Current fitness trackers are able to track everything from where you went on your run to how fast you were running, but the health portion currently comes from heart rate monitors. Until now, heart monitors have been able to create the most accurate way of measuring training efforts. However, a new wave of fitness trackers containing sweat monitors will make the heart rate monitor almost obsolete in trying to determine exact progress when it comes to both exercising and dieting.
Real-time sweat tracking will be able to tell us incredibly useful things just by analysing one drop of sweat- we’ll be able to track how well our metabolism is working, the type of nutrition we are and should be taking in plus hydration levels. Things like electrolyte balance, calories and lactate measurements will be suddenly on our smartphone screen in front of us as soon as we’ve started or finished a workout.
Sweat trackers will be able to give precise information on our hydration levels so can remind us when to drink or tell us that we need something other than water. Glucose level and calorie tracking will do away with the need to manually enter the amount and types of food that we’ve eaten, so sweat trackers will be able to tell what we’ve eaten and the amount we need to eat. In addition, by analysing sugar levels sweat trackers will notify us when the levels are spiking or dropping too much in order for us to prevent fat storage. Sweat analysis will open up new doors for all of us to be able to keep precise details about our bodies, diet and training.
Fitness trackers are currently usually worn on a band on the wrist or ankle, but this is about to change. Sweat trackers will be small and unassuming, able to be applied to the skin directly or worn built into clothing. Ralph Lauren have already announced that it plans to release sweat tracking garments in collaboration with Under Armour and sweat sensors can be built easily into clothing such as training tops without being noticeable.
There are already sweat trackers on the market that can do a good job of sweat analysis and send the information to your smartphone or tablet. Electrozyme has developed technology and algorithms that can easily track and analyse the components of sweat, but instead of creating physical hardware it is licensing out its software for use in products such as smart clothing and wearables. The software will be available as part of new fitness gadgets next year.
The Kenzen Echo H2 smart patch will be available towards the end of the year and attaches to the skin of the abdomen or calf via a single use sticky pad. The biometric sensor system can measure glucose levels, hydration and lactic acid to determine information about calories burned, muscle fatigue and how much you should be drinking. The Echo H2 will be priced at around $89 and comes with an accompanying app which allows for wireless sync and provides real time stats as well as customisable notifications.
At the moment fitness bands and trackers do a good enough job of analysing our training and workouts but expect all that to change when sweat trackers hit the mainstream. There’s no doubt that sweat analysis will be the next big thing in fitness and your current band may become obsolete sooner than you think.