The cost of microchip sensors has decreased a lot over the past two decades. Only twenty years ago, the same computing power that we find in our current generation of smartphones would have cost millions of dollars. These days the same microchips can be purchased for a mere fraction of the original price tag. But what we can do with that cheaper and more powerful tech is the real question.
Someday soon, those microchip sensors will be all around us, in almost every device imaginable — even the toilet. Why would we want one there? Well, because those sensors can analyze our waste to let us know exactly what kind of vitamin deficiencies or ailments might necessitate a visit to the doctor. Or better yet, they might upload that information directly to our healthcare providers.
This will keep us healthier and happier for longer, increasing our life expectancy substantially.
But what does that mean for runners? A new generation of wearables is upon us, and soon you’ll find more of those sensors in the very clothes you wear. Until then, here are a few new wearables and wearable trends that can help you keep an eye on your health.
The Polar M430 was Europe’s best selling smart watch for runners. It’s basically a real-time smart coach for your wrist. The watch monitors heart rate and tracks your fitness. When you fall asleep, it monitors rest so it can provide advice on when and how to fall asleep.
Athos Gear is a brand of clothing that has a Bluetooth snap-on device that measures speed and orientation to track muscle performance while you work out. Sensoria Fitness Socks help track your base number of steps, speed, distance, and how you land while running. Right now these devices will set you back hundreds of dollars, but in the near-future you can expect the price points to lower substantially.
The trend in microchip sensors for runners is on smart coaching using artificial intelligence to sharpen your technique. Using this advice will help runners (and other athletes) avoid common overuse injuries like tendonitis or torn ligaments and muscles. Most come paired with specific apps that you can use on your smartphone.
Racefox Run is one such smart coach that actually provides advice to create an elaborate and personalized training regimen. Not only does it self-adjust based on how or where you like to run, but it also takes note of your own goals. In this way it will eventually help you reach your highest performance.