In the high-stakes ICC Cricket World Cup semi-finals against New Zealand, former Indian captain Virat Kohli achieved a remarkable milestone by securing his 50th ODI hundred, surpassing Sachin Tendulkar’s record. Amidst the headlines celebrating this accomplishment, another noteworthy detail grabbed attention – a seemingly unassuming wrist band worn by Kohli. This unadorned band, devoid of screens or typical smartwatch features, has become a common accessory not only for Kohli but also for other top-performing athletes like LeBron James, Michael Phelps, Rory Mcllroy, and Tiger Woods.
The inconspicuous band is a wearable fitness device created by WHOOP, a US-based wearable technology company founded by Will Ahmed. With five sensors and a five-day battery life, the strap requires pairing with an app to unlock insights into various physiological aspects, including daily recovery, cardiovascular strain, training load, and sleep quality. WHOOP’s metrics, which are science-backed and continuously evolving, are based on data captured by monitoring heart rate, heart rate variability, ambient temperature, movement, and skin conductivity.
The band generates approximately 100 MB of data daily, presented on the app for users to track trends and patterns. The device adapts to the user’s behavior over a few initial days to establish a baseline. It measures blood flow and heartbeats to provide heart rate and heart rate variability, indicating recovery status. The band acts as a digital personal coach, assessing sleep patterns, disturbances, and types of sleep.
WHOOP’s app offers data visualization, displaying daily and long-term trends, while the Strain Coach feature recommends daily training levels based on recovery and strain. The device, equipped with a durable Onyx SuperKnit band and a waterproof wireless battery, boasts a five-day lifespan on a single charge. WHOOP introduced a subscription model among fitness trackers, offering options like an annual subscription at $239, a two-year subscription at $399, or a monthly subscription at $30 with a 12-month commitment. The band, available in 28 colors with customizable options, comes with a lifetime warranty and exclusive partnerships in the health and fitness realm. Though presently accessible in 40 countries, WHOOP is not yet available in India.