Nike has unveiled the Nike+ FuelBand, a product that fits around your wrist and aims to provide a common metric for tracking all physical activities.
Building on Nike+, a product that the company launched in 2006 for runners, the FuelBand tracks what the company calls NikeFuel, which lets people compare a game of basketball to a dance class, for example. Nike’s VP Global Brand Trevor Edwards said at a press event in New York City that the product, “Allows everyone to measure up and compete with others.”
The band itself tracks activity through oxygen kinetics, which helps it determine whether a user is engaged in an intense sporting activity or sitting at a desk. Nike believes this will provide more precise measurement than simply tracking steps, and allow it to account for the differences across various sports (the device also tracks steps, calories, and time, however).
The company demonstrated this by showing the huge spike in activity that pro basketball player Kevin Durant sees during practice and games. Durant (and all eventual users) can sync his FuelBand with Nike+ via bluetooth or USB. That data is then available via a mobile app or desktop software.
While Nike sees its tracking capabilities as a differentiator, it also believes it has cracked the nut on motivating people to be more fit. The company lets users set daily NikeFuel score goals, and the FuelBand uses red, yellow, or green coloring to let users know how they’re doing toward their goal.
Like Nike+, there’s also integration with Twitter and Facebook, so users can share their Fuel score with friends. Nike also announced partnerships with Foursquare and Path, though wasn’t specific with what those integrations will look like.
Nike is selling the FuelBand for $149, with preorders starting today. The product clearly competes with the likes of FitBit and the Jawbone Up, both of which offer similar features for tracking activities with social tie-ins.
We’ll have more hands-on coverage of the device later today on Mashable. In the meantime, here’s a video from Nike showing the FuelBand: