This report will suggest why Timex Group should pursue the development of an activity/sleep-tracking wristband along with a supporting app. It provides an analysis of the technological and behavioral changes that motivated the initial capital investment in the creation of self-tracking gadgets. The report also examines existing devices and their key features, potential growth of the market and a study indicating an ideal location for test of the product.
We, at Sage, know that the Timex sportive division focuses on creating equipment that supports athletes and semi-athletes during physical activity. This strategy has allowed your company to acquire great expertise, but has also restricted its market to a specific niche. The self-tracking trend appeals to a mass audience having enormous potential growth. In fact, 7 in 10 Americans are self-tracking their fitness and health, but only one fifth is currently using technology to do so. (Fox, 2012) Furthermore, the technology necessary to develop a competitive product is not groundbreaking. (Economist, 2012)
Understanding the Trend
Technological development has been accused of promoting sedentary behavior. The modern lifestyle is generally dominated by bad habits such as poor diet and lack of physical activity. The combination of these behaviors leads to higher risks of diseases like obesity, heart attack, diabetes and high blood pressure. (Dzewaltowski, 2008) In fact, about 90 million people are considered obese in the United States and the average adult takes only 5,117 steps per day; which is half of the amount recommended by the U.S. Surgeon General. (Wang, 2012)
However, technology has finally found its way to promoting wellness and health to the general public. The introduction of smartphones and apps in the market has been changing the way people live and s control their lives. Many smartphone users are starting to use apps such as Expensify to track their expenses, DataMan to track data usage and, more importantly in this instance, apps like MyFitnessPal to track physical activity and diet.
Obviously, logging precedes any technology, but innovations are boosting growth in self-tracking activity. Movements like the Quantified Self, created in 2007 by Gary Wolf and Kevin Kelly, encourages individuals to record their daily activities through the use of technology. The daily marathon involves recording calorie intake, calories burned, weight control and sleep monitoring. The goal is to live a longer and healthier life by being more active and engaged. (Economist, 2012)
This change in consumer behavior did not go unnoticed and many companies entered this new market searching for profit. According to Jennifer Wang, mobile-based health companies received more than $500 million in investments during 2011; practically double of the amount invested in 2010. One of the outcomes of the increased investment is the new activity/sleep tracking wristband devices supported by apps in the iOS and Android platforms.
Self-Tracking Wristband: Features & Main Players
The self-tracking wristbands use a refined accelerometer and altimeter that detect subtle movements and changes in height. It measures the activity level and even sleeping patterns of its users. The data is collected throughout the day and then transferred to a smartphone where a supporting app stores and analyzes the data. (Economist, 2012)
The key features of the existing wristband/app are:
•Vibrating Silent Alarm
•Heart Rate Monitor
•Social Media Sharing
•Calorie Intake Count
•Insights (observations determined by correlating users’ sleep, activity, food and location)
Currently, there are three main companies in the market: Nike, which recently released its wristband known as the Nike Fuel Band; Fitbit, a...