Physical activity, at some level, is about being in the moment. But at another level, it’s also about stepping outside yourself and analyzing what you’re doing so you can adjust and improve.
Wearable tech sits at the vertex of those schools of thought. Anyone who’s strapped on a heart monitor can understand the appeal (if not necessity) of tracking performance; anyone who’s strapped stared at a RunKeeper feed while checking their GoPro camera instead of paying attention to what they’re doing can understand the drawbacks. Smaller and lighter tech may allow us to do more with monitoring, but what good is “doing more” if it distracts us from what we’re actually doing?
Outside Magazine may understand this conflict better than most, and it ran an insightful article earlier this week about it. The article’s good. The comments are enlightening.