[BTLE] Nike is probably going to kill the Fuel Band

During the weekend, I came across a CNET article reporting Nike will kill one of the major BTLE devices out there.

what does it say? (aka tl;dr)

Mostly that due to an opinion that the fitness sector is already kind of saturated, and some managerial issues, and the fact that Android Wear and related rumors on the Apple side will bear fruit soon-ish, Nike isn’t interested in hardware dev anymore.

what doesn’t it say?

It’s kind of hard to say what’s really going on. Nike isn’t some small startup who might fold overnight. The allegations of gross mismanagement are hard to verify. The tidbit about focusing on software and making a deal with Apple, since they will be making the phone/watch hardware anyway is interesting but misses a crucial fact: usability. Your phone does a heck of a lot already, and I have doubts it will do everything in the future. And fitness bands are unlikely to be replaced by a very costly and somewhat bulkier “iWatch”, if only because the physics and comfort involved will limit its capabilities in terms of tracking.

why do you say that?

Step counts? sure, a spike on the vertical axis of the accelerometer, provided you don’t move your arms around too sharply. Pulse, temperature, etc? Why not as long as it’s stuck to your skin.

But a lightweight device that needs to be recharged every week or so has a magical ability to become invisible. As such, it can track real habits. A thingie with a distracting screen? Less likely. If its weight or discomfort during the things it’s supposed to track is too much, the data will be even less reliable.

I’m a big proponent of specialized gizmos that do one or two things, but do them very well.


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