SFIA was onsite for our 5th consecutive year at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. We were hosting meetings throughout the week and looking for the latest innovations impacting sports and fitness. Below are a few takeaways.
SFIA’s 2017 Innovation Initiatives Confirmed at CES
A few initiatives SFIA launched last year identified several trends that were prevalent throughout the show floor for sports and fitness. Artificial intelligence, sensors embedded in apparel, the quantified self and gamification were all on display. A few examples of this included the Movesense platform, which is owned by SFIA member, Amer Sports (Precor, Wilson Sporting Goods, Sunto and more). The Movesense platform is device agnostic, enabling for intelligent measurement solutions for all sports. This was on display at SFIA’s Innovative Product Showcase this past September.
Another trend we noticed was the merging of apparel, artificial intelligence and sensors within sport. CEO of asensei, Steven Webster, was on stage at this year’s CES discussing the future of personal training alongside artificial intelligence. Webster delivered a presentation as part of the 2017 SFIA Startup Challenge at the Industry Leaders Summit in Sept. 2017.
Lastly, one of SFIA’s newest members, Black Box VR, made a huge splash on the show floor by gamifying fitness with virtual reality. They were named one of CES 2018’s Best Startups, and are planning to bring virtual reality workouts to boutique fitness studios.
Embedded Sensors, Everywhere
It was hard to walk around this year’s show floor and not notice sensor add-ons in all types of sports and fitness products. In many ways, we think this year’s embedded sensors is to fitness trackers a few years ago at this show. The obvious question around this is, as more competitors enter this market, and this space becomes commoditized, what will it take for winners to survive? How can industry companies compete and offer something unique? One way is to gamify the user experience with artificial intelligence. We saw a plethora of companies both in apparel as well as earbuds taking the next step in providing actionable feedback based on user data. This will be something to watch going forward.
What’s the Future of Sports Technology?
While there was much buzz about sports technology leading up to CES 2018, there was a clear lack of staple sporting goods and fitness name brands present at this year’s show. How does our industry continue to approach the consumer electronics world? We are predicting more partnerships with household tech names like the ones we saw in the past years between New Balance and Intel, and Under Armour and HTC.
ABOUT SFIA: The Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), the #1 source for sport and fitness research, is the leading global trade association of manufacturers, retailers, and marketers in the sports products and fitness industry. SFIA seeks to promote sports and fitness participation as well as industry vitality through research, thought leadership, public affairs, industry affairs, and member services. For more information, please visit www.sfia.org.