The market for sports wearable devices has been growing extremely fast. Canalys reports that over 17 million wearable bands are predicted to be shipped in 2014 and 45 million by 2017. This latest trend in sports technology has major sports and tech players involved, including Samsung and Adidas.
Samsung is reported to be in the talks for a partnership with Under Armour in developing wearable products to combat a potential tie-up between companies such as Apple and Nike. Samsung has been a leader in the smartwatch field, tallying a 70 percent share in the global smartwatch market. Samsung’s potential partnership with Under Armour could be a success for both companies. The tandem would be in position to challenge the Nike-Apple combination that has been around since 2006. Apple could be moving forward rapidly: It was reported Tuesday that the company was awarded a patent for a wrist-worn gadget with a touchscreen and ability to communicate with a smartphone.
Samsung has been working on the Simband, a fitness band prototype that collects health data using phone apps, wearable devices and new wearable sensors. This band combined with unique technology uses optical and acoustic sensors to effectively listen to a wearer’s pulse to gather data such as heart rate. The Simband would compete with Nike’s Fuelband, the Fitbit, the Jawbone and other devices already on the market.
Adidas is launching it’s own device, the Fit Smart fitness tracker. The product will be on sale in August and has many of the same capabilities as other tracking devices. Adidas general manager of digital sports, Paul Gaudio, said the Fit Smart is superior to other wearables on the market, saying, “The real core idea behind it was to put a personal fitness coach on everybody’s wrist.” The product focuses on the heart rate. The wristband can coach a runner to pick up or bring down the pace with LED lights and vibrations.
While Fitbit is dominating sales in fitness bands, both Samsung and Under Armour as well as Adidas could have an impact on the sports technology industry. And never count out Apple or Nike.