Tracking Progress — Wearables in Review

Justin Spohn

Writing & Research by

At Uncorked, we like to say that our work resides at the intersection of technology, design, and people. It’s the last part of that triad that motivates our research — understanding the human impact of the work we do.

It’s interesting, then, that the current generation of health and wellness tracking wearables also inhabit this same space in a way few other products do. Although the current form factors of these devices have been around for a few years, 2014 is already proving to be a big year for this space with current brands like Fitbit, Jawbone, Withings, and Misfit being joined by Sony, Samsung, and, if rumors hold true, Apple.

While it can be fun to read about these new devices, and though some people at Uncorked already had wearables of their own, we decided that it was time for a more formal review of the devices that currently make up this space. From October to November of 2013, we ran an internal research project designed to help us understand the current landscape of wearable health/ activity tracking devices.

Rather than recruit participants from outside Uncorked, our test group was made up entirely of our coworkers. Besides being a fun way to approach the research, this served an additional and important role: giving the Uncorked team a chance to get firsthand experience being on the other side of a research project. While this has some ramifications in terms of getting a good sense of how the public at large views wearables, its benefit in establishing direct empathy for the people we’re designing for, more than made up for it.

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