Amazfit, a US based wearable tech company owned by Huami, recently introduced the first ceramic-based activity tracker. The bracelet does away with bulky cases and adopts a seamless and smart design.
In terms of fitness tracking, the wearable does not go beyond the basics. It monitors and records steps, distance travelled and calories burned. It also keeps tabs on your sleep quality and vibrates to alert to incoming calls. We’ve done a test run of the device and found that the statistics it churns out are fairly decent.
More impressive, however, that the functionality is the design. This is without doubt, one of the best looking fitness trackers out there right now. The company is obviously targeting the fashion conscious crowd and tapping into the trend of wearables manufacturers linking with design outfits.
Following on from our review, we spoke to Huami’s Head of U.S. Marketing and Sales Frederik Hermann on what we can expect from Amazfit in the near future and where the global market for wearables is heading.
We recently reviewed Amazfit and found it is one of the best looking wearables on the market today. The wearables space is very crowded right now, and more and more companies are trying to break through. What is your target market?
The target audience is tech-comfortable people who share a motivation to improve themselves and their lifestyles in achievable, realistic ways.
We see a largely untapped market opportunity for wearable technology that more seamlessly integrates with people’s lives, complements their unique style and doesn’t weigh them down. Amazfit is uniquely positioned as not only a wearable activity tracker but also as a fashionable accessory that can track everyday activities. This unique design presents us with an opportunity to target women and men, who are fashion and design conscious and want a slim, discreet activity tracker.
We offer people wearables that reward and reinforce positive habits and we are there to see and encourage your daily accomplishments. We believe that there is a large market of people who aren’t necessarily competitive athletes or in the gym every day, but they value a healthy lifestyle and want achievable, realistic ways to stay active. We are not trying to get people to run a marathon, but we will reward them for the little things and help them fit fitness into their daily lives, whether that is taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking at the other end of the parking lot.
Who do you see as your main competition?
There’s a high demand for activity trackers in the U.S and many brands are going after the exciting and growing market. While there are a number of brands that offer activity trackers, Amazfit is the first ceramic-based wearable activity tracker. It also blends elegant design and high-end technology in a fashion-first approach to product design and is one of the slimmest, most lightweight activity trackers on the market today – making it a comfortable 24/7 companion and ideal for sleep tracking.
Can you give us a bit of background on Huami? The brand is not that well known in the West. What is your relationship with Xiaomi?
Amazfit is owned by Huami, the second largest manufacturer of wearables globally and named one of the 50 fastest-growing tech companies in China by Forbes in 2015. Huami has sold more than 24 million activity trackers worldwide through its partnership with Xiaomi in China. The company’s U.S. headquarters are located in Mountain View, CA, with international Huami offices in Beijing, Hefei, and Shenzhen, China.
Xiaomi, the fourth largest smartphone maker in the world, is a minority shareholder in Huami and we are the exclusive provider of wearable technology within the Xiaomi ecosystem, which includes the Mi Band and the Mi Band 2.
What’s next for Amazfit? Are you planning to add more functionality to the app – for example weekly or monthly overviews?
We employ 340 people worldwide with 40 based here in the US, the majority of whom are designers and software developers focused on improving the Amazfit app and user experience. We will continue to incorporate user feedback and update software regularly, which will include weekly and monthly trends, to answer your question in specific!
What can we expect to see in the next iteration of Amazfit? More sensors or new form factors? Are there any other activity trackers in the works by Huami?
We are continually developing next-generation designs, accessories and new products under our Amazfit brand. We look forward to sharing details with you as soon as they are available.
How do you see the activity tracker market evolving in the next 3-5 years?
Over the next 3-5 years, the wearable market will continue to grow and evolve, not only in wearable wristbands and smartwatches, but also in clothing and accessories too. In fact, IDC reports that by 2020 wearable shipments will reach 213.6 million units worldwide (a 20% growth rate) with watches and wristbands driving volume, and clothing and eyewear gaining traction. As part of this growth, we see wearable technology seamlessly integrating into our everyday lives and we are specifically exploring applications in secure access, payments, transit and healthcare. For example, imagine if with the wave of your wrist you could hop on public transportation, buy your morning coffee and gain access to your office building or computer. The integration with further smart home devices and mobility is part of that strategy too.
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