#Trending: Meaningful fitness data

The flood of tracker data is starting to feel personal and insightful
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Fitness trackers and some of the sportier smartwatches we've seen so far are great at telling us how far we've walked or how much sleep we clock up each night. What they're not so good at is explaining how that data can help you make healthier changes to your life.

The majority of wearables are guilty of this. Flooding us with data and then saying, "Here you go, you try and work out what it all means."

Thankfully, things are changing. The quantification and analysis of data is happening, whether that's in real-time like Moov does or over time like Jawbone.

We want more meaningful data and here's the wearable-making companies that are delivering on that front and one that needs to make a much better effort.

WEAR - Jawbone

#Trending: Meaningful fitness data

We've already mentioned Jawbone and that's because it's arguably leading the way for helping you interpret your data. Jawbone has a team of data scientists analysing things like step counts, sleep patterns and exercise frequency to detect trends in the data of Jawbone users.

It also has a pretty impressive Smart Coach feature that can look at your data and make suggestions on whether you should go to bed an hour earlier or motivate you to hit more steps than your previous week.

There's also nutritional and fitness-related trivia Jawbone serves up each day that can enforce the kind of small changes that could lead to a healthier you.


#Trending: Meaningful fitness data

Garmin arrived late to the tracking party, but it's making up good ground with its fitness trackers like the Vivosmart HR and bringing these features to its legion of smarter running watches like the Forerunner 630.

Now it's turning its attention to data with the new Garmin Connect Insights platform. Much like Jawbone, you'll get tips from experts and see how your data compares to other Garmin users for that extra motivational push. Recommendations are made based on your data including in-depth sleep analysis.

We've only started to get to grips with what it's made of testing out the Forerunner 235 running watch, but there's signs that it could give Jawbone a run for its money.

SQUARE - Fitbit

#Trending: Meaningful fitness data

Fitbit CEO James Park revealed in an interview late last year that a greater effort would be made to make data more actionable through coaching, insights or guidance.

Since then, we've seen the Fitbit Blaze smart fitness watch announced, but there was no sign of that more actionable data. It's the weakest aspect of the Fitbit ecosystem and it's been like that for a long time.

Granted, we're still only a few weeks into 2016 and there's still time for Park and his team to deliver on his promise, just don't keep us waiting too long for it James...

How we test

Michael Sawh


Michael Sawh has been covering the wearable tech industry since the very first Fitbit landed back in 2011. Previously the resident wearable tech expert at Trusted Reviews, he also marshaled the features section of T3.com.

He also regularly contributed to T3 magazine when they needed someone to talk about fitness trackers, running watches, headphones, tablets, and phones.

Michael writes for GQ, Wired, Coach Mag, Metro, MSN, BBC Focus, Stuff, TechRadar and has made several appearances on the BBC Travel Show to talk all things tech. 

Michael is a lover of all things sports and fitness-tech related, clocking up over 15 marathons and has put in serious hours in the pool all in the name of testing every fitness wearable going. Expect to see him with a minimum of two wearables at any given time.

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