After the recent release of the Apple Watch and continued release of Android Watches, wearable technology (wearables) seems to be all the buzz these days. With the involvement of these major players and their cult-like following, it’s clear that wearable technologies are not going away anytime soon. If you haven’t already, it may be time to start thinking about how to make your facility more wearable-friendly.
Wearables are electronic devices that are physically worn, either incorporated into a piece of clothing or as an accessory. Their capabilities make it easier to monitor certain aspects of your life, such as calories burned, distance ran, emails, and even messages. In essence, wearables aim to make life much more convenient.
The wearable tech market is filled with a variety of products, with the two popular ones being fitness trackers and smartwatches. But what’s the difference between the two? A fitness tracker monitors physical activity without the need to manually input data, while smartwatches act as an extension of your smartphone. Despite their differences, fitness trackers are slowly being developed to display time, incoming calls, emails, and notifications—much like a smartwatch.
So why should this matter to your business? According to Business Insider, it is expected that in 2019 there will be more than 145 million wearables shipped worldwide, as compared to this year’s 30 million. With Google and Apple in the mix, it’s believed that many mobile users will gravitate toward the Apple Watch and devices that operate Android Wear. A common thread among those adopting smartwatches into their lives is that a majority will be using them for fitness purposes. Keeping that in mind, how can you incorporate wearables into your facility?
Opening your facility up to wearables can be done by making a convenient device even more convenient to use. For example, a recent Android Wear update allows users to escape the tethered range of Bluetooth and operate their smartwatches without their phones being near—as long as both devices are connected to Wi-Fi. Apple Watch is expected to incorporate this feature in the near future. Consequently, it’s a great idea to offer your clients free Wi-Fi so they may take advantage of such a feature.
In addition to free Wi-Fi, send your members who have wearables with displays their ID card via email. Having their ID card (compatible with your club management software) in their inbox encourages them to use their device to check-in, and it’s also one less thing for them to carry. Technology is always changing, as are consumer preferences, which is what makes it so hard to predict the next big thing.
One thing that is clear is all signs point towards the continued integration of wearables into daily life—which makes this the perfect time to make sure your facility is accommodating these devices and their owners.