We know more about our cars than we do about our bodies – the ‘quantified self’ will change that

The ‘quantified self’ wearables category is going to get bigger and bigger in the near future, believes Tom Brown, UK VP of TomTom.

Speaking at this year’s Wearable Technology Show, he told PCR: “In 2015, the global market for wearables was worth around $25 billion, by 2019, it will be worth between $75 and $90 billion. The growth is going to be very, very quick, but within that is something very important to realise.

“There are lots of different categorisation of wearables but the two biggest areas are ‘the quantified self’ and the ‘smartphone companion’.

“A smartwatch and an activity band are bought for very different reasons,” he said.

Brown explained that smartphone companion devices, such as smartwatches, are bought to increase the functionality of a smartphone, whereas the quantified self consists of smart bands and fitness tracker. “This category is the one that’s going to get bigger and bigger.”

He detailed that by 2019 the smartphone companion category will make up about 20 per cent, whereas the quantified self will make up 50 to 60 per cent. “So that’s going to be the really big meat of the market,” he said.

“We know more about the performance of our car than we do about our own body. That will change dramatically in years to come, and the quantified self is step one to a very interesting future.”

He added: “I don’t know exactly where it’s going to go, but it’s going to be interesting.”

TomTom has been making wearable devices since 2011, with Brown telling PCR that it first launched a product with Nike, and then rolled out its own watches. “From there, we’re now a significant player in the watch category.”

In the ‘quantified self’ category (the incorporation of technology into data acquisition on aspects of a person’s daily life), TomTom launched its first Golfer smart tracker at the end of 2014. “In my opinion, we launched the best looking golf watch available,” said Brown. “It very quickly went to become the second best selling golf watch in the market and it still is today.”

The watch has Bluetooth built in, it automatically updates thousands of golf courses, all of which have been included in TomTom’s new Golfer 2 device, which the firm launched at the Wearable Technology Show in March.

“We asked golfers what they wanted and what they wanted to improve.”

TomTom listened to what users wanted and included auto shot detection and post game analysis in the new model. “This is the first time in the world these functions have been built into a watch,” declared Brown.

Also on display at TomTom stand was the Bandit, and action camera that launched last year.

“Most people who have an action camera don’t end up using it much, because they can’t be bothered to edit the video afterwards. It’s about an hour’s work for a minute of good video. That’s a major problem,” said Brown.

“The bandit has built in sensors, so it knows when there’s action. If something happens, the sensors register it.

“It’s the only action camera with a built in media server. Once you’re done filming, you just go in to the Bandit app on your phone, and ‘shake to edit’. The app then takes clips from the footage featuring the most action and does a rough cut for the user.”

If the user likes what it produces, they can just add some music over the top and share the video straight from the app on to YouTube.

“You can do that in two minutes and 30 seconds. That’s what people want.”

Check out our round up of the most innovative and unusual tech we saw at Wearable Technology Show 2015 here, and check out our full Facebook gallery of the show here.

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