The wearable technology market is one of the biggest subsets of the tech world, bringing in billions of dollars each year for many companies. This is because technology is so firmly embedded into our lives that many of us feel compelled to always be connected, even if it means wearing technology all of the time.
This is particularly true when it comes to monitoring our health and the use of wearable health-focused technology, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. All these wearable tech products are not created equal, however, and Business Insider ranked the best smart wearable products for 2021, with a top entry that might surprise you.
What Makes Good Wearable Technology?
For consumers, good wearable technology goes beyond just being able to track the necessary metrics like heart rates and steps taken but involves being able to fit into the user’s lifestyle with ease. First, the wearable product needs to be wearable in a variety of situations. This means being worn both when dry and when wet and in a variety of weather conditions and while sleeping. Having to take off your wearable technology multiple times throughout the day can prove to be inconvenient and almost defeats the purpose in the first place.
When the data is recorded by the device, consumers now expect some sort of detailed report along with suggestions. In a world where Netflix recommends content based on your habits and our social media feeds are curated by AI, consumers don’t just want the raw data but practical and actionable suggestions based on said data. Long story short, don’t just tell consumers how many steps they are taking but what their pattern of behavior means and what should be done about it.
Finally, the wearable devices need to be actually wearable. A lot of these devices, particularly the watches, have a reputation of being very obvious and chunky and while this might be appropriate for when the consumer is working out, it might be awkward-looking when paired with everyday clothes or at an event. A part of serving the consumer often means working in the background and this seems to be more of the case with wearable technology.
Why the Bellabeat Urban Leaf Came Out on Top
Out of several offerings from brands like Fossil and Withings, the top wearable product for the year 2021 was the Bellabeat Urban Leaf, and for good reason. The app is functional in a variety of weather situations and is also waterproof. With the data it collects, the Urban Leaf predicts the user’s potential response to stressful situations and gives detailed reports on its accompanying app.
Bellabeat is a women-focused tech company that specializes in ethically using user data to provide wellness resources for women in a bid to close the wellness gap. With the Urban Leaf, everything from steps to users’ sleep cycles is tracked and analyzed.
In terms of wearability, the Urban Leaf is designed in such a way that it can be mistaken for a regular pierce or jewelry or a watch thanks to its stone-like exterior and the metal clip that comes in silver or rose gold. The main part of the device has hoops that allow it to be worn as either a necklace or a watch, with an accompanying bracelet and necklace.
The app also offers meditation exercises as well as resources for people tracking their cycles in the hopes of getting pregnant. Needless to say, the Urban Leaf has something for everyone. Its affordable price of less than $100 puts it a step above the competition and has made it a must-have for wearable tech lovers.
As the review said, “The Leaf aims to improve your well-being so you can live a more mindful, healthy life, and it does exactly that — with style.” However, the company is already working on a follow-up device, dubbed Ivy. This beautiful bracelet has reportedly sold more than 50,000 pre orders to date and is expected to come with enhanced capabilities and a variety of new incredible features.