Activity trackers, heart rate monitors, smartwatches – they're all obsolete already because they don't analyse sweat.
Until now heart rate tracking has been a pretty accurate way of measuring your body's training effort. It let you work on certain goals by staying within limits. Compared to sweat tracking it's like measuring a run using a metre stick.
Sweat gives away so much information about the body that new live tracking advancements mean we'll all be wearing these trackers soon.
Imagine a tracker that can tell you not only when you need to rehydrate but exactly what vitamins and minerals your body is lacking. Or one that helps you keep sugar intake level so your body doesn't store fat. That's coming.
What can sweat tell us?
From a single drop of sweat information can be delivered on hydration levels, electrolyte balance, lactate threshold, glucose levels and calories burned.
What this means for future trackers is an ability to measure the amount and type of nutrition we're taking in as well as how well our metabolism is working. Potentially that could mean no more manually entering food to track calories as the sensors will know what we've had, and need, based on glucose levels.
Imagine a smart notification that reminds you when you actually need to drink, and even points out if more than water is needed, like electrolyte drinks. Or if your sugar levels are spiking or dropping too much – which can lead to fat storing. Dieting and sport will soon become a science for non pros too, rather than a rough guess.
What's available now?
At the moment there is hardware which can track sweat with algorithms that analyse it in real-time.
One company that's developed a sweat sensor system is Kenzen with its Echo H2 Hydration Smart Patch. This is attached like a plaster and can measure hydration, lactic acid and glucose levels meaning you should know when to hydrate, when to train harder or rest and when to eat. The company describes it as your own personal sports lab.
Kenzen should have its Echo H2 available later this summer – it was priced at $89 on Indiegogo which is about £60.
Another company in this space is Electrozyme. Rather than create a physical product for sales this company is licensing out its tech for smartphones, wearables and smart clothes. Expect to see this appear in smart gadgets launching in 2016 once partnerships have been announced.
Where will it appear?
While wearables like wrist worn activity trackers are the thing now this new tech will be super small and unobtrusive. For this reason, and for ease, expect to see sweat sensors appearing in clothing soon.
Imagine wearing a t-shirt that measures your body without looking different to any other sports top? The chemical nature of these tracking technologies should mean low-power use that can easily track and transmit to a wearable or smartphone.
Expect to see plenty of companies releasing sports wearable smart clothing soon with Under Armour, Ralph Lauren and Hexoskin already leading the way with announced or released kit.