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Demand for new Bluetooth fitness devices exploding

Bluetooth® Smart Smart is dramatically shrinking the size and power requirements of sensors able to measure pace, pulse, cadence, distance, and other workout information. Tiny sensors that operate for months with just a coin-cell battery are leading to a new wave of sports and fitness devices that help consumers track their workouts and athletic performance.

No one wants to carry around any more weight or bulky equipment than necessary when exercising or competing. Whether someone is training for the Olympics or just trying to lose a few pounds, smaller is always better when it comes to heart rate straps, cadence sensors, sports watches, and other wireless fitness gear.

More than 60 million sports, fitness and health monitoring devices with Bluetooth technology are expected to ship between 2010 and 2015."

-- IMS Research

Woman wearing Bluetooth headphonesShrinking sensors opening up new market opportunities

The ability of Bluetooth Smart to shrink the size of these and other sports and fitness devices will create great opportunities for manufacturers. Bluetooth Smart is already leading to tiny, low-cost sensors that help doctors monitor the health of their patients.

The same body sensors help consumers monitor their exercise and better understand their workouts and fitness level.

Convenience is also a key factor in the popularity of fitness products, with Bluetooth technology allowing consumers to listen to music with wireless headphones while exercising instead of hassling with cords.

Because Bluetooth Smart sensors are so small, consumers can easily attach them to a shoe, wrist, or chest where they monitor everything from pace and pulse to cadence and distance. They won't get in the way of a workout or athletic performance.

The tiny sensors send information wirelessly to a Bluetooth enabled sports watch or phone for instant feedback while the person is working out or competing.

Fitness app on a phoneNew workout devices creating demand for new fitness apps to support them

All of this workout data creates demand for new PC and phone applications to process and analyze a wealth of exercise information. Bluetooth technology sends the workout data wirelessly to any Bluetooth Smart Ready device. From there, consumers process and analyze the information with the latest sports and fitness apps, and securely share results online with personal trainers, friends, or anyone they want.

The many new wireless fitness devices enabled by Bluetooth Smart increases demand for apps able to work with them, whether it's analyzing runs, bike rides, gym workouts, or other types of workouts.

Some of the new wireless exercise devices made possible by Bluetooth technology include:

  • Heart-rate monitors connecting to a Bluetooth phone. This allows consumers to set the phone on a treadmill or other exercise machine, watch their pulse in real-time during workouts, and then analyze the information later
  • Heart-rate monitors that automatically connect to a piece of exercise equipment at the gym and display your heart rate on the machine while you work out
  • Cycling computers that send speed, route, and other performance data wirelessly to a phone, where it can be analyzed after a ride
  • Bluetooth enabled sports watches that connect wirelessly to a heart-rate strap, foot pod, or phone
  • Wireless, water-resistant ear buds made to wear while working out

Fast Facts about Bluetooth technology in Sports & Fitness

  • Shipments of heart-rate monitors to increase 60 percent from 11 million in 2011 to 17.7 million in 2015
  • Sports watches to double from 3.5 million in 2011 to over 7 million in 2015
  • Running speed and distance monitors to increase from 60 percent from 1.3 million in 2011 to over 2 million in 2015

How to profit from this market

The Bluetooth SIG helps companies like yours benefit from opportunities in the sports & fitness market. Get started by joining the Bluetooth SIG community. We have more than 20,000 member companies worldwide making everything from cars and computers to mobile phones and microchips. To learn more, visit our membership page.

© 2013 Bluetooth SIG, Inc. All rights reserved.