INSIGHT – shinyshiny talks to Adidas about designing the Fit Smart, making data more meaningful and wearables for women

Today Adidas launched its brand new Fit Smart wearable, a fitness tracking device specially designed for those who take working out seriously and want real-time monitoring and all kinds of stats about their heart rate, the distance they’ve covered, the length of their stride, the calories they’ve burned, and much much more.

Here at shinyshiny we were given the awesome opportunity to speak to Simon Drabble, Adidas’ Director of Product Creation, about the new device, the thinking behind its design and the exciting future of wearables.


So what makes the Fit Smart stand out? Expertise coaching, accurate monitoring and a sports focus

We got right down to business and asked how, in an increasingly crowded marketplace, the Fit Smart will compete with other fitness trackers and more basic activity monitors.

Simon’s answer: ‘expert coaching’.

The Fit Smart isn’t designed to feed you mundane information about the steps you’ve taken as you walk to work. Sure it collects really accurate data with its best-in-class, built-in sensors, but he explains that it’s all about ‘being successful from a sports perspective’, by serving up information and then using that data to coach you to be better at what you do.

To do this, the Fit Smart will prompt its users to take control of their exercise routines and set ‘weekly goals’, which the built-in heart rate monitor can track to ensure you’re hitting the right intensity levels and on track.

This is music to my ears. Over the past few months I’ve come across so many devices that are built solely to provide us with information about what we get up to each day. But how useful is that information if it’s vague and doesn’t prompt us to do anything else afterwards? Well, the answer is probably not very useful at all. And, I think we’re all starting to notice that after the excitement of the first wave of wearables is starting to wear off. Many of us are still as clueless as ever when it comes to how we can integrate connected health gadgets into our lives seamlessly every single day and actually use them to bring about positive and long-lasting changes.


What was the thinking behind the design? Built for sports, makes working out as easy as possible with a female focus

Simon explained to us that unlike some wearables designed to be strapped to you 24/7, the Smart Fit is only for monitoring your workouts. So that means there’s a whole set of different considerations. Sure it won’t have to be as stylish and subtle as something that’ll need to go well with all of your outfits all of the time, but it will need to match your workout gear, feel secure, be fairly compact and sweat-resistant.

He went on to say that as many of the Smart Fit’s users are likely to run or take part in other cardio activities, visible metrics were of a really high importance, as was a soft and easy fit and a design that worked well on the wrist.

A huge concern for me is that many wearables aren’t built for female arms. Yep, it sounds silly, but it’s true. And you know what? Simon agreed. When it comes to wearables he said ‘there’s nothing that’s got the female market right just yet’, but knows that the late 20s and early 30s female is most likely to be interested in a product like the Smart Fit. So, although it may not be perfect, he believes the Smart Fit, with its fairly slim band, different size options and black and white shades is well on its way to being one of the best fitness trackers out there for women. Well, for now at least.

Although we’re not convinced the Adidas Smart Fit will tick all of the boxes when it comes to a fitness-focused wearable, it’s great to hear that Simon and the team have addressed many of the issues we have with connected health products: they’re turning data into something meaningful, they realise one product might not fit all situations or suit you 24/7 and they value the importance of the female market – even if they haven’t properly nailed how its needs and desires can be translated into a wearable device just yet.

Let us know what you think of the Adidas Smart Fit in the comments below or click here to read about the launch.

Becca Caddy

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