Fitbit deal tests Google’s willingness, ability to follow California privacy law

15 November 2019 by Steve Blum
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Google’s $2.1 billion purchase of Fitbit will, if nothing else, be an excellent test case for California’s new consumer data privacy law, which takes effect in January. The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) requires companies above a certain size let their customers know what kind of personal data is being collected and what it’s being used for, and gives individuals a level of control over the collection and use of their data.

The activity, location and health data collected by Fitbit devices is highly personal.… More

Smart watch market collapses in on itself

11 December 2016 by Steve Blum
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Once upon a time, $700 million ago…

Full featured smart watches are heading for the dustbin of fads. Pebble, the early darling of the market, is being bought by FitBit, another player that was fast out of the gate, but stumbled down the stretch. The purchase price is the first clue that something is drastically wrong with the segment. FitBit is picking up Pebble for $40 million, which, as a story in ReThink IoT explains, is a just shoot me price tag…

For Fitbit, snapping up Pebble removes a real competitor in its segments, but for Pebble, it will rue the day that the company apparently turned down a $740m takeover bid from Citizen – the Japanese watchmaker.


Fitness trackers could be this year's gift everyone gets but doesn't use

26 November 2015 by Steve Blum
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It has wrists, but does it it have legs?

The fitness tracker category is going to huge this holiday season. It’s hard to go to a meeting without seeing a Fitbit or a similar bracelet on the trendiest wrists in the room.

Most people seem to use the devices for step counting, to reassure themselves that their normal daily activity is an adequate workout. It’s useful feedback, and a lot of people seem to be altering their routine to maximise steps.… More

Form defines function for wearable smart phone peripherals

10 May 2013 by Steve Blum
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Good for a casual look.

The Fitbit Flex shipped this week. I previewed it at CES. It’s a jelly bean-sized device that snaps into a wristband and monitors your movement. The data is uploaded to a smart phone or computer, and you can mine some information about your health and fitness.

It’s a smart phone peripheral. If you’re tracking, say, sleep patterns, sensors inside of a phone would not be optimal. You might sleep with your phone next to you, but you won’t have it on you.… More

Qualcomm's medical M2M platform gaining ground

10 January 2013 by Steve Blum
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Sensible shoes.

Qualcomm Life's medical M2M (machine-to-machine) platform, 2net, had a good first year on the market. About a dozen companies were demonstrating their connected medical and fitness products in and around the Qualcomm booth at CES. So far, about two hundred have adopted the platform.

Introduced at the show last year, 2net securely connects personal monitoring and measurement devices – glucose meters, activity trackers, blood pressure monitors, for example – to health professionals. It provides the gateway and and the backend servers, plus the Internet connectivity when necessary.… More

Home automation and wearable computing hits at Pepcom

7 January 2013 by Steve Blum
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The FitBit is the bit that fits inside the wristband.

Along with Alabama, Pepcom was a winner tonight. The second of the three major press group gropes at CES, it featured a tailgate party theme and the Notre Dame/Alabama game on big screens. Nearly 200 companies set up small displays at the MGM Grand, showing new products and new brand positioning.

Nexia was in the latter category. It's a re-branding of the Schlage Link home automation system.… More