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While wrist-mounted fitness trackers like the FitBit Surge Fitbit Surge Review and Giveaway Fitbit Surge Review and Giveaway There is a single benchmark for the efficacy of a fitness wearable: does it help optimize your workout? The FitBit Surge claims it can do just that. Read More and Jawbone UP Fitbit Flex vs. Jawbone UP: A Comparative Review Fitbit Flex vs. Jawbone UP: A Comparative Review In today's world, nothing escapes the fact that we are moving in a direction where quantifying and recording stuff obsessively is sort of the norm. We use Foursquare to check into places, we annoyingly take... Read More have been around for a while, the smart home fitness device scene is growing quickly. You’ll soon see a lot of fitness devices that will talk to the Internet to help keep you motivated, track your progress, and help you improve your fitness habits.

Here are 6 of the coolest gadgets that fitness geeks should check out.

Bragi Dash

The Dash is quite possibly the most technologically advanced set of headphones that’s been developed. In addition to offering 4 GB of storage in a wireless set of Bluetooth-enabled earbuds, the Dash also tracks distance, steps, pace, rotation, speed, cadence, and other workout facts. It even measures your airtime. Heart rate, oxygen saturation, and body temperature are also logged. And it’s a microphone, too.

All of these sensors download information to the Bragi app or a number of third-party fitness apps The Best Health and Fitness Apps by Runtastic Put to the Test The Best Health and Fitness Apps by Runtastic Put to the Test Runtastic, the makers of one of the best fitness apps for Android, also have a lot of other apps. We take a look at all of them to see if they're worth your time. Read More . You can control the earbuds from your smartphone or by using slides and taps on the earbud itself, which packs a touch-sensitive surface. All in all, a very impressive smart fitness device.

Pre-order the Bragi dash ($300, estimated ship date of September 2015)

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SmartMat

While technology hasn’t been a major part of yoga in the past, this new home fitness device could change that. The SmartMat is a yoga mat that monitors your yoga practice and gives you feedback to better inform you on how to improve your poses and balance 10 Yoga Apps That Help You Workout Anywhere 10 Yoga Apps That Help You Workout Anywhere The world has taken to the benefits of yoga. With a smart yoga app, you can practice your favorite yoga poses anywhere. Here's some help finding a yoga app that suits your needs. Read More . After a calibration session, the mat learns to recognize poses and determine whether you’re performing them correctly or if you need a few adjustments.

By connecting your phone or tablet into the integrated stand, you can view a heatmap that will show you if you’re properly balanced—you can also receive audio feedback from the mat if you’re practicing in your home. It works with poses that are very similar (like Mountain Pose and Chair Pose), and will work with accessories like blocks, too.

Pre-order the SmartMat ($297, estimated ship date of late 2015)

HAPIfork

While most smart fitness devices are focused on helping you burn more calories, there’s another important side to the equation: watching what you eat. You don’t feel full until about 20 minutes after you’ve eaten enough, and this lag can cause overeating. The HAPIfork communicates through vibrations to tell you when you’re eating too fast, which likely indicates that you’re eating more than you should.

Of course, no smart fitness device is complete without extensive tracking, and the HAPIfork app will give you stats on your eating; how many fork servings you have per minute, whether you’ve been eating too quickly, and data from other HAPI devices.

Buy the HAPIfork ($80)

Sensoria Smart Clothing

With smart socks, a smart sports bra, and a smart tank top, Sensoria is leading the way in smart clothing. The socks monitor your running stride, evaluating your cadence and foot strike, while the sports bra and tank top include built-in heart rate monitors so you don’t have to wear a strap. Information from all three can be transmitted to the Sensoria app, which tracks your activities and can provide coaching.

While the inclusion of a heart rate monitor in a sports bra or tank top might not sound all that exciting, the ability to analyze your running form could be very beneficial to many runners, from beginners to competitors, in helping them improve efficiency and avoid injury.

Buy Sensoria smart clothing ($140–$200)

Withings Smart Body Analyzer

A scale is a simple mechanical home fitness device, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be smarter! Wi-Fi enabled scales have been around for a while, but they’re continually updated with new technology to help you better monitor and facilitate your weight loss The 8 Best Fitness Gadgets to Help You Get in Shape The 8 Best Fitness Gadgets to Help You Get in Shape With the increasing onset of wearable tech, the Internet of things and smart gadgets, it is now easier than ever to get in shape. Read More . The Withings scale keeps track of your weight, body composition, and body mass index. It also automatically recognizes different users, and won’t confuse your progress with someone else’s.

In addition to tracking your weight through the Withings Health Mate app, it can also interface with other apps, like Runkeeper, LoseIt!, and MyFitnessPal, so you can get more accurate calorie-burning information from your activity monitors. It’ll even monitor your indoor air quality and give you the day’s forecast.

Buy the Withings Wi-Fi Body Scale ($150)

Moov Now

More than just a fitness tracker, the Moov Now is a coach that will help you improve your form in a number of different activities. The device measures movement while you’re running, swimming, cardio boxing, or cycling, and will even coach you through an intense 7-minute workout Use Free 7 Minute Workout Videos To Get Into Shape [Stuff to Watch] Use Free 7 Minute Workout Videos To Get Into Shape [Stuff to Watch] There are lots of YouTube videos that can show you exactly how your workouts should be going, and they won't cost you a penny. Read More at home, letting you get a great workout from the comfort (and convenience) of your living room.

With 12 guided workouts, a rep counter, form monitoring and coaching, heart rate monitor support, and a 6-month battery life, the Moov will keep you motivated and on form, whether your goal is weight loss, improved fitness, or just being more active. Combining two Moov sensors gives more accuracy while swimming or cardio boxing.

Buy the Moov ($60 for one, $100 for two)

Fitness, Smarter

From workout coaching to meal coaching, these smart devices will help you make the most of your weight loss and fitness efforts from your own home. While a personal trainer or a nutrition coach will be able to give you more detailed information and plans, not everyone can afford the one-on-one coaching provided by these professionals.

Fortunately, technology is helping many people take their fitness into their own hands (and wrists and ankles). Have you used any of these devices? Which are you looking forward to most? What other smart home fitness devices are you excited about? Share your thoughts below!

  1. fcd76218
    August 10, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    "Also, I’d point out that while Zatopek had terrible running form by traditional standards, he was an Olympic-level athlete."
    That is precisely my point.

    "There’s a big difference in needs between world-class athletes and the general populace."
    Yes, a great amount of ability and thousands of hours of practice. :-)

    No world-class athlete springs unknown on the world scene. They all start out in the general populace.

  2. fcd76218
    August 3, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    While devices and apps that "correct" your form while performing some exercise sound great, they can do more harm than good. There is no such thing as an "ideal form." Form is dependent on the way an individuals body is structured. What may be good form for one person, may be injurious to another. It takes a human coach to evaluate all the variables and make changes to an athletes form.

    A simple example - Take two 6 foot tall runners, same weight and same body type. One has a long torso and short legs, the other has short torso and long legs. The runner with short legs will run with a shorter stride than his long-legged buddy. Changing either one's stride length to fit some hypothetical ideal will result in loss of efficiency and increase in chances of injury. If you add other factors such as the shape of the foot arch, bowlegs or knock-knees, the ratio of fast-twitch to slow-twitch muscles, tightness or looseness of the joints, etc. each and everyone of has a different "ideal" stride and gate. The same can be applied to all other sports.

    AI would have to make a big advance before the software could accurately critique an athletes form.

    One of the greatest long distance runners ever, Emil Zatopek, would have driven all these modern coaching apps crazy. When he ran, he flailed his arms and his legs, and his head rolled from side to side. He always looked as if he were about to collapse from exhaustion and his face contorted as if in excruciating pain. In spite of all that, in the 1952 Summer Olympics he won gold in the 5,000 meters, 10,000 meters and in the marathon. He is the only runner to accomplish this feat.

    • Dann Albright
      August 10, 2015 at 1:09 pm

      I agree that form is a very difficult thing to analyze, and that there's no ideal form that works for everyone. However, I would say that providing general advice is not only possible, but beneficial. While the generally accepted "ideal form" isn't going to be perfect for everyone, it will help correct a lot of small mistakes that a lot of people are making.

      When it comes down to it, it's likely that people won't be making a decision between using a personal device and hiring a personal trainer; they'll either be using the device or not exercising. And when people start exercising, there are a lot of common mistakes that are made by a large proportion of the population. And using an app or a device to correct those mistakes will be beneficial.

      Obviously there's no replacement for a personal strength coach . . . but a lot of people just aren't willing to pay for that. While a lot of these devices aren't cheap, they're certainly cheaper than a long-term personal training arrangement, and that's going to draw a lot of people to them. So it's better to offer general advice that will work for many people instead of none at all.

    • Dann Albright
      August 10, 2015 at 1:11 pm

      Also, I'd point out that while Zatopek had terrible running form by traditional standards, he was an Olympic-level athlete. You wouldn't encourage a new runner to use that running form, especially if it's someone training for their first 5k. If someone has that much natural talent and shows as much promise as you'd need to to be a multiple gold medalist, you're not going to be using a coaching app—you're going to have a professional coach who will tell you to run in whichever way works best for you.

      Possibly a minor point, but I think it's an important one. There's a big difference in needs between world-class athletes and the general populace.

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