In the 1960s, Japanese researcher Dr. Yoshiro Hatano marketed pedometers with the concept of Manpo-Kei -- or 10,000 steps -- as a way to promote general fitness. More than 40 years later, the same general idea was popularized and made digital with the 2009 launch of the first Fitbit, which tracked steps as well as calories burned and distance walked.
We’ve come a long way in the decade since, as sensors on smartwatches and other wearables can now give us even more insight into our general health and wellness. In addition to just measuring movement, the latest smartwatches can also track a user’s sleep, heart rate, and blood oxygen levels, among other things.
At the same time that consumers have gotten used to having more health insights on their wrists, they’ve also brought more of their workout routines into their homes. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic forced many to abandon gym memberships and find new ways of staying active and healthy, a growing number of streaming workout programs and connected fitness devices had emerged to make working out more convenient and accessible.
At Samsung Next, we believe in the power of technology and the smart combination of hardware and software to make help people make meaningful changes in their overall health and wellness.
For many years, Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones and smartwatches have given people the tools to actively track, monitor, and improve their overall fitness. At CES this month, the company also introduced Samsung Health Smart Trainer on its 2021 TVs, enabling users to seamlessly transform their home into a personal gym with features that track and analyze posture in real-time, just like a personal trainer.
Samsung Next is actively seeking startups to partner with and bring new, innovative software and services to these platforms. Our Ventures team has invested in a number of companies that have the potential to improve people’s overall health and wellness. And the Samsung Next Product team is actively working on finding new ways to help consumers eat healthier and reach their fitness goals.
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How tech can help you get fit
In this issue of Component, we explore the convergence of all the above trends, and how they will shape our idea of smart fitness in the future.
We delve deep into the smart fitness device market, and how emerging companies like Peloton, Tonal, Mirror, and Hydrow let consumers replicate the gym and fitness studio experience at home. We share how personal trainers and fitness professionals are connecting with clients and audiences in this new, post-gym world.
We explore how AI and machine learning help fitness companies and trainers to create fitness programs that are customized for individual users optimized for their particular strengths, weaknesses, and health goals. We look into how new technology is making it possible for prosumer fitness enthusiasts to train like professional and Olympic athletes.
Finally, we examine all the data, insights, and notifications that connected fitness apps and wearables are sending our way, and ask if they are actually effective in helping people change their behavior and reach their wellness goals.
A note about the artist
The art for this edition of Component was created by Mimi O Chun, an artist who seeks to create mirrors in which we are most accurately able to glimpse ourselves and the world in which we live. Her work recasts and re-contextualizes existing vernacular to reveal beauty — at times irony — and ultimately truth about the cultural mores we collectively adopt, perpetuate, and create. She is both media-agnostic and media-devoted, equally enamored with the possibilities enabled through digital and analog means.
Her work has been published in Fast Company, Bon Appétit, Gather Journal, and Makeshift magazine, among others. Her first institutional exhibition will be held at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art in 2021.