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Bluetooth Technology Changes the Sports and Fitness Game

If you've ever exercised with headphones on, then you know the associated annoyance of tangled wires. No more. Wireless headphones are just one of many ways that Bluetooth Smart technology is changing the way we work out. Today, Bluetooth® is leading the pack across the sports and fitness field.  

Let Bluetooth Bring the Coach to You

Fitness tracking bands and smart watches are consumers' wrist accessory of choice. Small sensors in these devices track aspects of athletic performance such as steps, distance, pace, heart rate, and calories burned, and communicate that information securely and efficiently to consumer-friendly mobile apps.

The critical link is Bluetooth Smart technology, which is included in nearly every smartphone and tablet and offers an extremely power-efficient connection that doesn't drain battery life. That means fitness band and smartphone batteries last longer than ever, to keep consumers on-the-move and up-to-speed. Thanks to Bluetooth, consumers now have portable "coaches" to help keep them active and healthy.

"Today, mobile sensing devices such as smart watches and health/fitness monitors have captured the media buzz and will surpass half a billion unit shipments between 2013 and 2018," ON World Report

Bluetooth Interoperability a Growing TrendJawbone Up App

Jawbone's announcement of the UP app had big implications for the fitness market—and Bluetooth made it possible. The app uses Bluetooth as part of Jawbone's open connectivity framework to communicate with any compatible device, giving users access to their health dashboard with or without a corresponding Jawbone-branded device. And Jawbone's announcement mirrors other interoperability movements in the field, such as Apple's new HealthKit and the Android-based Google Fit. What do all of these new opportunities have in common? They all rely on Bluetooth Smart technology.

Growth in Bluetooth Enabled Sporting Goods

While the fitness market continues to introduce new Bluetooth enabled products, sporting goods manufacturers are also taking advantage of its power-efficient, easy-connecting technology. SmartMat just released the first-ever sensor-laden yoga mat, which uses Bluetooth to communicate pose feedback to a mobile app, where a virtual instructor can guide the workout. Motion sensors are finding their way into everything from basketballs and golf clubs, to softball and baseball bats, to ski goggles and helmets—and Bluetooth technology makes that data accessible to help athletes gauge vital information about their performance.  

 Fashion Meets Function with New Sports Apparel and Wearables

Ralph Lauren Smart Shirt.PNGBluetooth continues to be the communication technology of choice for sports apparel and fitness wearables. Recent examples include:

  • LECHAL smart shoe: A smartphone app uses Bluetooth to connect with sensors in the shoe to not only track workout stats but even act as a personal "tour guide." Set a destination beforehand and vibrations in your feet will steer you left or right.
  • A Ralph Lauren Polo Tech smart shirt debuted at the 2014 U.S. World Open that delivers heart rate, breathing, and activity stats to a Bluetooth enabled smartphone.
"As the wearable electronics business powers from over $14 million in 2014 to over $70 billion in 2024, the dominant sector will remain the healthcare sector which merges medical, fitness and wellness," IDTechEx Wearable Technology Report

From professional tennis athletes to runners; from basketball stars to weekend warriors, Bluetooth will help sports and fitness participants on all ends of the spectrum achieve their personal best.

© Bluetooth SIG, Inc. All rights reserved.