FITNESS technology continues to race ahead, with new gadgets now launching to track your tennis shots, your deep sleep, and even cut your golfing handicap. Get fit or die trying.
Sony Smart Tennis Sensor
Sony / 4/5 / $249 / sony.com.au
This wonderful and slightly wacky gadget won’t make you into a Wimbledon champ but will bring a new level of analytics to your game. Sony has worked with tennis brands to ensure the sensor ring will screw on to the bottom of most racquets. After finishing a game, you open the app and can inspect amazingly detailed data on each shot, from where you hit the ball on your racquet head to the ball speed and spin from each stroke. You can also record video footage that syncs with shot data. It’s the sort of data that will blow the mind of tennis tragics.
Jawbone / 3.5/5 / $149 / jawbone.com
The newest fitness tracker on the market is arguably the most stylish. The Jawbone Up24 has transformed into the Up2, with a lower price and a Yves Behar redesign that makes the band 45 per cent smaller, pleasingly discreet, and gives it a subtle diamond pattern. A new clasp also makes it easy to wear. The Up2 performs the same tasks as the older model, including step, workout and sleep tracking, and waking you with vibrating alarms. It won’t count your heart rate like the $230 Up3, or judge your incline like some rivals, but it is splash-resistant and easy to wear around the clock.
Plantronics BackBeat Fit
Plantronics / 4.5/5 / $159 / plantronics.com/au
The BackBeat Fit headphones, with around-the-ear clips and a simple band that sits behind the head, have long been one of the best wireless headphones for high-impact activities. Now they are even better. With a tweak to the design that includes a red hue, the new BackBeat Fits go from sweat-resistant to water and dust-resistant. They are even certified to survive up to 30 minutes in 1m of water so they’ll survive torrential rain or a wash under the tap. They have reflective patches to make you more visible in low light and come with a handy reversible case that doubles as an armband to carry your phone.
GolfBuddy / 3/5 / $299.95 / gpsgolfbuddy.com.au
Knowing the distance between yourself and the green is a huge benefit in golf and this unique device delivers that information to the wrist. The GolfBuddy BB5 is the first device of its kind to use GPS to place you on one of its 37,000 preloaded golf courses so it can estimate the distance from you to the front, centre of back of the green, accounting for your approach. The BB5 can also count steps, show the time, and it’s water resistant. Its body is 1.5cm thick, however, making it chunky for everyday wear, and its bright LED display can be tricky to see up close.
Wahoo TICKR X
Wahoo / 3.5/5 / $134.95 / store.apple.com/au
Running with a smartphone attached is not always ideal, particularly if you use a large phone. The Wahoo TICKR X chest strap solves the problem by working as a stand-alone device that can not only track your pulse but your cadence, exercise duration, and calorie burn in its memory. If you do exercise with a phone, it can use its GPS to display your route on its app. The TICKR X can track jogging outside or on a treadmill, cycling outside, on a stationary bike or in a spin class, and Bluetooth and ANT+ connections mean it can connect to phones or running watches, or even an Apple Watch.