I owned 1st Fuelband just for a week. I bought it because it was reported Bluetooth LE device, but it was actually a legacy Bluetooth SPP device so I refunded. It looks cool to have multi-color LED band on my wrist, but usefulness? To me, not much... For a bicycle rider, purpose-built Garmin cycle computer (not exactly wearable gadget, though) is much more useful for cycling.
Fitness wearable devices are really useful for anyone with a slightest interest in remaining fit. I have never own such a device but for me weight, softwarea and hardware interface, price and connectivity are few things that should be perfect. I think the smartwatches or wearable devices that are sold with the smartphones can be better placed for a fitness wearable.
If sports companies are concentrating on technical advancement and laying off sports staff it may not be very good for their reputation. People like them for class they have developed in sports. But cost cutting can not be avoided. But its great to know that sports comapnies are reinventing themselves to be at the speed of changing environment. Today's youth wants everyone through gadgets and sports accessories are something that can sell fast.
On one hands, people are disappointed the lack of heart rate monitor on fuelband. On the other hands, heart rate monitor is not one of the features exist in fitbit, one of the biggest competing products against fuelband. So, I guess heart rate monitor isn't the reason that Nike fuelband is not gaining much market share.
I believe the size of the market might be the primarily reason that Nike decides to restructure the division. IMHO, Nike may want to stick to the market by other means since most evidences indicate wearable, fitness tracking will continue to be the blooming market in the next couple years. Comments?
@chanj0, Yes it look great, with Heart Rate Monitor with the wrist band, this kind of device is very useful even Sony and Samsung are also designing wrist bands that also might provide this kind of functionalities. But one thing is surely there that they should be compatible with both Android and IOS otherwise it will be hard to service in Android centric market today.
It could quite simply be the case that Nike wants to outsource hardware development hardware and focus on software. Developing wearable hardware devices is tough for a company whose primary business is shoes and apparel rather than electronics. They may have made the calculation that they could outsource the hardware design and partner with other players who have more expertise in electronics so that they can focus on the more lucrative aspects of the wearable ecosystem: software and data mining. The lack of comparative Android support is a glaring omission.