR of 23.91% over the forecast period (2022-2027). This trend not only reflects the growing interest of consumers in tracking their fitness and health but also highlights the potential for further innovation and development in the wearable technology industry.

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