Wearable Tech Forum Washup

wearables-in-sportJust backfrom a busy few days in Melbourne at the Wearable Tech in Sport Summit and Data Analytics at the Hyatt. It seems we brought the heat with us as the barometer topped 38deg there, though mercifully there was much lower humidity.
The day opened with a tour deforce of Scandanivian company Polar, who pretty much defined the wearable market very early on, the talk was given by their product and now marketing director who shared their philosophy of quality over profit.  Later in a panel session they shared how exciting it was for the overall market to have grown , which even through it means  more competitors brings greater profile and opportunity.
The day proceeded with talks from industry, academia and sporting organisations with at times lively debate. In particular the thrust from business was build it and get it to market, there is no point working on refining your technology  forever, you might miss your opportunity. At the same time many, particularly academics were concerned about the lack of validity of data, with the vast differences in accelerometer based fitness trackers outputs and the recent class action against Fitbit being cited in numerous presentations.
In many ways this is the sign of a maturing market, as customers become increasingly discerning about quality. Thus the needs and goals of the research, professional sporting and product manufacturers taking one step closer together.
On a personal note it was great to run into so many people we have had a chance to meet and sometimes work with over the news wether in the research community, sports community and pleasing to see more than a few SME’s doing so well as well as new people attracted to the space.
Later on it was my turn to have a rant and opportunity to share and reflect on what we at SABEL have been doing over the last 15 or so years. Our main messages were to strive for simplicity of interpretation from data, to harness trends in technology to make best use of resources and the maturing market to enhance our effectiveness as well as the benefits of ’startup thinking’  when embarking on a new project such as the product-market fit, building core teams and working within an eco-system rather than on our own.
It seems we finally have a tribe in Australia!

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