Sony SmartBand: Wearable Fitness Design is Changing

Sony SmartBand

The Sony SmartBand has just hit the market as the latest in wearable fitness technology, but consumers, specifically women, are already looking for changes from the common designs.Wearable fitness bracelets, sneakers, and other items of clothing, have been on the fast track for continued development. A new wearable fitness accessory with either GPS technology, Bluetooth or other special features is released, at least, bi-monthly. Reading customer reviews shows a different side to the rampant output of the products, one that may mark a slow-down in the wearable trend.

The new wearable fitness Sony SmartBand is designed to bring a more complete experience by keeping the wearer up-to-date on the changes they are making toward healthier choices, including not only the steps wearers take, but also their sleep patterns. It buzzes every time someone gets a call, text or new message and even alerts the wearer when they have gone too far from their phone. Kunimasa Suzuki, president and CEO of Sony Mobile Communications, said that Sony’s brand is built on entertainment, and SmartBand and its innovative features go beyond fitness tracking to align with the fun and entertainment experiences its users are looking for when buying Sony products.

Wearable fitness has come a long way since the first bulky smartphone watches a few years ago, but the Sony SmartBand still is not something to wear during an important business meeting. Fashion and fitness are merging as the technology becomes more popular, because one of the biggest complaints found for the technology is its appearance. The Sony SmartBand is being advertised in basic black and looks like a basic rubber band looped around a wrist. It does not come with a screen. The band is characterized as being masculine and plain and not looking very fashionable. In addition, many of the bands are bulky and both men and women have said the bands make their arm numb. Designers, particularly women designers, have begun to take the lead on developing the new look.

MEMI and Ringly are two companies focusing on the future of wearable tech designs. MEMI is using different materials, like cheaper metal, other than the plastics often used that give the bracelet a look of a hair tie. Ringly employees are currently looking in jewelry shops for ideas on how they want their rings to look when they hit the market later this year. The new tech ring will sync with a customer’s smartphone.

The female designers are not just focused on the look of the technology, but also on what features are being offered with the bands. One new feature will send updated GPS coordinates to specified loved ones during a long run. The feature would help find lost runners, like Californian Robert Root, who was lost for more than two days back in April after he got disoriented while running through the woods.

Moreover, SmartBands can help consumers become less plugged-in. They are an answer to having a smaller version of a smartphone glued to their wrist, which has become an ongoing complaint for those trying to have face-to-face conversations. For consumers waiting for the “next big thing,” the general consensus seems to be if consumers are not happy with what is on the market now, they may be waiting until Christmas to purchase a new wearable technology device from Sony SmartBands while the current startup designers finish final production.

By Suzanne Hodgson

Fast Company