Nike joins the accelerometer party

Nike Fuelband

Nike is now sporting a functional equivalent to the FitBit. Well maybe it’s a superset and one would hope it is at 50% price premium ($150 suggested retail price in the USA). On the surface it’s benefits seem to be:

  • Network connectivity via bluetooth; which really means it talks to your phone versus a base station; a really nice twist if you ask me
  • The feel good factor of it being Nike (not a company that runs the risk of going out of business)
  • Possibly that the instrumentation that Nike provides is better; this will be subjective and I haven’t seen Nike’s yet so no opinion here

Aesthetically, however, I think it does quite well. The FitBit is a charmer too but this one might look even nicer. That said, my experience with wrist based sensors (e.g., the UP) has been that this is NOT the ideal location for sensors. It interferes with typing on a keyboard, it can compete with your watch for space, etc. This may turn out to be a matter of personal preference but my suspicion is that others will experience this too. Remember, this kind of device works when you wear it ALL THE TIME, not just when you’re out exercising.

One last thought … the attached article makes a point that Nike’s stock went through the roof right before the press release. That’s interesting. I think all of us who are plugged into quantified self related matters see that there is growing excitement about personal data and it’s no surprise that Nike would want to be part of that as they’ve led from the athletics standpoint for years. What is a little surprising to me is how much this has been marketed by Nike and how much the marketplace is ready to respond to this message. For people doing business in this space it’s probably good news but it does smell like a little bubble is developing too. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as bubbles almost always leave new capabilities in their wake.

Nike’s FuelBand: Game Changer or Slickly Marketed $150 Monitor?.