Misfit CEO sees wearable fitness trackers getting crushed by smartwatches

Misfit Shine — not long for this world?
By Derek Kessler on 24 Jun 2014 02:32 pm
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Today saw the announcement that Misfit's activity tracking software was coming to Pebble smartwatches, something that took us by surprise, apparently it's because Misfit's leadership saw the death of dedicated fitness trackers in the tea leaves. All told, wearable fitness trackers are a relatively new category, only a few years old at best. Misfit sells the Shine activity tracker, which relies on a smartphone (or now a Pebble) to sync and display its data.

But in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Misfit CEO Sonny Vu said that the writing is on the wall:

"If you buy one of these [Apple] devices you're not going to buy an activity tracker," [he said], adding that he predicts Android-powered watches will undo the fitness bracelet market. "Why should we cling on to a dying a business?"

Going up against a titan like Apple was always considered dangerous, especially with their anticipated health-monitoring iWatch likely just a few months from debut. Misfit, for their part, has sold more than 300,000 copies of the Shine fitness tracker, and has no immediate plans to stop selling it. But they're going to move more into partnerships for fitness data software in lieu of their own hardware.

Android Wear smartwatches and the iWatch aren't currently available, and yet they're already starting to suck the air out of the fitness tracker space. Do you want to keep wearing a dedicated fitness tracker, or would you prefer a smartwatch that does it all?

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Reader comments

Misfit CEO sees wearable fitness trackers getting crushed by smartwatches

4 Comments

I currently have an Up24 sitting right next to my watch. It switches back and forth from my other wrist depending on what I'm doing. I look forward to combining them into one item at my earliest convenience. That said, I don't anticipate wanting to give up my mechanical watches entirely, but I digress.

Nike is making the same play, dedicating themselves to the software side, are they not?

I could see it. Recently bought a Gear 2 Neo over the Gear Fit or Fitbit , and for me the decision was easy because I wanted "all in one".

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I have been saying this for a while now and it's why I haven't forked out the money for a fitness tracker. I plan to buy a smartwatch in the next year or so which is when I believe they will have pretty much everything available on something like a fitbit.

I've been wearing my nike+ fuel band for over 2 years now, and it lives on one wrist, while my traditional analogue watch rides the other wrist. I don't see this changing in the near future as I still prefer to wear a "automatic" time device that never needs to charge/wind !!