Interview Polar | Sanitas magazine

“There is vast potential for innovative developments in the sports watch industry”.

Interview Polar

Mr Merenda, why do more and more people want to measure and document their activities?
This has a great deal to do with the fact that measuring and storing data has become much easier with these next generation devices. The touch of a button is all it takes. And health and fitness are, of course, the topics on everyone’s lips nowadays.

So anyone can use these devices?
Yes. The current key feature for sports watches and activity trackers is “plug and play”. There’s no need to pore over operating instructions – simply plug the device in and let it guide you through the steps via a user-friendly menu. The watch is then configured and ready to use. Data from a sports watch can be transferred to a smartphone at the touch of a button.

Can a sports watch ever replace a coach?
Athletes who set themselves very specific goals would benefit from having both. A sports watch or activity tracker with the relevant digital platforms is perfectly adequate for anyone who just wants to make sure they’re exercising enough.

How important is an Internet connection for these devices?
Connection to the Internet and a smartphone app is a must. Nowadays every manufacturer needs to offer simple, flexible apps and webservices which enable online sports communities to meet and exchange their sporting achievements and stories. If the sports industry wishes to compete with the likes of Facebook, Twitter and other social media which are part of everyday life for millions of people, they too must offer the appropriate platforms. I know of a lot of people who’ve set up online training groups where they share their sporting activities. People who are reluctant to do so can, of course, continue to manage their data in private. We’re convinced that the online presence will continue to increase in the future.

What does the future hold for “wrist computers”?
State-of-the-art watches already have extensive measurement capabilities and are able to deliver accurate data. But we’ve yet to reach the stage where my watch tells me how I’m feeling or whether I’m hungry or thirsty. Who knows, maybe even this will be possible in the future. Our aim is to provide athletes with as much relevant data as possible so they’re able to train efficiently. I’m certain there is vast potential for innovative developments in the sports watch industry.

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