Nike revamps FuelBand to capture more data

Nike has redesigned the look and capabilities of its FuelBand fitness tracker as part of a flurry of tech-based initiatives being prepped to capture more consumer data and secure its share of the nascent wearable tech arena.

The FuelBand SE is aesthetically similar to its predecessor, but will come in Pink, Green and Orange when it launches on November 6. Users can now tag sessions with specific exercises such as yoga or running, which will then adjust the “fuel” points score accordingly.

It will now be available in France, Germany and Japan in addition to the US, UK and Canada. A “NikeFuel Testimonials” online video has also been launched to promote the product featuring three people talking about their experiences with the product.

The wristband was first launched in 2012 to track and convert exercises into a single unit as part of its Nike+ fitness platform. Nike says the new FuelBand SE features are a direct result of the measurement and claims the wristband will deliver more detailed insights from the 20 million Nike+ users.

It is being enhanced by the latest version of the Nike+ app, which syncs to the wristband to allow people to share accomplishments and compete with friends. The app can also track individual sessions and show how many “fuel” points they have earned for specific fitness activities. It also allows users to share photos through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Path.

The revamped FuelBand is being positioned as the focal point of the Nike+ ecosystem ahead of further launches in the coming months. It has created the Nike+ Fuel Lab, an update of its accelerator program from earlier this year, to accelerate the drive by working with ten start-ups to bring a product to market by the end of a 12-week cycle.

Stefan Olander, Nike’s VP of digital sport, said the upcoming launches aim to “deliver the very best experiences for our consumers, motivating and inspiring athletes at all levels”. It is hoped the move can also help spur its direct-to-consumer business.

The FuelBand sparked a rush to battle for wearable technology and Nike has seen other players such as FitBit, Jawbone and Samsung look to capitalise on growing demand over the last 12 months. The market is set to grow from $1.4bn (878m) of annual sales in 2013 to $19bn (11.9bn) by 2018, according to Juniper Research.

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