(19 Dec 2016) LEAD IN
Wearable technology is one of the top fitness trends for 2017.
And in the US, smart gadgets to help you stay healthy are some of the most popular gifts this holiday season for the second year running.
These wrist bands are all the rage for helping you stay fit.
Overall demand for such personal devices is growing so fast that the industry is expected to be worth 34 billion US dollars by 2020, according CCS Insight, which provides market information, analysis and intelligence for companies focusing on the mobile and wireless sector around the world.
Wearable technology departments in many stores are packed with products this season as popularity increases for smartwatches and fitness and health trackers.
For the second year in a row, wearables are the top fitness trend in 2017, according to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) which surveys 1,800 health and fitness professionals worldwide each year.
At Target, in West Hollywood, California, wearables are everywhere on the store shelves.
Wearable technology includes activity trackers, smart watches, heart monitors and GPS tracking devices.
People now enjoy gathering their own health data to make lifestyle choices, and the most successful wearables today are those for the wrist.
Simone Tatro, store team leader at Target, in West Hollywood, California, says wearable technology is hot property this season.
“Wearable technology is such a trending gift. It’s the hot item. Whether you’re a kid or you’re an adult or a parent, people want wearable technology. It’s been trending with Fitbit, Garmin, Samsung, Apple. They’re all way up because of the demand for it” says Tatro.
Popular 2016 gift wearables include the brand that popularised wearable technology as a lifestyle brand, Apple and the Apple Watch Series 2 38mm, starting at 369.99 US dollars.
Also high on people’s gift lists this year are the Fitbit Blaze Smart Fitness Watch starting at 199.99 US dollars, the Fitbit Charge 2 at 149.99 US dollars, Fitbit Alta Activity and Sleep Tracker starting at 129.99 US dollars, which registers your sleep patterns, distance and calories burned.
Other coveted wearables include the Garmin Vivofit Fitness Band costing 79.99 US dollars, the Garmin VivoSmart HR and Fitness band costing 199.99 US dollars and the Samsung Gear Fit 2 for 179.99 US dollars.
Tatro says a big category this year is children’s wearable technology which includes the Garmin Vivofit Jr kids Fitness Monitor for 79.99 and 149.99 US dollars respectively.
If you purchase certain kids wearable technology bands the money is donated to UNICEF.
“Kids are asking for it. I think they are seeing other kids at school have it and so they want it. They’re tracking their steps. They’re having challenges. At Target, we were the first to partner with the U.S,. UNICEF.What we do is, every time a kids band is purchased, we donate 10 dollars to the kids fund for the most malnourished children to get food,” says Tatro.
Kristian Gallardo, electronics department lead for MarketSource and outsource sales company hired by Target, says wearables are popular because they are the next step up from the smartphone that makes your life easy.
Frank Mottek, business expert and money editor at KNX Radio CBS Los Angeles says people like the simplicity.
“As of the third quarter this year, we saw the wearables category move up 3.1 percent and most of that growth was seen in the fitness categories so Fitbit being the number one choice among consumers. Looks like they are very into the simplicity of the device and certain price points which is very appealing to consumers and helping to make their workouts more fun and interesting and get a handle on their health condition as well.”
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