Fitbit CEO: Wearable tech isn’t one size fits all


Fitbit CEO and co-founder James Park sat down for an interview during a webcast at the LeWeb convention in Paris in December 2013. One dimension would not fit all about wearable technology, stated James Park, CEO and co-founder of fitness tracking wearable technology Fitbit.

At Wednesday’s LeWeb convention in Paris, Park stated that there’s no single killer instrument in wearable know-how. He implied that there’s lots of room for units corresponding to Google Glass, Pebble’s smartwatch, and its latest product, the Fitbit Force, a health sensor that doubles as a watch.

Google Glass and other wearables like smartwatches are nice,” he mentioned. However, for wearables, no one measurement matches all. They each serve completely different desires. Google Glass isn’t like a smartwatch.”


Park said the new Fitbit Pressure isn’t trying to compete with smartwatches. He sees Fitbit’s focus on finding different ways people may need to wear expertise for monitoring activity and sleep, similar to wearing a wrist or a bra. He said that Fitbit additionally deals with merchandise in several value points, from reasonably priced to more expensive merchandise to fit different customers’ needs.

He said that Fitbit’s particular area of interest is all in favor of well-being and wellness. And that is where he expects the company, which, 12 months ago, raised an extra $43 million from mission backers Softbank Capital, Qualcomm Ventures, and SAP Ventures, to proceed to a focal point. The corporation can increase and innovate by developing better sensor technology and wise software to do something useful with the information accrued.

He stated the newest round of funding should be used to hire extra employees and enlarge the corporate industry internationally. Fitbit presently employs about 220 folks, mostly in San Francisco. The corporation, which began in 2007, launched its first product in 2009. At first, the units may only be sold through Fitbit’s web page. But now, the merchandise is in more than 30,000 stores in 27 countries.

Park stated he hopes to keep increasing this presence globally. However, that takes cash. Park said the corporate had raised a total of about $66.5 million in just over 6.5 years. However, he needs to have raised more to start with.

“It is harder and costlier to begin a hardware company than to build software and apps,” he mentioned. It takes a long time to construct merchandise. And we best had $2.eight million in capital to begin, which seems like loads, but it’s not. When you’re dealing with hardware, it doesn’t leave a lot of room for mistakes.”

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Fitbit now deals with five different gadgets, which vary in value from about $60 to $one hundred thirty. The gadgets screen and track the number of steps customers take and calculate how many calories they burn. The screen also shows how much sleep individuals get in an evening. Customers can then learn about the information gathered easily, which they may compare and share with others.

The hope is that individuals will use the ideas to make healthier selections. Certainly, simply logging tasks does inspire many customers. For instance, Park stated that after 12 weeks of using Fitbit, people tend to extend their activity stage byby40 %. The job also increases when they add social components, like sharing information with friends.

“Weight Watchers is an analog type of tracking habits,” he said. “Logging what you eat and your process is nothing new. But it motivates us. So we don’t seem to be changing behavior with Fitbit; we’re adding digital tools to make it more uncomplicated so that it can be carried out transparently.”