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'Connected health and fitness' offers fresh opportunity

02 Jul 2012

As the ‘connected health and fitness’ arena takes off internationally, one vendor is launching its assault on New Zealand and says the new, burgeoning market holds potential for local retailers and resellers.

Todd Lynton, Fitbit Australasia and Singapore country manager,says: “This is an emerging significant category for the channel and trade, where the biggest categories such as laptops and desktops or televisions are bringing declining returns due to price erosion, and the growth of mobile.

“This category is new and is growing. It’s a long, long, long way from being commoditised and suffering the price erosion being experienced in other core categories.”

Fitbit launched a wireless activity and sleep tracker, worn much like a pedometer; and Wi-Fi smart scales in New Zealand this month.

Lynton says the Fitbit Ultra Wireless Activity + Sleep Tracker, which measures stairs or hills climbed as well as the usual steps, distance travelled and calories burned, is a mass market product which can be sold ‘at high velocity’.

He says in the US the products are largely sold through the consumer electronics and IT channel to the mass consumer market, though the corporate market is now becoming ‘a big part of the equation’ with companies providing staff with the Ultra. “They can set up [online] groups and have company prizes for reaching certain goals. It’s a way of encouraging staff loyalty and improving staff culture, while also helping staff improve their alertness and health,” Lynton says.

Key to the Fitbit system is the website, which includes the Fitbit dashboard enabling users to track their progress through graphs, team up with others or create groups for support and earn ‘badges’ for reaching goals.