Polar is providing third-party companies with 25 fitness algorithms for use with their hardware and services. Casio will be the first to capitalise on this with its new G-Shock watch. This move aims to broaden Polar’s footprint and provide an alternative income stream.
Are you a fitness fanatic looking for a new wearable? If so, you should keep an eye on Polar’s latest industry move. Third-party companies can use the company’s activity, health, and sleep tracking technology by licensing 25 fitness algorithms.
Polar claims that by doing so, these businesses will avoid having to spend years researching and developing their own products from the ground up. This should be appealing to companies that prefer to develop their own hardware or have an existing hardware offering and compete directly with the likes of Garmin.
A tried and tested move
Polar first announced its intensions in January, 2023. But this licensing model is actually not new to Finnish businesses. Previously, Firstbeat provided similar services to a number of wearable manufacturers. With Garmin’s acquisition of Firstbeat in 2020, however, there may be a market gap for Polar to fill.
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Beyond wearables, several companies have chosen to license their technology to other brands. For example, Google has made its Android operating system available to phone manufacturers, allowing them to create devices that run Google’s operating system. Similarly, Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service has been licensed to third-party companies so that they can integrate voice-activated technology into their products.
Casio G-Shock G-Squad GBD-H2000
Casio will be the first company to capitalise on Polar’s opportunity, with its new G-Shock G-Squad GBD-H2000. Little is known about the upcoming device. However, the successor to the GBD-H1000 is expected to feature a similar chunky design. G-Shock watches are built to withstand harsh conditions such as high impact, water, and vibration, making them popular among athletes and outdoor enthusiasts.
One could reasonably expect solar-assisted charging, GPS, and a variety of sensors – as these featured in the predecessor generation device. And now this will be infused with Polar’s fitness science technology. Casio has released several iterations of the G-Shock watch over the years, each incorporating new technology and features into the design.
Polar licenses fitness technology to extend its reach
Polar has previously provided fitness technology to business customers, such as online tracking tools. But this is the first time it is providing this type of service directly to its competitors. The bold move has the potential to bring advanced fitness tracking to a broader range of devices, potentially allowing watchmakers to consider fitness products that were previously unavailable.
Polar’s decision is perhaps acknowledgement that its in-house watches aren’t the best-selling items on the market. Although the company describes itself as a “top 10 player” in wearables, it still trails heavyweights such as Garmin quite a bit.
But this technology licensing could be a game changer for the company. It has the potential to increase its profits and influence by licensing its advanced fitness tracking technology to other companies, regardless of how well its own device sales perform.
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