Many things have grown easier in life since the introduction of smartwatches to the public. Everything we need, from making a phone call to tracking one's health and fitness to listening to music, is now just one tap away. The most intriguing aspect is that whether you are a minimalist or like OTT, you have options ranging from simple to extravagant pieces. Vikas Jain, Co-Founder of World of Play, has more to say about smartwatches.
What features in a smartwatch can help reduce anxiety?
VJ: Modern smartwatches function as holistic devices stirring the fashion quotient and also help to reduce anxiety and stress. Smartwatches can detect anxiety and offer users a reliable solution to get their breath back in rhythm. They are also integrated with technology that gives personalised breathing sessions and guidance to users to help them calm down gradually and effectively.
In addition, smartwatches are equipped with sensors that can assess stress levels and physical changes, monitor sleeping patterns and signals like fluctuations in a heartbeat, pulse rate, among others. All this data helps users understand their emotional and mental state comprehensively. Modern-age smartwatches are embedded with AI, ML and AioT technologies, making them ideal for information about relevant meditation techniques to accompany users in battling mental health problems like anxiety and stress.
What is the future of wearable technology in healthcare?
VJ: The current evolution of the smartwatch in the popular avatar is albeit a guiding factor that makes it possible to track and monitor the general fitness levels of a human body. Further technological advancements promise to make it possible to predict major health events in the human body.
Wearables have become quite common among consumers, especially since the pandemic. Consumers prefer to monitor their fitness through smartwatches as the form factor offers various features like oxygen, heart rate, sleep cycle, and even stress level monitoring.
Patients suffering from chronic illnesses such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, neurological disorders, and diabetes require real-time monitoring. In this context, smartwatches, fitness bands, and other wearables are a perfect and hassle-free solution, providing able guidance to monitor the vitals for the same.
Smartwatches equip users with real-time data about their physical and mental health, enabling them to make informed decisions about their health and fitness-related anxiety. They can further consult their healthcare specialist if the smartwatch data is not in the desired range. The best part is that smartwatches can stay with users every day, every time, everywhere. People with chronic and lifestyle diseases can use this technology to ensure their health does not deteriorate while also enjoying its various benefits.
What is the future of connected lifestyle technology?
VJ: Smart wearables among the youth today is a sign of the tremendous growth potential of connected lifestyle technology. Other factors driving this trend include fitness-conscious generation and the progression of science to the point that clear fitness indicators can be obtained by analysing measurable health parameters. Therefore, the brands which back their products with research and innovation are the ones that would survive and grow in a highly demanding market.
Most brands today invest extensively in R&D and set up innovation labs. The goal is to create futuristic products that resonate with the pulse of the consumers; that not just fulfill current demands but also cater to future consumer requirements. Instead of being frivolous shopping, smartwatches have evolved to be a necessity worth the purchase.
With the advent of technology, the focus has shifted toward products that integrate new-age tech such as conversational AI. For example, voice assistance in smartwatches is becoming increasingly popular. In addition, wearables like smart fitness trackers, neckbands, and TWS have already captured a fair share of the market and are becoming an integral part of the connected ecosystem, as updates and health insights are available on the go.
Should you choose a fitness band over a smartwatch?
VJ: The advent of the new age technology in the wearable space has shrunk the addressable consumer for the fitness band. With the massified adulation seen by smartwatches as a form factor, the economies of scale have shifted in favor of smartwatches tremendously. The price arbitrage available between a commercial fitness band and a smartwatch has become so nimble that the fitness-band is giving into the smartwatch as a category.
Consumers definitely want to see their communication and notifications on the bigger display of the smartwatch and with higher battery backup to carry on with the multiple notifications from their host mobile phone, the consumer just ends up picking a smartwatch.
The truth about fitness trackers?
VJ: Many studies present a lopsided view regarding fitness trackers. Some say fitness trackers lead to no significant changes in an individual's health, while others claim that people who weren't using these gadgets were able to lose more weight. However, it is pertinent to note here that these studies were conducted when fitness trackers or wearable technology were at their nascent stage. Meaning these devices were no better than revamped pedometers.
In contrast, ultramodern fitness trackers are equipped with technology that constantly send reminders to the user if they have been on a long sedentary period. Additionally, most of the new age trackers are integrated with the latest technology and can monitor the user's sleep patterns, stress levels, heart rate, and even SpO2 levels (Blood Oxygen Level).
Having all this data literally on their wrists motivates users to make informed and conscious fitness-related decisions, thereby resulting in a clear path towards their personalized fitness goals. The fitness tracker is something that attracts the consumer to buy a smart product. It has also become a major need for people working out in a gym for real-time tracking.
For PLAY, we happily acquire more than 100,000 consumers through our smartwatch portfolio with an additional 30 per cent being repeat purchasers who opt in for an upgrade within the brand portfolio. In the current phase, with distribution expansion further, consumers in rural areas as well are equipping themselves with PLAY smart wearables.
How can Indian design get ahead of international designs?
VJ: India has been a strong player in product design all the way from automotive to mobile accessories. We are excellent at product engineering and with the advent of modern technologies being readily available, we are only getting more competitive. Varied tastes from different regions of a highly populated country give us insights that international companies simply do not have access to. This has led to international companies to play catch-up with us.
Indian design is also inclined towards being more functional since it has to satisfy consumers from all walks of life, especially in a product segment like ours. The design should be both functional and aspirational. We have also noticed that besides the technology, the aesthetics of the product are a big reason for consumer attachment.
Play has launched PLAYFIT STRENGTH and SLIM for millennials and Gen Z to reduce anxiety and help them in tracking their body, sports modes, heart rate & fitness tracker, sleep and SPO2 monitor, BlueTooth notification controller coupled with ingenious application, fulfilling the promises of a 21st-century device. With these launches, the brand aims to delight their consumers in the festive season.
Photo courtesy of IANS.