There are lots of fitness trackers out there, from Apple Watches to Fitbits.
Many of them are worn on your wrist.
LaceClips takes a different approach. It’s a smart wearable that you clip to your shoelaces.
The $150 device comes in a pair of two, but one of them is just for looks. The other charges up (using the older Micro-USB connection) and connects to your phone using Bluetooth.
The sensor tracks steps, RPMs, pivots and jumps, plus offers estimates for calorie burn based on your gender, height and weight. It doesn’t track heart rate.
LaceClips is easy enough to set up. Just turn it on, open the app and pair. The process didn’t take long at all.
You fill out your profile so the software can better estimate your calories burned.
You can also choose to link up with friends, a sports team or even pro athletes who are also using the trackers.
The trackers will monitor for over 25 sports but you must choose which sport you’re doing in advance each time and manually start and stop the process. This is not ideal as many fitness trackers will automatically detect when you start and stop a workout.
Also, since you must run your shoelaces through the LaceClips device, it’s not ideal to leave them on your sneakers. So, you might have to put them on and take them off each time. The nice thing is that they are spring loaded, so they hold your laces in place.
I visited Campbell Hall, a K-12 private school in Los Angeles, where they were using LaceClips with some of their athletes. Basketball and football players told me they liked how they can see their progress over time
The coach explained how the clips can help the student athletes better understand where they need more practice.
I took a run in the LaceClips on a treadmill and the process was pretty easy, although I feel like I got many more metrics with the Apple Watch. I compared the results, and the calories, pace and distance were all very similar, but since the LaceClips doesn’t track heart rate I felt like a big part of the workout data was missing.
Overall, these trackers are aimed more towards athletes who might not want to wear a watch while they play, or it’s just not feasible to have something on your wrist. In some cases, it’s not even allowed during some youth games.
The concept is solid, these initial LaceClips seem like an early version of more to come, whether through software updates or additional hardware improvements.