If you follow the NBA, then you would have heard about the fancy wristband Andrew Dellavedova wore throughout most of the Cavaliers’ games in March. Yes, the NBA put an end to that (wearable tech isn’t allowed in-game), but it sure introduced a lot of us to Whoop, an upcoming high-end activity tracker designed for elite athletes.
Billed as a “performance optimization system,” the wearable goes a step beyond the metrics that Fitbits and other conventional fitness trackers record, all while providing actionable recommendations aimed at both improving performance and minimizing injuries. We know, every new fitness band uses the same selling point. This one, however, seems more believable, considering it’s currently used by actual professional athletes, college sports teams, and Olympians.
On top of the usual speed and cadence readings, the Whoop Smart Trainer measures heart rate, heart rate variability, skin conductivity, ambient temperature, lab-quality sleep data, and even strain levels. It then uses this information to give specific recommendations on improving both performance and, more importantly, improving recovery. That’s right, the system can measure how well an athlete has recovered from previous physical activities, allowing coaches to tailor training around what each individual’s body is conditioned to do. Not only does this allow them to optimize each training session, it also helps reduce the risk of injury, since coaches can get a clear read of what an athlete will be able to handle each time out.