Adidas Launches Fitness App To Stay Connected With Customers

What Happened
Adidas is finally entering the connected health scene with its first branded fitness app All Day. Available now on iOS and Android, the app aims to provide a holistic approach to help users stay fit and healthy with a wide range of tutorial content covering topics from yoga moves to healthy recipes. The app can also be used to track your data in a series of health aspects such as movement, nutrition, and sleep.

Interestingly, Adidas says right now the app is designed to focus on the female customers, since its data suggest they are the key users in the wellness space, although the company says there will be additional content geared toward men later on.

What Brands Need To Do
The launch of this app marks a much-needed change of strategy for Adidas, who announced at SXSW festivals earlier this month that it is looking to create a new open ecosystem for its digital fitness products. As connected consumers increasingly expect brands to provide a digital component to their products and services, Adidas makes the right move to catch up with more tech-savvy rival brands Nike and Under Armour in terms of developing a digital fitness ecosystem that complements its products and foster an online community that helps build brand affinity.


Source: SportTechie

Header image courtesy of Adidas’ promotional image

CES 2017 Day 3: Under Armour Joins The Sleep Tech Boom

 Earlier this afternoon, Under Armour CEO and founder Kevin Plank delivered the last solo keynote address of this year’s CES. The fast-talking CEO began with a passionate and detailed account of the transition his company has successfully made in recent years from a sportswear brand into a fast-growing athleisure lifestyle brand supercharged by fitness technology, before moving on to introduce a few new products and updates.

The Sleep Tech Boom
As we noted in our CES First Look on Tuesday, sleep-related tech is a hot area at this year’s CES, which even created its first-ever dedicated “sleep tech marketplace.” Startups like Vobot, Motio HW, ZEEQ, and Acesleep come to showcase their products all designed to monitor and enhance your sleep. Sleep Number debuted a self-adjusting connected bed that can fit various sleeping positions and alleviate mild snoring. 

Now, Under Armour is jumping on the sleep tech bandwagon with a new line of sleepwear dubbed Athlete Recovery Sleepwear. The company partnered with researchers from John Hopkins University and star quarterback Tom Brady to design this high-tech pajama line, made with a special fabric that the company claims can enhance your sleep quality by absorbing heat and improving blood flow and cell regeneration.

The company announced on stage that it is partnering with Arianna Huffington’s lifestyle and wellness brand Thrive Global to promote this new line of sleepwear. On the software side, the company is also updating its UA Record app to incorporate its new focus on sleep. New features for this fitness tracking app include generating reports on sleeping cycles and consistency and offering tips on how to achieve better sleep.

As sleep quickly becomes digitalized and integrated as part of our health and fitness data, we expect to see more fashion, healthcare, and sports brand to come out with their own sleep-related initiatives.

Under Armor’s Digital Fitness Strategy
Beyond its new sleep initiatives, Under Armour also updated its MapMyRun app to add a feature called Jump Test, which asks users to do a set of jumping jacks and uses the sensors on its connected footwear line to determine if your body has sufficiently warmed up for a run.

Under Armour is not the only company showcasing fitness-oriented connected apparels at this CES. Two standout examples from this category are Polar’s new connected sports shirt, which comes with built-in vital-tracking sensors that can share data in real time, and the “E-Skin” bodysuit developed by Xenoma, which is embedded with 14 motion-capturing sensors designed to track your full-body movements during workouts.

A big part of the success that Under Armour has enjoyed so far can be attributed to its digital fitness strategy. Looking beyond physical products like apparels and shoes, the company made a series of acquisitions from 2013 to 2015 that beefed up its fitness app portfolio, which includes the aforementioned UA Records and MapMyRun as well as the popular calorie-tracking app MyFitnessPal. By allowing its customers to aggregate and understand the fitness data they generate with their apps and products, the company has fostered an online fitness community of over 160 million users. For other fashion and sports brands, this digital-led strategy should provide some inspiration in how to effectively reach and engage with today’s connected consumers.


Fitbit Becomes The First Wearable Company To Integrate With Amazon’s Alexa

What Happened
Another day, another new skill added to Amazon’s virtual assistant service Alexa. Today, Fitbit unveiled its integration with Alexa, which allows users to get their daily fitness stats, such as steps taken and heart rates, simply by asking their Alexa-enabled Amazon devices. The fitness wearable maker also designed some contextual messages so that Alexa can offer users words of encouragement throughout the day.

What Brands Need To Do
While Fitbit is the first wearable company to integrate with Alexa, it is not the first one to add a conversational touch to fitness wearables. Moov, for example, created a fitness tracker that talks to you during workouts via wireless earbuds to guide you through the exercises and reads you key biometric stats. Nevertheless, by integrating with Alexa, Fitbit has added another dimension to its product and a new touchpoint to engage users. As Amazon and the developer community continue to build out Alexa’s capabilities and make it an increasingly brand-friendly platform to reach consumers at home, brands would be smart to get on board with those devices via integrations or partnerships.

For more information on how brands can develop authentic brand voices and navigate the new rules of discovery, check out the Conversational Interfaces section in our Outlook 2016.


Source: CNet

Gatorade To Suggest Drinks By Analyzing Your Sweat

What Happened
Sports drink maker Gatorade is pushing into digital fitness with a smart-cap bottle and a chip-embedded sweat patch. The smart-cap bottle can monitor fluid intake and share real-time hydration data with the Gatorade app, and the sweat patch can work with an app to analyze sweat and identify a user’s sweat level, as well as their electrolyte and additional fluid-intake needs. Combining these real-time data, Gatorade can inform users when and how much they should drink during workouts and recommend one of its twelve drink formulas that fits their sweat type.

What Brands Need To Do
As Gatorade taps into biometric data and adds extra value to its products, it provides a great example for brands looking to use customer data to optimize their products and services. As more consumers embrace fitness wearables, it is important for fitness, healthcare, and lifestyle brands to keep up with shifting consumer behavior and find a way to integrate all the fitness data available into their products and services.


Source: Digiday

CES 2016: Under Armour Teams Up With IBM’s Watson For Smart Fitness Data

Under Armour has been developing “connected clothing” for a while now, and at CES 2016, the sportswear maker announced a new partnership with IBM, integrating the computing power of IBM’s AI platform Watson into its health and fitness app, UA Record to analyze users’ fitness data and give them actionable insights on healthcare and exercises.

Moreover, Watson will also use other data in making those fitness and health suggestions. For example, it can pull real-time weather data from The Weather Channel app, which IBM recently acquired, to figure out the optimal time and temperature to suggest a run outside. This signals an exciting new direction for the fitness wearables to tap into big data and AI to expand its functionality and offer added value to users.


For more of the Lab’s CES coverage, click here.

CES 2016:  Withings Go Brings E-Ink To Fitness Wearables

As with last year, the CES has no shortage of wearables, especially the fitness trackers. Among this year’s new crops, Withings Go stands out with its simplistic design and a super-long battery life – it can go as long as eight months after a full charge, according to the company. The reason is can last that long is because instead of a battery-draining LCD display, it opts for E Ink, the kind of mono-color display that Kindle uses. It does what most activity trackers do, including step counts, calorie intake tracking, and measuring travelled distance. Selling at only $70, it makes a strong case for competing in the lower-end of the wearable market previously dominated by FitBit, who just unveiled at CES yesterday its first smartwatch Blaze that sells for $200.

For more of the Lab’s CES coverage, click here.

Mondelēz Will Trade A Pack Of Trident For Your Fitness Data

What Happened
Mondelēz gets into wearable data with a holiday campaign for its Trident gum brand. As part of its Trident’s C.H.E.W. (Change Health Every Week) campaign that rewards shoppers for staying healthy during the holiday season, the international snack giant is giving exclusive offers to customers of convenience store chain Kum & Go in exchange for sharing their workout data from fitness trackers. Those reward offers will be delivered through the Kum & Go mobile app once users hit some pre-fixed goals, such as taking 10,000 steps.

What Brands Need To Do
With this new initiative, Mondelēz found a way to engage health-conscious shoppers with a gamified challenge, presenting an interesting example in how brands can acquire consumer data and use it for good. Tapping into wearable data can help brands gain valuable insights into consumer behavior, and incentivizing people to share that data in exchange for value offers is a good way to do so.


Source: Digiday

How A Health Insurance Is Using Wearable Data To Motivate Its Customers

What Happened
CSS, one of Switzerland’s biggest health insurers, is testing a pilot program to incentivize or, depending on your perspective, penalize its customers based on fitness data. Launched in July, the program tracks the movements of 2,000 volunteers on a daily basis using digital pedometers. The goal is to better calibrate insurance rates based on individual data. Currently, the monitoring can only legally be used on supplementary insurance, but the company reportedly would like to expand it as part of the Switzerland’s mandatory basic coverage.

What Brands Should Do
Fitness trackers and the quantified self movement have grown in tandem, which in turn, generate a vast amount of health data that the healthcare industry can use to improve their service. In fact, CSS is not the first insurance company to utilize fitness data: Oscar Insurance launched a similar test program in the US last year. The company gave away Misfit fitness trackers and rewarded users with Amazon gift cards based on their personal stats. Besides insurers, more healthcare companies should figure out how, within legal bounds, to incorporate fitness data into their incentive programs or even penalization, in order to provide more personalized and calibrated services, understand their customers, and manage risks.


Source: Quartz

Can Smartphones Replace Fitness Wearables?

Read original story on: Engagdet

A new study by The University of Pennsylvania shows that smartphone apps’ step counts are reasonably on the mark, whereas fitness wearables are much less reliable, with wide error margins. This, coupled with the news of Fitbit advising users suffering from skin rash to take off its products for a while, raises the question of whether smartphones are adequate substitute for fitness wearables. After all, it’s the data these devices collect that matters, not the devices themselves.

At least for now, the answer is a tentative “no”. First off, smartphone screens are getting bigger and bigger, which makes them inconvenient to carry around, especially while exercising. Moreover, it may take a few more years for smartphone to be equipped with advanced biometric sensors that are currently on some wearables. That being said, wearables are designed to be worn, and brands need to do a better job at making them truly wearable.

How Wearables Can Help The Health Insurance Industry

Read original story on: Gizmodo

This week, Oscar Insurance launched a new program: the company is giving away Misfit fitness trackers in hope of motivating its clients to exercise more and stay healthy. If users reach a daily step count determined by their current health stats, they get $1 credit, which they can later use on Amazon gift cards. As the health insurance starts focusing on preventative health, this seems like a great win-win solution.