Latest News: Technology |  Celebrity |  Movies |  Apple |  Cars |  Business |  Sports |  TV Shows |  Geek

Trending

Filed under: News

 

Are you Buying Fitness Wearables From Electronics Companies?

Jan 23 2014, 7:10am CST | by

11 Updates
Are you Buying Fitness Wearables From Electronics Companies?
 
 

YouTube Videos Comments

Full Story

Are you Buying Fitness Wearables From Electronics Companies?

Having spent the week at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), it would appear that fitness & sport tech has started to reach mainstream prominence.  In a way it has, in others it hasn’t.  It seems like everyone has a device (from gaming company Razer to major mobile player LG to printer/projector maker Epson), but not all have clue on how to be successful in this emerging market and many will fail.  I believe this is one of the true early wearable markets that will see strong growth as there is clear market need and value the device provides to the user.  Wearable devices are uniquely different from major technology devices before them since they are worn on your body as well as solving problems normal people have.  Helping one reach their health and fitness goals is strong motivator.  Therefore, successful companies need to focus on the customer first and what problem they are trying to solve for target user.  Those that can successfully marry technology innovation with a strong customer target and intimacy of the customer problems will be successful.  We have published a detailed report here on some of the major trends and recommendations in the fitness wearable market coming out of CES, but will provide our overall perspective in this article.

I want to draw on a baseball movie analogy to help explain.  A few years ago, the movie Moneyball (and the underlying 2003 book based on true story) told a story of how the Oakland A’s Major League Baseball team were able to succeed with a shoestring budget vs. some of the big boy teams.  They did this by successfully marrying the historical art of the game with new science.  In the movie, Paul DePodest, a Harvard educated economic major, introduces A’s GM and former player Billy Beane to a new class of analytics called sabermetrics to help evaluate talent and get the most out of their budget.  This story provides a great illustration of two sides coming together to see success.   Some may say that A’s were successful based on science alone, but I disagree.  Having seen Beane speak on video, I know it was the ability for them to take the new science along with knowledge of the market which enabled their success.  Companies competing in the emerging fitness wearables market can learn something from this.

The winners in the fitness wearables market will be those that know their customers and have a clear plan on how they are going to help them reach their goals.   Jef Holove at Basis recognizes this saying that they are not in the fitness tracking business but instead the “behavior modification business”.  Successful companies will know how to marry art (customer intimacy) with science (technology innovation) and will focus on solving problems vs. just delivering devices and technology.  If your goals are to lose weight, who do you trust for advice?  The scrawny guy with the pocket protector who’s in the science club or the trainer from your gym?  Probably the latter.  On the flip side, people typically don’t go to the jock to get help on their quantum physics exam.  I know I’m being stereotypical and having a little fun with both of these, but I’m making a point.  People seek and trust those who have real (and sometimes perceived) credibility in the specific area they are seeking advice.  This is why Fitbit is working with Torrey Birch for fashion credibility and why Basis is working with leading researchers around sleep.  Likewise, companies Nike and Babolat are working with strong tech partners to help enable their tech products.

The health, fitness, and sport tech market is broad so companies should first start with identifying their prime target user and segmenting the market and products based upon that.  Are they focused on the beginner?  Are they more focused on health over fitness? Are they focused on a specific athlete or sport like runners, cyclists, or tri-athletes?  Narrowing their focus will enable them to build clear view of their target’s needs.  As an example, a regular workout enthusiast doing Crossfit to build a tone body will have different needs than person wanting to move a bit more to be healthier.  A basic activity tracker that counts steps will be of little value to the first person, but is likely great fit for the general health seeker.

Once a company identifies its target user, they need to build a superior differentiated product solution that uniquely meets the user’s goals and desires through artful combination of the right technology innovation, devices, software, and services.  Customer intimacy & credibility is critical for this and can be built overtime through dedicated research and demonstration of this knowledge over a sustained period or more quickly through strategic partnerships who already have credibility.  There are a few companies doing this well today.   Basis, as an example, focuses on users who are seeking better health 24/7.  They openly admit that they are not after the fitness enthusiast so did not optimize technology to address their needs.  Atlas Wearables, an Indiegogo crowd-sourced start-up that will launch their first device in fall, is conversely focused on the regular “gym rat”.  They recognized that this segment is under-served today and has some clear pain points not being addressed.  For these users, pedometer focused trackers provide little value.  Instead, they want a simple way to track their work-outs and get coaching on proper form, a painful manual process today.  Atlas wants to simplify & automate this process.  MIO is another great example of focus and tight customer target.  They focus on elite running/cycling/tri-athletes and more advanced fitness seekers who value interval and heart rate training (their core differentiating aspect).  Their unique wrist heart rate solution solves a pain point users have today with comfort on existing chest strap solutions.

For other companies entering the market, it’s not clear they have provided solutions that address customer needs.  This is why I have a lot of questions around the viability of companies like LG and Epson entering the fitness wearable market.  Both companies appear that they are starting with technology solutions first and have limited to zero credibility as a brand that knows and understands health and fitness.  I applaud LG’s more narrow wearable focus on a specific market like fitness (unlike Samsung’s more general purpose Galaxy Gear smartwatch looks not to a commercial success so far) and their recognition of lack of expertise in the market by attempting to provide an open platform designed to establish credibility through partners.  However, I’m not sure that an open technology platform with loose partner affiliation will be enough.  Customers will want more integrated solutions that marry devices with rich services.  Sony’s Core is a bit of similar approach to LG, but I do like Sony’s desire to partner with fitness companies to use their pod.

The fitness & sport wearables market seems to have reached mainstream momentum if based on products announced and shipping, but we expect to see a fallout of winners and losers in the next few years.  The companies that can build a platform around helping their target customers reach their goals will win.  Customer intimacy and tightly integrated technology and services that meet these needs will be ultimate winners.

You can learn more about this market by reading our report & analysis on major CES trends in the wearable and fitness/sport tech market here. We’ve cited products from 34 different companies doing fitness wearables at CES 2014.

This paper was written with significant contributions of Brian Pitstick, Moor Insights & Strategy Fitness practice lead.

Source: Forbes

 

iPad Air Giveaway. Win a free iPad Air.

You Might Also Like

Updates


Sponsored Update

Update: 11

Wearables to Tech Out Your Wardrobe

Source: Rackets and Balls

Fashion and function come together this summer with wearable technology. Here are some our favorite pieces to add some techie style to your wardrobe. Fitbit Flex Wireless Wristband Perfect for the fitness fanatic, the Fitbit wirelessly syncs with phones, tablets … More »The post Wearables to Tech Out Your Wardrobe appear ...
Source: Rackets and Balls   Full article at: Rackets and Balls 1 day ago, 8:00am CDT
 


Advertisement


Update: 10

Wearables Sing in Smart Clothes

Source: EE Times

The future of mainstream wearable technology may be driven by the fashion industry, keynoters at the Wearable Tech Expo said. Dr. Sabine Seymour discussed the intersection of soundscapes and g ...
Source: EE Times   Full article at: EE Times 2 days ago, 6:27pm CDT
 

More From the Web

Update: 9

Why Wearable Tech Isn't the Next Big Thing -- Yet

Source: Entrepreneur.com

Technology execs gather to discuss the challenges and opportunities of this growing industry. ...
Source: Entrepreneur.com   Full article at: Entrepreneur.com 1 week ago, 12:45pm CDT
 

Update: 7

When Wearable Tech Saves Your Life, You Won't Take It Off

Source: Fast Company

Wearable health tech promises to save lives, so startups like MC10 are working to create something you'll never forget to put on.The problem with wearables is that usually people stop wearing them. According to one recent report, one-third of users of activity-tracking wearables, like the Fitbit and the Jawbone, toss thei ...
Source: Fast Company   Full article at: Fast Company 1 week ago, 11:00am CDT
 

Update: 6

The Rise Of Wearable Technology

Source: FashionBeans.com

2014: The Year of Wearable Technology? The future of technology? Looks like we’ll be wearing it. If we’d said this just five years ago you would probably have laughed, thinking we were coming out with some futuristic spiel. Fashion w ...
Source: FashionBeans.com  Full article at: FashionBeans.com 1 week ago, 3:00am CDT
 

Update: 5

Friday Poll: Do you use a wearable tech gadget?

Source: CNet

Fitbits, and LG Gs, and Google Glasses, oh my! There are lots of wearable tech gadgets out there. Have any of them earned a place on y ...
Source: CNet   Full article at: CNet Jul 11 2014, 6:00am CDT
 

Update: 4

Friday Poll: Do you use a wearable tech gadget?

Source: Car Craft

Fitbits, and LG Gs, and Google Glasses, oh my! There are lots of wearable tech gadgets out there. Have any of them earned a ...
Source: Car Craft   Full article at: Car Craft Jul 11 2014, 6:00am CDT
 

Update: 3

Wearable tech will keep failing -- until we can't live without it

Source: CNet

At the Wearable Technologies Conference in San Francisco, the "dirty little secret" of activity trackers and smartwatches is that they' ...
Source: CNet   Full article at: CNet Jul 10 2014, 6:05am CDT
 

Update: 2

Wearable tech will keep failing until we can't live without it

Source: Car Craft

At the Wearable Technologies Conference in San Francisco, the "dirty little secret" of activity trackers and smartwatches is that they ...
Source: Car Craft   Full article at: Car Craft Jul 10 2014, 6:00am CDT
 

Update: 1

UK Public Sector Unprepared for the Impact of Wireless Wearable Technology

Source: Cellular-News

A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request made by Ipswitch to 634 United Kingdom public sector organizations revealed that 85 percent of the respondents do not have a plan in place for managing wireless wearable technology in the workplace. Click here for mo ...
Source: Cellular-News   Full article at: Cellular-News Jul 9 2014, 4:50am CDT
 

Shopping Deals

 
 
 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/31" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

 

Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Master of Craft Game Review
Master of Craft Game Review
A brand new role-playing game (RPG), Master of Craft (MoC) is fully rendered in 3D. Avid fans and lovers of RPGs enjoy its unique economy where they are allowed to craft and produce their own armors and weapons. Moreover, players can also operate their market and experience to be a merchant and run their own town. The objective of the game is to build a large empire of buildings and focuses solely on crafting armors and weapons.
 
 
Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson&#039;s Final Moments
Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson's Final Moments
Liam Neeson's opening up about the couple's final moments before taking Natasha Richardson off life support.
 
 
Oakland Raiders Confirm Talks with San Antonio Officials
Oakland Raiders Confirm Talks with San Antonio Officials
The Oakland Raiders confirmed they had discussions with San Antonio, Tex. officials on possibly moving the team to Texas, per The San Antonio Express-News.
 
 
Shadow Fight 2 Game Review
Shadow Fight 2 Game Review
The makers of the famous Shadow Fight (a very popular fighting game on Facebook) now present to you its sequel – Shadow Fight 2.
 
 
 

About the Geek Mind

The “geek mind” is concerned with more than just the latest iPhone rumors, or which company will win the gaming console wars. I4U is concerned with more than just the latest photo shoot or other celebrity gossip.

The “geek mind” is concerned with life, in all its different forms and facets. The geek mind wants to know about societal and financial issues, both abroad and at home. If a Fortune 500 decides to raise their minimum wage, or any high priority news, the geek mind wants to know. The geek mind wants to know the top teams in the National Football League, or who’s likely to win the NBA Finals this coming year. The geek mind wants to know who the hottest new models are, or whether the newest blockbuster movie is worth seeing. The geek mind wants to know. The geek mind wants—needs—knowledge.

Read more about The Geek Mind.