Devices > Wearables Blog



Nike and Adidas Better Watch Out for Fitbit in the Wearable Devices Sector.

by User Not Found | Oct 04, 2013

Fitbit’s newest wearable device – The Force – sprints past Nike and Adidas. 

Fitbit has been an active participant in the fitness world for a while now, dating back to 2008. One of the company’s first devices was the Fitbit Ultra which was designed to attach to a pocket or belt to track movement.

Over time the wearable Health & Fitness devices have gotten smaller and morphed into bracelets – such as the well-received Flex launched in May 2013. The products did not evolve in a vacuum however and alongside the development of wearable computing, smartphones and apps were rapidly revolutionizing the mobile world. Recognizing the combined power of the smartphone and activity tracking Fitbit announced the Force. New capabilities include:

  • Sync wirelessly to a mobile phone
  • Track daily goals and progress over time
  • Log food to monitor calorie intake
  • Compete/Share with friends

Like its predecessor, the Flex (a wristband), the Force announcement  - via the Verge -outlines details of additional functionality of the product including an altimeter and a watch component.  Taking on industry giants such as Nike and Adidas did not offer enough competition for Fitbit so the company also entered the smartwatch space with its newest offering putting it in direct competition with Samsung, Nokia, Apple and others that have or will release their own connected watches.

It is true that most functions of the Health & Fitness apps for wearable devices can be replicated by just having an app active on the phone and even though it may make sense monetarily, it doesn't make sense on a practical side. The advantage of a wristband or another wearable device is the "on the go" experience making it possible to go on a workout, run in the park, hike in the woods, etc. without carrying an expensive smartphone. Fitbit is also making it more affordable with the rumored Force price to be around $130 which is less than top competitor Nike’s price tag for the Nike+ FuelBand offered for $149.

The size of smartphones is beginning to add another element to the argument for wristbands/smartwatches. The larger screen sizes required for better resolutions is making it less comfortable for users to carry in pockets - especially during workouts.

However, the most compelling story is not Fitbit’s newest innovation or its merging of machine to machine for enhanced functionality. Instead, the ability for a small upstart to compete not only with entrenched players in a single industry but several industries. At a time of duopolies in the smartphone and tablet world and a consolidating power structure in the apps market the ability for a small upstart to create a compelling alternative to well-known brands could be a sign of things to come.

With crowd funding sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo helping small entrepreneurs get their products off the ground categories such as 3D Printing, smartwatches, and other wearable tech are about to be invaded by small and nimble competitors driving global corporations to innovate. 

Adidas and Under Armour also have wearable devices available. More information on Health & Fitness apps can be found in the Health & Fitness Vertical report which highlights what some of the top manufacturers in the industry are developing for smartphones, including other wearable devices.

Previous Post: Samsung says “watch this space” with Galaxy Gear | Next Post: Silicon Suppliers for Wearable Device Enabling Technology report published by Strategy Analytics
Leave a comment