Wearables Week in Review

Report Type: 
Week In Review

Digital identity meets ring

Proxy, creator of digital identities for the physical world, is acquiring Motiv which makes a smart ring. While the ring covers the usual gamut of functionality – sleep, activity and health tracking – its key differentiator is as a personal ID device, providing additional security for logins. And it’s the concept of a ring as a security device that makes Motiv so appealing to Proxy, which previously relied primarily on smartphones as the link between a person’s identity and the devices and websites that they need to login to.

The NPD Take:

  • It’s a mixed reaction. On the one hand, it appears that Proxy will stop selling a consumer version of the Motiv ring, focusing instead on the enterprise space. This suggests a less-than-healthy consumer opportunity right now which could be worrisome for other OEMs such as Oura.
  • On the other hand, the combination of security ID and a ring is an exciting area: it’s a great use case that takes wearables beyond the common ground of health and fitness, opening up a wider target audience. If Proxy is truly bowing out of the consumer space, Oura needs to work out how to add this functionality and claim the space.

Fitbit for kids?

According to Engadget, Fitbit may be planning to launch a kids-focused smartwatch with 4G connectivity later this year. At the core of the rumor is a second, nested one: that Fitbit may have purchased Doki Technologies just before Google acquired Fitbit (that deal is still underway). Doki, based in Hong Kong, made the world’s first kids smartwatch with video calling and as such could give Fitbit a jump-start in the youth-focused smartwatch market

The NPD Take:

  • The kids market for smartwatches is still wide open. While there have been a few products aimed at the space, nothing has truly resonated to date. And this may be why Fitbit is looking to Doki (if the rumor is true) to make sure that the potential product makes an impact.
  • Video calling sounds appealing… but it requires either a broad base of users or compatibility with today’s main video calling apps. For many, that means FaceTime (that won’t happen), but Google does, of course, have video calling assets that could be brought into the mix
  • The Fitbit brand is already well known among children: the company’s trackers were a “cool” accessory for the pre-teen market in the past few years, and hopefully this brand equity will help drive a rapid market acceptance of any new device.
Report Sections