Operating systems found in sports, fitness and wellness trackers are becoming more general purpose, as the devices require additional capabilities and become increasingly complex, ABI Research announced.

The company said wearable operating systems (OS) now aid these trackers in “programming the device and improving performance, safety, and security”, and they also require “more capable hardware”.

Operating systems found in such trackers were now similar to those in smartwatches “as the level of functionality is increasing” ABI Research stated.

Between 2018 and 2023, sports, fitness and wellness trackers will be “dominated” by open source Linux and proprietary OSs, which will comprise 53 per cent and 38 per cent of the market respectively this year, the company predicted. Android-based platforms will account for the remaining 9 per cent.

ABI Research noted simple trackers which measure one metric require a real-time OS, and can be developed by the device vendor or adapted from another OS such as Google’s Wear OS.

Varied market
Stephanie Lawrence, research analyst at ABI Research, said the variety of functions in devices including activity trackers, heart rate monitors and pedometers means “the OS market is likely to remain very varied”.

“Smarter devices, such as activity trackers that record numerous metrics…require more complex OS in order to power the increased number of features,” she added.