A Motivational Tool

Offering comfort, durability, and sleek texture, wearable device bands—made with Viton™ high-performance fluoroelastomers—are helping give users a reason to exercise.

Best known as the component that helps parts tolerate grueling conditions in automobile engines, Viton™ high-performance fluoroelastomers are finding new life in the wearables market.

 

A catalyst for motivation

Many people want to exercise and get healthy; they want to go outside and work out. Yet they come up with plenty of reasons not to, and one of the biggest challenges is getting motivated.

Fortunately there are products, made possible by chemistry, that can help motivate people by showing them every step on the way to a healthier life. It’s even better when users love the touch, look, and durability of these motivational wonders.

The product cited here is a wearable—one of those small, computerized devices that can count users’ steps, monitor their heart rates, remind them to hydrate, and much more. Even if it’s the wearable’s coolness factor alone that gets people exercising, that’s quite an achievement. And that’s not just theoretical: styling does make a difference, a recent PwC survey reveals.1 Among owners of wearables, 36% say they’re “strongly motivated” to use the device if it looks good and complements their wardrobes.

One part of many wearables—the rubber wristband—looks particularly handsome and wears well. And that’s in great part due to a product named Viton™, a high-performance fluoroelastomer made by Chemours.

A factoid explains that 33.5% of athletes surveyed cite “comfort” as one of the most important features when purchasing a wearable.

 


The touch, the feel…of Viton™

“Users love the touch and feel of rubber made with Viton™,” says Jean-Marc Imbert, Global Product Manager for Viton™ Fluoroelastomers. “With a wearable, that’s superimportant. They love the feeling it gives them when it makes contact with the skin. It’s almost as comfortable as leather. Also, it continues to look good over time, even after exposure to sun, lotions, or sweat.”

That can make a difference for competitors. In fact, when purchasing a wearable, 33.5% of athletes surveyed cite “comfort” as one of the the most important features, says an Athlete IQ poll.2

Plus, notes Imbert, rubber wristbands made with Viton™ boast a premium feel. “They don’t look or feel like cheap plastic or silicone,” he explains. “Viton™ has the mechanical resistance needed for the job, while remaining soft.” He notes that several high-end watch manufacturers also use the product in their wristbands.

 


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An image of Jean-Marc Imbert, Global Product Manager for Viton™ Fluoroelastomers, The Chemours Company.

Jean-Marc Imbert

Global Product Manager for Viton™ Fluoroelastomers

Users love the touch and feel of rubber made with Viton™. With a wearable, that’s superimportant.

And for those looking beyond comfort, the material also boasts durability. “It keeps its look and touch for five to ten years,” Imbert says. “And it won’t get degraded by light, heat, or ozone.”3

For this, Imbert credits the durable properties of Viton™. “In automotive applications, Viton™ withstands the most aggressive environment under the hood,” he says. “So it’s not surprising that it resists the stresses faced by wearable bands.”

The market is fit

The wearable tech market continues to be a fit one. In 2017, total wearable device shipments worldwide reached 115.4 million units—up 10.3% from the 104.6 million units shipped in 2016, according to the International Data Corporation’s (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker. And by 2021, shipments will almost double: IDC forecasts 125.5 million wearable devices will be shipped this year and that the total will hit 240.1 million by 2021.4, 5

A factoid shows that the projected number of wearables shipped worldwide will increase from 125.5 million in 2018 to 240.1 million by 2021.

On top of that, one particular wearable band made with Viton™ can fit into the luxury wristwatch category, notes Business Insider Australia.6 For a competitor in this category, user comfort becomes a considerable product asset.

Ultimately, infusing Viton™ into a wearable band alone probably won’t move someone to get outside and launch a new fitness regime. Still, it can be a factor. After all, a sleek, sporty convertible can make someone want to take a road trip, and a fun, intuitive computer program can make someone actually want to work. In the same way, a comfortable, soft, wearable band that’s also handsome, sturdy, and durable—even over many years—may just give people that extra sway they need to hit the trails.

1 “The Wearable Life 2.0: Connected Living in a Wearable World.” PwC Consumer Intelligence Series, 2016.
2 “Wearable Devices in the Active Lifestyle Market.” Athlete IQ, 2017.
3 “Fluoroelastomer.” Encyclopedia Britannica, 10 Sept. 2009, www.britannica.com/science/fluoroelastomer.
4 “Global Wearables Market Grows 7.7% in 4Q17 and 10.3% in 2017 as Apple Seizes the Leader Position, Says IDC.” IDC: The Premier Global Market Intelligence Company, www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS43598218.
5 Lamkin, Paul. “Wearable Tech Market to Double by 2021.” Forbes, 22 June 2017, www.forbes.com/sites/paullamkin/2017/06/22/wearable-tech-market-to-double-by-2021/#6e62992d8f3e.
6 Danova, Tony. “Gauging Apple Watch’s Huge Opportunity in the Luxury Wristwatch Market.” Business Insider Australia, 5 Mar. 2015, www.businessinsider.com.au/apple-watchs-big-opportunity-in-the-luxury-wristwatch-market-2015-3.

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