Nike announced today that it is opening a Nike+ Fuel Lab in San Francisco that will help it grow what has become one of the leading fitness tracking platform among mobile device users. Nike is hoping the new facility will help the Nike+ Fuel platform remain a leader as fitness tracking becomes more popular on wearables and mobile devices. It will use the facility to team up with app developers and integrate the platform into other products in the fitness tracking space. Last year Nike hosted a Nike+ Accelerator program that saw startups pitching ideas and demo products for the platform, and the success of the program inspired the more permanent Fuel Lab for similar efforts.
“We are excited about evolving NikeFuel to deliver richer experiences that make it easier for all athletes to reach their potential,” said Stefan Olander, Nike’s Vice President of Digital Sport. “The demand for simpler data-powered experiences is soaring, and all-day sensing is more available on mobile and wearable devices than ever before. Nike is committed to broadening the use of NikeFuel through collaborations with industry leaders to create smarter products and services.”
The new Nike+ Fuel Lab will see the company working with app developers and other companies to integrate the NikeFuel platform into their products. That means Nike’s hardware— like the FuelBand fitness tracker and SportWatch— will then work with the partner apps and syncing data between the apps will become seamless. That’s a feature request you might have noticed in the majority of reviews for Nike’s FuelBand hardware in the past. Nike announced a few of the companies it’s teaming up with initially at the new Nike+ Fuel Lab and they include popular fitness tracking apps for mobile and web including RunKeeper, MyFitnessPal, and Strava.
Nike of course has its own mobile apps for the NikeFuel platform and FuelBand, including the Nike+ Running app that has had much success and launched in close partnership with Apple back in 2006 (also now on Android). It has a number of other apps on mobile and web too- Training Club, FuelBand, Basketball— for the platform, but it’s hoping the new initiative will allow it to grow NikeFuel even further. It’s unclear how much that will extend to the Android platform, as the company decided to hold off on an Android app for its latest FuelBand hardware.
The company said today the platform across apps currently reaches around 28 million users with the potential to reach 100 million more through its new partnerships.
Cnet is out with a report today claiming Nike has held “serious discussions about exiting the market for wearable hardware,” but it’s clear Nike has a commitment to the Nike+Fuel platform with or without the FuelBand hardware.