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


Fitbit CEO and co-founder James Park sits down for an interview that was once webcast at the LeWeb convention in Paris in December 2013.

One dimension would not fit all in relation to wearable technology, stated James Park, CEO and co-founder of fitness tracking wearable technology Fitbit.

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

“Google Glass and different wearable’s like smart watches are nice,” he mentioned. “However for wearable’s, nobody measurement matches all. They every serve completely different desires. Google Glass isn’t like a smartwatch.”

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

He said that Fit bit’s particular area of interest is all in favour of well being and wellness. and that is the place he expects the company, which previous this 12 months raised an extra $43 million from mission backers Softbank Capital, Qualcomm Ventures, and SAP Ventures, to proceed to focal point. Where the corporate can increase and innovate is in developing better sensor technology and more wise software that can do something useful with the info accrued.

He stated the newest round of funding shall be used to hire extra employees and enlarge the corporate industry internationally. Fitbit presently employs about 220 folks, most of who are in San Francisco. The corporate, which began in 2007, launched its first product in 2009. At first, the units may only be sold through Fit bit’s web page. But now the merchandise are on hand in additional 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 has raised a total of about $66.5 million in simply over 6.5 years. However he needs he had raised extra 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 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 coping with hardware, it doesn’t leave a lot of room for mistakes.”

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Fitbit now deals five different gadgets, which vary in value from about $60 to $one hundred thirty. The gadgets screen and track what number of steps customers’ take and calculates how many calories they burn. Additionally they screen how so much sleep individuals get an evening. Customers can then learn about the info gathered in an easy method, which they may be able to compare and share with others.

The hope is that individuals will use the ideas to make more healthy selections. Certainly, simply logging task does inspire many customers. As an instance, Park stated that after 12 weeks of the usage of a Fitbit, people have a tendency to extend their activity stage with the aid of 30 to 40 %. When they begin adding social components, like sharing information with friends, job also increases.

“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 and so it can be carried out transparently.”