While Nike might have beat competitors like the MotoACTV and Jawbone Up to the active bracelet market over two years ago, its original endeavor, the Nike+ SportBand, was getting long in the tooth. That changes today with the introduction of the far sleeker Nike+ FuelBand. It's much in the vein of the original, except boasts a more attractive 20 LED dot-matrix display and can measure activity in a new unit the company calls NikeFuel. That latter bit is a normalized score that unlike calories "awards equal points for the same activity regardless of physical makeup." We'll have to see about that, but we're definitively smitten with its design and that row of colorful LEDs that progressively fills as one gets closer to reaching their intended goal. The $149 pre-orders go live on the company's online store at 5PM ET, but those interested ought to peep the PR and video after the break.
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NIKE Announces New NIKE+ FuelBand –Measuring Movement to Make Life A Sport
New York, New York (January 19, 2012) – NIKE, Inc. (NYSE:NKE) announced today the NIKE+ FuelBand, an innovative wristband that tracks and measures everyday movement to motivate and inspire people to be more active. Activities can now be measured through a new metric called NikeFuel: the more active you are, the more NikeFuel you earn.
NIKE, Inc. President & CEO Mark Parker unveiled NIKE+ FuelBand at an event in New York attended by seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong, Oklahoma City scoring champion and all-star Kevin Durant and 2011 IAAF women's 100-meter World Champion Carmelita Jeter.
"The NIKE+ FuelBand is a way for Nike to further evolve the exciting possibilities of merging the physical and digital worlds," said Parker. "Nike has always been about inspiring athletes, and the NIKE+ FuelBand will help motivate them in a simple, fun and intuitive way."
Designed to be worn throughout the day, the ergonomic, user-friendly NIKE+ FuelBand uses accelerometry to provide information about different activities through movement of the wrist via a LED dot matrix display. Four metrics are available: Time, Calories, Steps and NikeFuel. Unlike calorie counts, which vary based on someone's gender and body type, NikeFuel is a normalized score that awards equal points for the same activity regardless of physical makeup.
Users set a daily goal of how active they want to be, and how much NikeFuel they want to achieve. The NIKE+ FuelBand displays a series of 20 LED lights that go from red-to-green as the user gets closer to their goal. The FuelBand syncs with the Nike+ website through a built-in USB, or wirelessly through Bluetooth to a free iPhone app, to record activity and track progress every day. The app interface also provides encouragement and motivation as goals are achieved.
Armstrong said, "What's great about the idea of NikeFuel and the FuelBand is the way it provides real information and numbers to show how much people are doing all day, every day. That's what will get people challenging themselves to do more and better their own scores. It's a tool to get people more active."
"NikeFuel means everyone can get recognition for activities they do," said Durant. "It provides a scoreboard for your day and gets everyone moving."
Jeter said, "You don't have to be an elite athlete to appreciate how NikeFuel can motivate you. It's an easy way to get credit for activities and compare how you do with others, even if you take part in different sports.
The Nike+ Fuelband will be available for preorder starting January 19th in the US at Nikestore.com for a suggested retail price of $149 (US).
To use Nike+ FuelBand, the following is needed:
• A Macintosh or PC with built-in USB. Mac OS v 10.4 or later, Windows 7 or Windows Vista (SP2) or
Windows XP (SP2)
• Internet access. Broadband is recommended.
• Optional mobile app available in the iTunes App store; for updates on compatible mobile devices, visit Nikeplus.com
About NIKE, Inc.
NIKE, Inc., based near Beaverton, Oregon, is the world's leading designer, marketer and distributor of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities. Wholly owned Nike subsidiaries include Converse Inc., which designs, markets and distributes athletic footwear, apparel and accessories; Cole Haan, which designs, markets and distributes luxury shoes, handbags, accessories and coats; Umbro Ltd., a leading United Kingdom-based global football (soccer) brand; and Hurley International LLC, which designs, markets and distributes action sports and youth lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories. For more information, visit www.nikeinc.com and follow @Nike.