Will Nike’s New Band Leave a Lasting Impression?
Nike (NYSE:NKE) doesn’t want its consumers to take off its products and forget about having used them, and for that, the company is making a move into developing software. The sports apparel and footwear company’s new FuelBand, a rubberized wristband, has been launched in conjunction with an Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS app. The wristband accelerometer is designed to measure daily activity and calories burned, before syncing all the collected information through Bluetooth to the free app.
The monitor also reports a “NikeFuel” score, which is based on the wearer’s rate of motion and oxygen consumption. The band has a clasp that opens up to form a USB port that can also be plugged into the computer.
Nike had first made a move into the data collection arena by using sensors for elite athletes and using the information to create new products. However, the latest idea is an attempt to bring the technology to the masses. “When someone comes back to the brands two to three times a week to sync a run, we are suddenly in a completely new era where technology unlocks something completely unprecedented,” Nike’s Digital Sport vice president Stefan Olander tells CNBC.
While the aim is to let people set daily goals, the NikeFuel score is also an attempt to create something of a universal unit to measure activity that will maybe enter day-to-day vocabulary. “You want to have something to compare and compete over, whatever your sport or activity is,” Olander says.
Nike has also opened a beta version of the software API to developers in order to allow other apps to tie into it, hoping that the move adds to the company’s ambitions of making its concept a universal one.