Microsoft actually got ahead of the competition (for the first time in about 15 years) and released a competing product for Fitbit‘s and Apple’s not-here-soon-enough watch. In fact they even beat Fitbit to the punch despite their recent announcement of new products (Charge, Charge HR and Surge). It just takes Apple or Microsoft to get involved and now the market is already starting to saturate with wearable fitness tech. Prior to this tech craze the only wearable fitness tech anyone really knew about were Fitbit, Nike Fuelband and Bodymedia Fit.
Now that Microsoft and Apple have entered the market we should all prepate to become inundated with hundreds of wearable tech options. The flame wars will begin soon. Google will probably have one out by the end of the next quarter and all of us will be taking cheap shots at the short comings of the others tech because, lets be honest, we all like to exploit the inadequacies of the competitor (I am definitely guilty of it).
I have had my Fitbit for nearly two years and I’m not really in the market to replace it. If, hypothetically, I were in the market for an updated fitness device, I wouldn’t be looking at Microsoft or Apple purely based on the cost. Anything above $130 is just a little above my price range for something that just needs to measure my steps and activity levels; however I am not a fitness nut. I don’t jog/run, I don’t lift weights with any regularity, so perhaps I’m not the target market for these expensive wearable tech devices – which is entirely possible, after all I didn’t do the market research for these guys. Be that as it may, my hypothesis is still that these companies are taking advantage of a popular trend right now, which does make business sense, but doesn’t always render quality products.
Regardless of which of those theories is correct, its actually an encouraging trend. Perhaps it will be the motivation people need to live healthier lives; the Fitbit has certainly helped me to lose weight and keep it off. I’m certainly a fan of people making the effort to become more fit instead of mandates and soda bans coming down from the government.
Btw, if you hadn’t heard about Microsoft’s latest gadget, its the Microsoft Band. It does actually look pretty neat but I’m not excited about that price tag.