#Trending: Fitness made fun

Who says you need to live in the gym to burn off the calories?
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Pokémon Go. Unless you've been living under a Geodude the past week, it's been pretty hard escaping talk of people playing the augmented reality game phenomenon that's getting more searches on Google than porn, Snapchat and Facebook.

The quest to catch all the pocket monsters has also had a positive impact on getting people active. Jawbone saw a spike in steps thanks to the launch of the game and it's being praised by health experts for getting people to exercise without realising it.

Now we're not convinced Nintendo's prime reason for making Go was to help people stay in shape, but it's happened and shows that you can actually make exercise fun.

Gamifying fitness is not new to the wearable game. You can look as far back to the Nike Fuelband or to fitness apps like Fitocracy where the phrase 'gamifying' got mentioned on a more regular basis. Few have had success taking the monotony out of sitting on a exercise bike every few days.

Here's two wearables that are making fitness fun and one that is still trying to work out how it's done.

WEAR - Pokémon Go Plus

#Trending: Fitness made fun

Good luck trying to get hold of one, this $34.99 wearable is an accessory for the Pokémon Go game and is currently sold out. The Go Plus, which can be worn on the wrist or clipped to your clothes, will help you find your nearest Pokémon flashing an LED light and giving a vibrating buzz when you're close by.

You can push the Go Plus button to search for items at a PokéStop and swipe to add items to your inventory. It'll even throw a virtual Pokéball to catch monsters without reaching into your pocket for your phone.

If you don't mind splashing out, you can pick the Android and iOS compatible Go Plus for well above the $200 mark on a certain online auction website.

NEARLY THERE - Moff Band Pac-Man

#Trending: Fitness made fun

Meet the motion sensing wearable that makes it easier for kids to play an arcade classic and stay active in the process. Bandai Namco Entertainment announced the partnership with the creators of the brightly coloured Bluetooth slap-on band back in January. It enables users to turn the Moff Band into a controller so you can swing your arms to move Pac-Man around in the game when paired with a phone or tablet.

Read this: The best connected toys and fun wearables for kids

New apps and sounds are added to the iOS and Android friendly wearable weekly, but the Pac-Man support is still notably M.I.A, missing its Spring 2016 launch. Here's hoping we're not waiting too much longer to play it.

SQUARE - Razer Nabu

#Trending: Fitness made fun

A gaming hardware company making a wearable that gamifies fitness. What could go wrong? When the first Nabu band was announced back in 2014, Razer said major games studios were lining up to work with the device that has since been succeeded by the Razer Nabu X and the Razer Nabu Watch.

There were some examples of this integration early on, like support for Major Tecent Games' Timi Run Everday where step counts unlocked in-game rewards. It also promised Nabu band owners could take part in big multiplayer games. The problem? How many people do you see walking around with a Razer wearable? We're still waiting for the masses of social games we were promised would land in the Nabu app store.

We applaud Razer for trying, but ultimately like many of its whacky ideas that never came to fruition, it probably should've stayed out of the wearables game.

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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