Fitbit s Blaze device has several features in common with the Apple Watch: Users can see text notifications and calendar alerts, and the device can be used to control music.Revenue more than doubled in 2015 compared with 2014, but the company has spent heavily to drive sales growth and future product launches.1 seller of wearables in the first quarter of 2016, with about 25% of market share, according to data from International Data Corp. Apple held the third-largest chunk of the market, behind Chinese electronics company Xiaomi Corp. Fitbit shipped 4.8 million units in the quarter compared with Apple s 1.5 million.We are focused on making wearable devices that motivate people to reach their health and fitness goals and that also make their lives easier with the smart features they need most, said James Park, Fitbit s chief executive and co-founder.Mr. Park added that Coin s technology will further our strategy of making Fitbit products an indispensable part of people s lives.Fitbit said this month that first-quarter sales climbed 50%, showing that less-expensive fitness trackers still have legs as they compete with the Apple Watch.
Fitbit s future plans clearly extend well beyond simple fitness tracking, as evidenced by products like the Blaze, which leans much more heavily into smartwatch territory than before.Instead it s focused, fittingly, on the mobile company s wearable payment platform.Still, it s hard not to wonder aloud what this means for Coin s future, moving forward.Also on the outs are the Coin Rewards and the Coin Developer Program.For Fitbit, the purchase means extending toward an active NFC payment solution that could be embedded into future Fitbit devices.The fitness hardware developer was still careful not to spill the beans entirely adding that there are no plans to integrate Coin s wearable payments technology into the 2016 Fitbit product roadmap.
Valentina PalladinoFitbit devices are known for being easy-to-use, fitness-first products, but now the company that makes them may be planning to tack on extra features.Fitbit released a statement today announcing that it has acquired "wearable payment assets" from the Silicon Valley company Coin.Existing Coin users will be able to use their devices for the duration of their "lifetime"; the card itself can last two years without any recharging.One of the biggest differences between standalone fitness trackers and all-purpose smartwatches is mobile payment support: the Apple Watch has Apple Pay, and Google has Android Pay for its smartphones while Android Wear users eagerly await its inclusion on their wearable devices.Jawbone was the first big fitness tracker company to integrate mobile payments into its Up4 wristband, but that feature is in partnership with American Express, so only AmEx cardmembers can use it.Earlier this year, MasterCard and Coin announced a partnership to bring mobile payments to a bunch of fitness-related wearables, including the Atlas wristband, but there's no word on whether that plan will continue now that Fitbit essentially owns that technology.
Fitbit announced that it has acquired Coin's wearable payment technology, a move that will see NFC mobile payments coming to the company's lineup of fitness trackers in the near future.Next came its wearable prototype, which it developed in partnership with MasterCard.Apparently, this proof of concept was enough to convince Fitbit to shed a little coin on the technology.The announcement details that the Coin payment technology will not be making its way to 2016's Fitbit products, like the Fitbit Blaze and Fitbit Alta, that have already released this year, as well as unannounced products that may still be coming.But that leaves the wearables of 2017 totally open to mobile payment integration.Just try to come up with something a little more imaginative than Fitbit Pay, yeah?
View photosMoreFitbit Blaze watches are displayed during the 2016 CES trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada January 6, 2016.REUTERS/Steve Marcus Reuters - Fitbit users could soon make payments with a flick of the wrist, as the maker of the simple yet hugely popular fitness bands races to pack in more features in its products.NFC has featured prominently in some mobile devices and is used in the Apple Watch as well as payment services such as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Wallet.For Fitbit, which dominates the wearable devices market, the deal could help it catch up on a technology that is becoming increasingly popular with users and retailers.Fitbit retained its strong grasp on the wearables market in the first quarter, accounting for nearly a quarter of it, according to an IDC report released on Monday.Reporting by Narottam Medhora in Bengaluru; Editing by Sayantani Ghosh and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty
Next year's Fitbit fitness trackers are likely to include the ability to make mobile payments.The fitness tracking giant has announced the purchase of a large portion of Coin, a start-up offering advanced payment solutions via NFC technology.While Fitbit says the Coin tech will not be built into 2016 releases, a press release says it could read: will be embedded into future devices.The move into mobile payments, hinted at by CEO James Park in an interview with the New York Times last month, could be key to fending off the challenge from Android Wear and Apple watchOS devices.Although smartwatches are yet to completely prove their worth to most consumers, the ability to make payments by placing the wrist next to a contactless terminal is a great incentive.Park says via Engadget : We are focused on making wearable devices that motivate people to reach their health and fitness goals, and that also make their lives easier with the smart features they need most.
On top of that, we really have to think about what wearables are going to become to make sure that we're thinking about them in the right way today.One company that's targeting its omnichannel customers and working to meet shoppers wherever they are is retail home improvement chain Lowe's.Since the majority of wearables are tied to an app, marketers can use those mobile applications to get permission from consumers and provide disclosure on that collected data.The data tied to wearable devices will be leveraged, Edwards continues, to build predictive models that will ultimately be part of a larger interconnected ecosystem that will be comprised of Internet of Things hardware and software, emotive robotics, and mixed reality — such as virtual reality and augmented reality — in order to create immersive and highly contextual solutions for the brand marketers of the future.As wearable tech becomes more ubiquitous, Barrett Glasgow says that there'll be even more attention centered on the data that these devices are collecting, displaying, and distributing.Don't focus on the wearable part.
Enter the Pavlok, a wrist band that delivers a 255 volt shock to the wearer when they violate self-imposed spending limits.The wearable works via an integration with a banking platform for Intelligent Environments, a UK company.Go over that limit, and the system will notify Pavlok, which will dutifully give you an electric shock as punishment.The banking platform itself can work with more than Pavlok, though, and those who don t like the thought of suffering a shock can use Nest for a more subtle sort of discomfort.Spend too much money, for example, and you can set the thermostat to turn the AC down in the summer time, making yourself uncomfortably warm.Said Intelligent Environments director David Webber:With cashless payments like contactless, direct debits, and Apple Pay, it s unsurprising we lose track of spending, so we decided to solve this by enabling smart devices to manage our overspending for us … Both Pavlok and Nest Thermostat are opt-in services so consumers can decide whether to switch them on or not.
Wearables have the potential to change consumer and business technology, but how much do you know about them?Wearable technology has emerged from the darkened room of enthusiasts to the mainstream in recent years, with gadgets like the Apple Watch and Moto 360 becoming not just accessories, but fashion items too.Many of the biggest names in technology are working on smartwatches, smart glasses and smart clothing to help us lead healthier and more productive lives – and to create new categories of products to sell to consumers and businesses as smartphone adoption rises.Apple Watch 1 897x1000 Wearables are fast becoming the most creative area of technology, but there are serious technical issues to solve too, such as connectivity, functionality and privacy.The future of wearables seems to be only limited by the imagination.Maybe in the future we ll all wear networked clothing and browse the internet by moving our eyes?
This system has come at a cost of one billion dollars.Each sensor has an accelerometer that measures tremors and algorithms that detect earthquakes.When an earthquake is detected a signal is sent to a server in hundredths of a second.The damage maps are sent via email to fire departments within minutes of the earthquake and are downloaded to battery-powered devices in case power is interrupted.IoT standalone sensors are augmented by Zizmos smartphone apps Zizmos eQuake that are available free-of-charge for iOS and Android.Every second that passes, thousands of messages are sent from the sensors to servers for analytics and alerting.
The BACtrack Skyn wearable alcohol biosensor is expected to be a valuable resource for the alcohol research community.BACtrack, a privately held medical device maker, took the $200,000 top prize in the National Institutes of Health Wearable Biosensor Challenge with its wristband monitor – dubbed BACtrack Skyn – which measures blood alcohol levels via sweat on the skin.It can help doctors accurately measure a patient s drinking history, and not just depend on the most recent tests, Koob said.The blood alcohol monitoring devices used in legal and medical circles are big and bulky, like a ball and chain for the ones using it, said Keith Nothacker, president of BACtrack.Nothacker said it takes about 45 minutes for ethanol to be transmitted through the skin, and that the device is designed to provide a recent history of alcohol use.BACtrack has been experimenting with consumer-centric alcohol testing for several years.
Dr. George Koob, head of the NIH's National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, said he expected the device to be a valuable resource for alcohol research community.It can help doctors accurately measure a patient s drinking history, and not just depend on the most recent tests," Koob said.The blood alcohol monitoring devices used in legal and medical circles are big and bulky, like a ball and chain for the ones using it, said Keith Nothacker, president of BACtrack.Nothacker said it takes about 45 minutes for ethanol to show up in the blood, and that the device is designed to provide a recent history of alcohol use.BACtrack has been experimenting with consumer-centric alcohol testing for several years.Reporting by Mir Ubaid; Editing by Jonathan Weber and Cynthia Osterman
Coin, a four-year-old company that has developed technology for making mobile payments, was acquired by Fitbit this week.The acquisition will give Fitbit access to Coin s intellectual property pertaining to its wearables payment platform, and will also bring some of Coin s key personnel to Fitbit.Coin announced the acquisition this week, saying that it will no longer sell any of its products, in that Coin 2.0 has sold out and it won t be making any more.Those with an existing Coin device will be able to use it until its battery dies, at which point you ll have to gravitate to a different product — and since the battery lasts for two years, you re probably good to go for a while.Now that the company s wearable payment platform IP is in Fitbit s hands, the latter company has all the trappings needed to create a fitness wearable able to make mobile payments, something that would give its products a huge element of attraction over competing wearables from Jawbone and more.The move wouldn t be surprising, as Fitbit — one of the top fitness wearable makers out there, presently — has been feeling the pressure from an increasingly crowded marketplace and sophisticated competitors remember when Fitbit sued Jawbone?
The company said it will be releasing the developer edition in Q4 2016, and it s already working on a consumer version that s scheduled to be released next year.Ara has made so much progress this year, it s actually spun out into a new business unit run by Richard Woolridge the chief operating officer of ATAP , Google said.Enabled devices will have six generic slots that can be customized to your heart s desire.The idea of Ara is to ensure that your devices are future-proofed, meaning that the whole upgrade every two years mentality is no longer a thing.When you want to eject it, you can either specify the module you no longer want within the settings app or simply tell Google using your voice.Google is working on giving developers more access to tools that it calls the first truly modular computing platform.Created by former DARPA director Regina Dugan, who has since departed for Facebook, ATAP specializes in projects that could be developed within two years, which is a much shorter time from Google s other innovative program, X, which focuses on moonshots.In previous years, the company has shared details around some of the things it s been working on, including its wearable technology effort Project Jacquard, touch-sensitive textiles Project Soli, and Project Vault, which specializes in encrypting a microSD memory card.Other efforts in the group include augmented reality technology Project Tango, modular smartphone customization effort Project Ara, and a smart contact lens that helps you manage your glucose levels.Google also shared updates today relating to Project Jacquard and Project Soli.
The companies have teamed up on a smart jacket for bicyclists that will allow wearers to control their smartphones using sensors woven into the cuff.The Commuter smart jacket is a key step for wearable technology because it's more stylish and less obtrusive than a smartwatch.Remove it, and the jacket looks like a normal piece of clothing.The jacket is designed to be hung up, crumpled up and tossed in a bag, thrown over a chair, and even put through a washing machine, said Levi's Vice President Paul Dillinger.There's still a question of price, though.The company is working with commercial uniform maker Cintas to bring Jacquard into the enterprise as well.
See Also: Wearables move beyond the hand, onto the footThe wearable giant, which closed the deal last week on May 12, said it has no plans to integrate Coin s wearable payments technology into the 2016 Fitbit product roadmap , but does see the acquisition as an accelerant for Fitbit to build an NFC payment solution in the near future.Fitbit has skirted round the idea of a fitness tracker doing more than health and fitness for a few years.Earlier in the year it launched the Fitbit Blaze, a wearable that looks like a smartwatch, but still lacked some of the functionality built into devices like the Apple Watch or Moto 360.We are focused on making wearable devices that motivate people to reach their health and fitness goals, and that also make their lives easier with the smart features they need most, said James Park, CEO and co-founder of Fitbit.Fitbit is still far ahead of other wearable providers in sales, at 4.8 million in the first quarter of 2016.Xiaomi is the only company close, with 3.7 million sales, but its Mi Band is much less expensive.
But now that we can track our steps and how well we re sleeping, what s next?We often don t pay attention to our moods during the day, and wearables could help offer insight, almost like a coach.In the coming months, these devices will become much smarter using machine learning so that they can tell you what to do and when to do it.Already, mindfulness and meditation apps like Pomodoro and Headspace are starting to take off.I think the next innovation is an open-source platform that combines all data with bigger-picture results/events, like annual physicals, information on injuries, illnesses, headaches, fatigue, etc.As VR headset makers succeed in making the virtual reality experience so real that we forget the computer/gaming device, it s only a matter of time until these headsets are fully integrated into society with myriad applications and experiences.
View photosMoreHttps%3a%2f%2fblueprint-api-production.s3.amazonaws.com%2fuploads%2fcard%2fimage%2f94453%2flevi s commuter x jacquard by googleThink of Google's wearables you likely think of Google Glass R.I.P or Android Wear, which is getting better but still not widely used.A decidedly different type of wearable, with Jacquard, Google may be able to accomplish something that has so far eluded the company: Create wearable tech that's appealing to more than just geeks and early adopters.In the year since, Jacquard has evolved from concept to viable product, with the first Jacquard-enabled jacket expected to hit shelves in Levi's stores in 2017.The tag, which charges via USB, is designed to look like the snaps and buttons on the rest of the jacket, though the current iteration is noticeably bulkier than the snaps you would typically find on a sleeve.As for price, Levi's Head of Global Product Paul Dillinger, says it will be "well within" the price point of the rest of the line jackets currently go for about $148-$178 , though it will be likely be more than the other jackets currently in the line.Of course, much will depend on how consumers respond to this new category of wearables.
The BACtrack Skyn wearable alcohol biosensorThis wristband can measure the alcohol content in your blood just from the sweat on your skin.BACtrack, a privately held medical device maker, took the $200,000 top prize in the National Institutes of Health NIH Wearable Biosensor Challenge last week.Dr. George Koob, head of the NIH's National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, said he expected the device to be a valuable resource for alcohol research community.It can help doctors accurately measure a patient s drinking history, and not just depend on the most recent tests," Koob said.The blood alcohol monitoring devices used in legal and medical circles are big and bulky, like a ball and chain for the ones using it, said Keith Nothacker, president of BACtrack.BACtrack has been experimenting with consumer-centric alcohol testing for several years.
The wearable is called the BACtrack Skyn and uses the sweat on your skin to monitor blood alcohol levels.The technology – made by BACtrack – has won a government sponsored competition in the US called the National Institutes of Health Wearable Biosensor Challenge.Breathe outHead of the NIH's National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Dr George Koob, said "It can help doctors accurately measure a patient's drinking history, and not just depend on the most recent tests.Keith Nothacker, president of BACtrack, said, "The blood alcohol monitoring devices used in legal and medical circles are big and bulky, like a ball and chain for the ones using it.It will take 45 minutes of wearing the device on your wrist to get an accurate reading.But in the future this type of technology may soon be included a wearable band placed behind the bar at your favorite drinking establishment, rather than an expensive breathalyzer.