Nike has sent out invitations to a NikeFuel Forum event happening on October 15th in New York that it promises will be a “discussion of the future of the digital world experience and physical activity”.
Although light on specific details, the major buzz around the internets would suggest that Nike will be unveiling, amongst other things, a new version of its FuelBand wearable technology, probably to link into its ever expanding Nike + range. The original FuelBand was released in January of this year, and has only received one purely cosmetic update since then, with several different colours now available, so it’s ripe for a refresh.
Current rumours suggest that a next-generation Nike+ FuelBand will sport some seriously cool technology inside, including a heart rate/pulse monitor, faster data display, Bluetooth 4.0 for improved battery life and syncing, and more robust Nike+ API for developers to tap into your tracking data. Specifically for the heart rate monitor, users will be required to pinch the FuelBand on the monitor area for your pulse to be taken.
The long-awaited FuelBand Android app has been in the works, as reports have noted in the past, but it’s not clear if Nike has plans to release the app with the updated band in mid-October. Nike didn’t sound too keen on an Android app in February, when the company said: “To deliver the best experience for all Nike+ FuelBand users, we are focusing on the FuelBand experience across iOS and nikeplus.com, where you can sync your activity, set new goals, and connect with friends. At this time, we are not working on an Android version of the mobile app.”
And as NikeFuel should extend past the FuelBand, Nike might also use this event to highlight the Nike+ Move app that was announced with the iPhone 5S in September, and hopefully unveil some more details around it, as both Nike and Apple say it will be available on the App Store in the near future, offering a FuelBand-like experience right from the phone.
The fitness-tracking segment has heated up with strong competition from the likes of FitBit, which has a number of different products. Samsung’s smartwatch, the Galaxy Gear, can serve as a fitness tracker as well, so we’ll be eagerly awaiting the news from New York on the 15th to see what Nike has to offer.