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The Best Wearable Technology for Seniors

Review

Wearable technology for seniors is an increasingly popular purchase for aging adults. Wearable and fitness technologies are the new craze. Everybody is talking about wrist wearables, clothing wearables, and fitness wearables. These smart gadgets track our activity, sleep, and even mood. There are socks that can tell you how to correct your running form and shoes that will guide your workout.

 

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), wrist wearables captured 93.2% of the entire wearable market in 2016. But several years later, clothing wearables are gaining more traction with the consumer market. This is especially true when it comes to wearable technology for seniors.

 

If you’re a senior, or have a senior friend, you might be interested in trying this new technology. But with so many options, it can be tough to choose. What’s more, many of these wearables aren’t marketed specifically to seniors, so it can be tough knowing what will and won’t work for your lifestyle.

 

We at Alert1 had the chance to review some of the most popular wearable technology on the market. This guide to wearable technology for seniors will include a Lumo Run review, BellaBeat Leaf review, Sensoria Fitness socks review, Ringly smart bracelet review, and Under Armour Record-Equipped shoes review.

Lumo BodyTech Run Review

Lumo 1

What is Lumo Run?

Lumo Run is a body sensor clip that aligns with the spine and acts as a personal running coach. The Lumo Run connects to your smart phone to bring you real-time audio coaching while you’re active. After your run, Lumo Run provides recommendations and exercises that will help improve your form.  

If you want to run without your phone, Lumo Run will save the data for you to view later. The Lumo Run is $99.00, and the collaborating app is a free download.

How Does Lumo Run Work?

The Lumo Run sensor clips to the waistband on the back of your running shorts. It evaluates your running form by measuring:

  • Cadence (steps per minute)
  • Bounce (vertical oscillation)
  • Braking (awkward changes in velocity)
  • Pelvic rotation (side to side rotation of pelvis)
  • Pelvic drop (side to side vertical movement of pelvis)

The Lumo Run sensor then synchronizes with the Lumo Run app to provide a real-time audio coach while running.

A Review of My Experience with Lumo Run

The audio coach was great at describing how to correct my running stride. For cadence, it suggested imagining running through puddles without getting wet. For pelvic rotation, the coach suggested visualizing pushing off on a skateboard and rolling my shoulders down.Lumo 2

I also set the app to play audio to correct my pace and give posture reminders. The audio tells how far you have run in total, and how much father you have to go to achieve your goals.

Overall, the audio feedback was well done and nicely timed. The Lumo Run connected to the app on my phone through Bluetooth and was easy to navigate. The Lumo Run app has an activity log that displays the stats for each run like pace, miles ran, and the date the run was completed. When you click on a past run, it goes into details of your cadence, bounce, braking, pelvic rotation, and pelvic drop during that run.  

In addition, a visual ‘Coach’ recommendation tab reports on trends in your running and personal best records. This tab also gives personalized exercise recommendations to improve your best time.

These recommendations are especially useful. With them, I didn’t need to search the internet for exercises that match my needs. With the app, everything was in one place where I could easily see what to do next.

I didn’t even notice the sensor while I was running. It is small, comfortable and discreet. Just don’t try to lay down to do crunches at the end of your run—ouch!

The battery in the sensor lasted 5 days. I was pleased with how easy the app was to use and navigate. Lumo Run advertises the sensor as both waterproof and machine washable. After running in the rain, I can attest that it really is waterproof.

Pros:

  • Small and lightweight
  • Corrects running form with real-time audio coaching and gives specific goals
  • App is easy to use and navigate
  • Waterproof 

Cons:

  • iOS devices only
  • No GPS or real-time coaching if you run without phone
  • No ability to pair to a heart rate monitor  

Bottom line: Overall, we enjoyed reviewing Lumo Run. The specific goals to focus on during each run helped to improve walking and running form.

If you are looking to take your running to the next level, this fitness device is for you!

Is the Lumo Run Wearable Technology for Seniors?

If you’re a senior who likes to participate in the occasional 5K, this is a great wearable technology for seniors. Lumo Run is a product for anyone who wants to improve running their form, regardless of age.

 

Seniors in their golden years are more active today than ever before. But before you start running, get a checkup with your doctor, especially if you have a chronic condition. You doctor can tell you if there are certain exercises you need to avoid or any warning signs to watch out for.

 

Lumo Run is a great wearable technology for seniors because it will still track data if you prefer to jog instead of keeping up a running pace. Not only will you learn how you run, but these tips will help prevent injuries as you correct your running form. 

Bellabeat Leaf Review

Leaf

What is the Leaf?

Unlike other wearable technology for seniors, the Leaf is a health tracker made specifically for women. A beautiful piece of jewelry, the Leaf is made of stainless steel and natural wood. As its name implies, the pendant is shaped as a leaf. The Leaf goes for $119.00.

This stylish smart jewelry monitors your activity level, sleep quality, stress levels and reproductive cycle. Since its launch in May 2015 the Leaf has been gaining popularity with women across the nation.

How Does the Leaf Work?

Leaf 2With the Leaf pendant and app, you’re able to track important areas of your life each and every day. The Leaf also acts as an alarm clock and as a reminder to keep you notified throughout the day.

This stylish smart jewelry monitors your activity level, sleep quality, stress levels, and reproductive cycle.

We found the Leaf to be a versatile activity tracker with three different ways to wear. Whether you clip the Leaf to your shirt, wear as a bracelet, or try it as a necklace, it will provide the same monitoring service.

 

Unlike other wearable technology for seniors, the Leaf separates tracking into five distinct areas of your life: activity, sleep, menstruation, meditation, and stress. The app is easy to use and should not be too confusion for technology-averse seniors. 

 

A Review of My Experience with Leaf

Unlike other wearables, the Leaf separates tracking into five distinct areas of your life:

Activity Tracking. During set up, you manually enter your height and weight so the Leaf can estimate how many calories you burn. You can even set the Leaf to vibrate when you have been inactive too long, like during Netflix binges! I found the tracking to be very accurate.

Sleep Tracking. The Leaf was decent in telling me when I fell asleep and woke up for the day. I also had the ability to manually enter information. The data did not track my sleeping patterns as accurately as I would have liked. I woke up at 5am one morning and the app said that I was in “deep sleep.”

Period Tracking. The Leaf app has period tracking, a birth control reminder, and can even show you which day you are ovulating if you are planning for a family. (You can also turn this feature off.) The light vibration reminder was nice as I
Yoga with Leaf wearable fitness tracker nearly forget to take my birth control every day!

Mediation Guide. Mediation was something I have never attempted before. When you clip the pendant to your waist, it begins tracking your breathing. Leaf acts as a mediation coach guiding you through the process and even had audio cues to help relax.

Stress Levels. This tracker determines your levels of stress from all other inputs that it tracks throughout the day like exercise, sleep, and meditation. While I didn’t necessarily disagree with the level of stress, (and how can anyone know their stress level for sure), the feature wasn’t useful or meaningful to me.

Below are important aspects of the Leaf.

Synchronizing. To sync the pendant to the app, all that’s needed is a double-tap on the face of the Leaf. The pendant itself comes with a two-week memory drive to store information within the device. The app is easy to navigate. Each tab is clearly displayed and easy to understand for set up and daily use.

Battery Life. The battery life for the Leaf is 6 months, so you don’t need to worry about charging. When the Leaf eventually runs out of juice, all you do is swap out the old battery with a coin battery using the provided tool. You never need to charge this pendant.

Versatility. The leaf comes with a necklace and bracelet, and it is very easy to slide on and off the necklace chain. While I love the versatility of the pendant, I thought wearing it as a bracelet was bulky. The leather strap was irritating, so overall I did not enjoy wearing the pendant as a bracelet.

The App. The app is easy to navigate. Each tab is clearly displayed and easy to understand for set up and daily use. Personally, I was not partial to the calendar view. There is no ability to change the view, so I had to scroll through one day at a time to see my results.
Wearable tech Leaf pendant review 

I also thought the necklace was a bit too bulky, but more wearable that way. It is certainly a statement piece of jewelry. By far, the clip was my favorite way to wear it. I just had to be sure I was not wearing something with too tight of a collar, or flimsy fabric that the pendant could weigh down.  

A nice part of the design is that you don’t need to add a bunch of different accessories. The Leaf is a bold enough statement piece to wear on its own. Plus, no one will know that it also doubles as a fitness tracker! 

Pros:

  • Battery Life
  • Visual design
  • Versatility 

Cons:

  • Bulky as a piece of jewelry
  • Calendar view
  • Stress level data 

Bottom line: Overall, we didn’t enjoy reviewing the Leaf. While it’s style and design is pretty, it didn’t do much for us with the technology.

Is the Leaf Wearable Technology for Seniors?

The Leaf is a pendant for any age. With the mediation guide, sleep and activity tracking, we would recommend the Leaf to any senior who wants to manage their own health. Seniors can use the wearable to track light exercise and walking.

The sleep tracking may be especially useful to senior individuals who feel they cannot get a deep sleep throughout the night. Combat restless nights with the Leaf’s meditation guide. Daily mediation has been proven to improve sleeping habits.

Sensoria Fitness Smart Socks Review

Socks

What Are Smart Socks?

Sensoria Smart Socks are fitness socks worn with a Bluetooth enabled ankle sensor to learn about your running style and improve your running form.

They are light, durable, and accurate smart socks. Compatible with a new app, the socks give runners actionable information from artificial intelligence coach, Mara. This tech coaches athletes on how to run farther, faster, and healthier.

A pair of socks and one ankle sensor go for $199, and the app is free to download.

How Do Sensoria Fitness Socks Work?

Each sock has three textile sensors, two in the ball of the foot and one in the heel. Sensoria states the socks are made of conductive fibers, which function as “textile circuit boards.” These send data to the Bluetooth ankle sensor.Socks 2

The anklet has an accelerometer to detect your movement, which then communicates to the Sensoria iPhone app. The anklet is also splash proof, so you don’t have to worry about splashing through puddles or running in the rain. Magnetic snaps hold the anklet in place, and it will turn on automatically when attached.

The phone app shows measurements of your cadence, foot landing, pace, and heart rate. The app tracks each run with these stats, with a map of the area you ran. A virtual coach gives feedback about how you’re doing while you’re running. You’re able to adjust the coach to only give feedback in certain areas.

A Review of My Experience with Sensoria Smart Socks

As an avid runner, the Smart Socks were very usable during my review. When I went on my test run, I enjoyed having the feedback coach played over my earbuds. The frequency of the suggestions were good, and I didn’t feel like there were too many notifications interrupting my music.  The foot landing notification was especially helpful, as I was heel striking frequently throughout my run.Socks 3Socks 4

The anklet stayed in place perfectly. I didn’t feel the sensor at all during my run. The socks correctly analyzed my foot landing technique, and relayed the data accurately to the app. The app provided a live heat map, tracking my foot as it moved. I was able to see how the pressure in my stride changed over the course of my run.

However, I wasn’t able to watch the heat map while I was running. It might be easier to use while on a treadmill where you can set your phone down. But staring at your phone screen while running is distracting and dangerous.

The other downside is the price. Starting at $199.00, the Smart Socks are pricey. Only one ankle monitor comes per kit, so you’re only able to monitor one foot at a time. If you want to have data for both feet, you’d need to buy two kits. The battery life is only two days, so you have to remember to charge the device almost every day.

Sensoria is making a great attempt to help older runners learn more about their form and prevent injury. But, for $199.00, it is hardly worth the price tag. There is more useful running tech that you can wear all the time instead of having to remember to wash your socks.

Pros:

  • Real-time audio coaching to correct running form
  • Comfortable and goes unnoticed when running 
  • Water resistant

Cons:

  • Need to wash socks before each run
  • Battery life
  • High price
  • Only shows data for one foot at a time, unless you want to buy two sensors 

Bottom line: For $199.00, this wearable requires too much effort on the user’s part. 

Are Sensoria Socks a Wearable Technology for Seniors?

A pair of Sensoria Fitness Socks is wearable technology seniors can use to start running and evade injuries. The anklet will tell you if you need to avoid heel striking or ball striking to help avoid injuries.
However, the best way to see if you are headed for injuries is to purchase two anklets. With two, you can see what one foot does versus the other. Your app can show you if you are imbalanced and headed towards an injury. You will not see this information with only one anklet.

Ringly Smart Bracelet Review

Ringly

What is a Ringly Smart Bracelet?

The Ringly smart bracelet synchronizes with your smartphone to keep you connected without checking your phone. Ringly looks like a sophisticated bracelet, with a large center stone set on a gold colored band. (There are other color options available.) The smart bracelet is essentially a fashionable pager for your wrist.

How Does Ringly’s Smart Bracelet Work?

The Ringly bracelet will vibrate a set amount of times (1, 2, 3 or 4) for any social alert you set it for. Ringly integrates with over 100 apps, so you will never miss a thing. You set the stone to flash a different color (6 options) for different alerts.

Setting up Ringly took some time, but it was simple. The ‘Activity’ tab can synch with health apps, which means you can see data for distances walked, steps taken, and calories burned.

Ringly is great if you use the notifications minimally. The bracelet also seems very sturdy and well made. To wear, you pull the bracelet apart and it clasps back together with a magnet. The app is simple to set up and customize. While it is easy to view the data, you can’t see more than a week’s worth of information at a time.

A Review of My Experience with Ringly

Ringly is great if you use the notifications minimally. In the beginning, I had the bracelet set to notify me for the 5 apps I thought I used the most. Ringly would vibrate 4 times and flash blue, then another color depending on who was calling. The bracelet would vibrate 3 times and flash green for text messages. Vibrate once and flash red for calendar events. Vibrate once with no light for a Lyft pickup. Flash purple with no vibration for Snapchat.Ringly 2

In my review, I soon discovered this was overkill. Not only could I not remember what was what, or who was what color, I found I didn’t need to know every Snapchat I got.

The bracelet seemed very sturdy and well made. To wear, you pull the bracelet apart and it clasps back together with a magnet. I loved this design much more than many bracelets I own that I need to manually clasp. However, within a few weeks of wear, a small gemstone set beside the larger one popped out.

After contacting Ringly’s customer service about the missing gemstone, they immediately set me up with a pre-paid shipping label for an exchange. I was thoroughly impressed with the response time and how the company handle my inquiry! I exchanged my bracelet and got my perfect new one in no time, at no cost to me.

The app is simple to set up and customize. While it is easy to view the data, you can’t see more than  a week’s worth of data at a time. Ringly had a range of 20-30 feet from my phone. While it’s great to not be looking at my phone all the time, Ringly wasn’t helpful when I walked into different room away from my phone. Sadly, after a few weeks, it also didn’t last through a day on a single charge.

The packaging was sleek and elegant. Ringly’s charging station is a jewelry box you just set the bracelet down it. Ringly definitely looks like a classy designer piece. And it comes with a designer price tag—Ringly is $245.00 and upwards. 

Pros:

  • Beautiful design
  • Stay securely on wrist
  • Activity tracking
  • Customer service 

Cons:

  • Small jewel popped out
  • Too connected to phone 

Bottom line: The best thing about Ringly is the design. I want to wear this everyday just because it is a pretty bracelet. 

Is Ringly a Wearable Technology for Seniors?

As a senior, constant notifications on your phone may be too much. Staying connected to friends and family as a senior is very important, but so is ‘you’ time. Unless you want to be constantly connected to social media apps, this might not be a great wearable technology for seniors.

The World of Wearable Technology for Seniors

While some seniors may want to incorporate new wearable technology into their safety regimens, one senior-friendly wearable stands above the rest: medical alert systems. As one of the most beloved and cherished pieces of wearable technology for seniors, these devices are designed for older people. While they may not be able to provide some fitness information, like steps walked or calories burned, they’re there when you need them most: in emergencies, during falls, and if you need to contact a loved one.