When I say “Nike,” you likely begin conjuring thoughts of the iconic swoosh logo, flashy high-tops or maybe even a fist-pumping Tiger. One thing I bet you didn’t think about is cutting-edge mobile technology. Nike’s FuelBand and about 120 LEDs aim to change all that by motivating users to get active and stay active.
The Nike FuelBand merges the success of two supremely popular sports accessories: the Nike+ sensor system and the omnipresent Livestrong bracelet with its 10-million knockoffs. Essentially an intelligent rubber accessory, the FuelBand sits comfortably on the wrist displaying one of four different views in its LED retro glory. These four views display current time, calories burned, steps taken and NikeFuel points, which can be uploaded to a companion website for the ultimate humble brag.
Nike markets FuelBand as a mobile fitness accessory, which it excels at by utilizing a well-designed smartphone app to seamlessly upload the fitness data the wristband aggregates. Outside of the raw data it uses to motivate our sometimes lazy selves, the FuelBand holds tremendous potential to become something more. Thanks to a flexible API and a slew of dedicated developers, info gathered by the mobile device can be used in some interesting new ways. With that in mind, you shouldn’t be surprised to see this device become more of a lifestyle accessory in the not-so-distant future.
The FuelBand isn’t without competitors, though. Fitbit and the Jawbone Up both have similar offerings that provide many of the same features. Much like the FuelBand, these wearable devices track meaningful statistics about daily activities, including distance traveled, energy expended and caloric intake. Where Nike’s offering truly differs: a recently launched accelerator program encourages developers to create apps for the Nike+ platform. To Nike, it’s not enough to set the pace themselves, they’re actively courting partners that can keep up. The first wave of companies, 10 in all, have been given $20,000 in funding and a three-month stay in Portland to work with Nike’s tech team.
Nike has orchestrated a bold yet calculated move by diving into the mobile technology market, and so far it has brought much success. You begin to see this success on display when publications like Fast Company name Nike the “Most Innovative Company of 2013.” So take a cue from Nike and “just do it.” And by it, I mean develop an innovative and useful way to utilize mobile technology and propel your company into lucrative, new markets. Imagine the FuelPoints you’d get for that.