Image source: Firstbeat

Garmin acquires rights to Firstbeat Analytics algorithms

Garmin has announced this morning that it has acquired Firstbeat Analytics, the consumer licensing business formerly a part of Firstbeat Technologies.

Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets

This is kind of a big deal and shakeup in the sports watch world. Firstbeat Analytics provides metrics for many brands including Suunto, Xiaomi, Huawei, Huami, Samsung and Casio. The notable omission is Polar which develops its own sports analytics, as do Apple and Fitbit but to a lesser extent.

Garmin is one of the names on this list with a long range of watches packing Firstbeat Analytics. This includes a plethora of metrics such as Body Resources, Training Effect, Real-time performance condition, respiration rate, Vo2Max, Training Status, Training Load – the list goes on… For example, the Garmin Fenix 6 packs 18 different metrics.

Today’s acquisition brings Firstbeat Analytics under Garmin’s wing. It means the Finish-based operation will continue supplying the company with these types of metrics – but what it means for other brands remains to be seen.

Until the current licenses expire nothing should change. What happens after? That’s anyone’s guess. It seems unlikely Garmin will agree to provide the features to its competition in the long term. But that’s just our opinion. Unless the company decides that it makes sense revenue-wise to continue to license the technology.

“Having utilized Firstbeat’s innovative analytics across our product lines for more than a decade, we are excited to have the Firstbeat Analytics associates join the Garmin team, establishing us at the forefront of physiological analytics,” said Cliff Pemble, Garmin president and CEO.

“Together with their team of physiologists, scientists and engineers, we look forward to providing Garmin customers with unmatched technology for greater performance, recovery and overall health”

Firstbeat Analytics will continue to operate from its base in Jyvaskyla, Finald. Other parts of Firstbeat Technologies will continue to function as before, namely the corporate wellness and professional sports arms. The financial details of the Garmin acquisition have not been disclosed.

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