Nike+ Fuelband

The Nike+ Fuelband is the sports giant’s most concerted foray into connected health tracking devices market.

Nike+ Fuelband

Nike+ Fuelband is the most explicitly manifestation of Nike’s technology vision yet. Image credit: Technobob.com

Historically, Nike has pioneered technology integration with exercise footwear. Consequently, the company has been at the forefront of innovative mass-marketed fitness tracking technology since the mid-2000s.

Nike+ began with a range of sensor-compatible shoes wirelessly connected to iPods and (eventually) iPhones. Accompanying apps tracked distance and time with audio cues.

In the meantime, devices like Fitbit and Jawbone UP emerged to extend Nike’s concept of tracking runs to tracking overall activity as an indicator of every day health. With the Fuelband, Nike attempts to catch up to these upstarts by offering a device that tracks all forms of exercise.

An accompanying Nike+ Fuelband mobile app measures physical activity using what Nike ingeniously calls NikeFuel – “a universal metric of activity.”

 

Device Facts

Tracks: Activity Level/Type, Steps, Calories Burned, NikeFuel

Company: Nike

Release: January 2012

Website: Nike+ Fuelband

Launch Price: $149 USD

App: iOS

Form Factor: Wristband

Display: Color LED

Sync: Bluetooth, USB

Color Variations: Black Ice, White Ice, Black

API: Select developers only

Third-party Connectivity: N/A

Buy It: Amazon

 

Key Features

  1. Single Metric – The NikeFuel metric alleviates the consumer burden of deciphering concepts of calorie expenditure based on types of activity, step counts, hours/minutes as measures of moderate to intense activity, etc. and rolls them into a single proprietary branded concept which the average consumer can easily understand. Instead of benchmarking multiple metrics to gauge their progress, the consumer only has to understand one
  2. Form Factor – Worn on the wrist (at first glance a product design inspiration from Jawbone UP, but actually a re-incarnation of Nike’s own Sportband) the Fuelband fits with most of types of exercises
  3. On-device Display – Check progress at a glance, no syncing required
  4. Mobile App – Relatively feature rich mobile app with Bluetooth wireless syncing
  5. Ecosystem – Nike+ ecosystem is fairly mature and the Fuelband is connected to multiple existing Nike apps and networks (such as Nike+ Kinect Training for Xbox and Nike+ for Basketball), with lots of potential for connectivity to future Nike products and services

 

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