I am feeling upbeat today. Why, you might ask? Because the Christmas-New Year idleness is over. That is, I don’t mean to say that Christmas is all about doing nothing, because, how shall I put it, however modern and workaholic we women might be today, we are still the principle purveyors of Christmas cheer and family-centred celebrations (you know what I mean). When I say idleness, I mean the way it affects some members of our families. Sitting, eating, drinking and watching TV makes the more active of us lonely. This loneliness ends in a natural sort of way when everyone goes back to school or work. But the end can be brought forward if we choose to cross the line and, together with like-minded people, get moving.
The fact that our nearest and dearest will choose to veg out on the sofa instead of joining us for an invigorating run is not a problem, is it? It has been a while now since the first time you could insert a smart sensor into the trainers made by a well-known American sports shoe company – a sensor which counted the steps, streamed data to a music player and later a smartphone, which synchronized it with the website of the company that made the shoes, and that’s of course where your mates hung out. It was and still is possible to race your friends or to organize a virtual-real race with a group of friends. Business schools involved in analysing marketing strategies and the latest business trends would stage competitions between students and teachers for the longest distance run in the shortest time. Some (combined) distances exceeded a million kilometres, etc.
In any case, technology has the uncanny ability of transporting us in time and space. Thanks to a wide range of devices of the smart-fit and smart-health type, whenever we feel we are drifting away from some people (as first mentioned above), we can get closer to others, even if we are actually running (or getting well) in different places.
There is more to it. I can, for example, and do so with pleasure on my business trips, ask other people about their favourite running routes at the destination we are going to. Bucharest, Belgrade, Prague, Bratislava, Berlin or New York – the world is full of cool ideas for running. All you need is the right gear – tracker, synchronized smartphone, even a laptop will do (could be your company one, because the software is actually parked on the manufacturer’s server while the control panel is just under the search engine window – anyway, you can set it up like that). And, of course, your running shoes.
I smirk in the car driving after work to a place where my favourite Warsaw running route starts. I smirk because I can almost see my jolly travelling companions clambering onto the sofa in our chalet after the first two days of skiing. They might think they will stop me by moaning and groaning about being stiff, but I will ditch them inside and head for the slopes on my own, because the same system which works with my running armband works with my GPS running watch. Ha, I will just download to my phone an application with a map of the slopes I am thinking of trying out and I will not be skiing alone. I will race others for the best downhill time, longest distance, number of calories burnt, and, if in doubt, check the route back home (OK, OK, my lot never lose their way back, I, for that matter, almost never do; the exception being the mad scramble for the chairlift minutes before closing time). One time I had to use the GPS to have a car sent for me and bring me from the next valley over, where I had got stuck after the chairlifts had closed for the day. It was a harsh winter, with heavy snowfalls, and all the mountain passes were closed, so my little company had to go half way round the mountains to reach me. New technology – my dear friend – always by my side in such situations.
You know when I beam an even wider smile? When I think about the things I can take along with me this year when I go skiing or running. But who knows, maybe soon my menu of running gadgets will be expand to include a Nixie – a small clever watch that can fly off your wrist, take a photo or shoot a video, and come right back to your wrist. Incredible? Not if you know that the microprocessor giant awarded its grand prize to Nixie makers in its ‘Make it Wearable’ challenge. See the link below, if still in doubt. Oh, and I can picture my lovely lot’s faces when they watch me shoot a video of me whizzing down that black run …
Put your fit-smart on and off you go skiing! (Or do other sports!)
As a rule, I avoid using brand names (on account of the type of business my company is in), but I make a small exception this time seeing as it is only a prototype:
A link to a very interesting website about the 2016 trends in wearables:
Anyone looking for more information about the wearables market and thinking of designing a gadget for the Polish market is advised to check out this site which charts the growth of a business where one company is making sports performance trackers with an open API: