Under Armour has recently made bets on devices and artificial intelligence being the smart money for its clothing line. The company issued an announcement recently that they will work with IBM’s Watson to add artificial intelligence to their fitness tracking devices.
This press release took place just two days after the company had revealed the 150$ smart shoe, the UA SpeedForm Gemini 2, and HealthBox, both of which were unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
For the HealthBox, the consumers can purchase a $400 kit that includes a connected scale that can measure body fat along with the body weight, a heart rate monitor that straps to the user’s chest, and a fitness watch. All these offerings are done in partnership with HTC and definitely marks the company’s biggest push into the world of internet of things (IoT), with the aim of connecting fitness, sleep and nutrition.
When asked to comment of the focus that the company will be putting on wearables, Chris Glode, VP of Under Armour said, “Wearables have not been a significant focus for us in previous years,” he added. “The opportunity for us comes from a few fronts: This can generate significant revenue for us equally and perhaps more importantly, we feel like we can make that connection with the consumer. Now, we can bring in a new type of consumer who wants to buy a physical item, where previously they were just using our free apps.”
These new products will be sold at the company’s partner outlets like Dick’s and Sports Authority, however, this time, UA will also make them available through Target retail stores. When asked about this move, Mr. Glode said,
“We’re a very partner-focused business when it comes to distribution and we’re also seeing new opportunities open up for us,” he further added, “We’re getting into places where traditionally you couldn’t buy Under Armour products, but because we are in this new category of wearables now it gives us a little more breadth in some of the consumer electronics distribution channels.”
The main aim of the company is to make the products a personal health consultant, fitness trainer and coach.