On Tuesday Misfit and Speedo announced the launch of a new partnership aimed at bringing the fitness tracking fad to the swimming pool.
The new $80 Speedo Shine wearable is worn on the wrist and capable of tracking both swim distance and lap count; regardless of swim stroke. The lap counting algorithms were initially put to the test in Speedo’s Aqualaboffer and offers “industry-leading accuracy,” according to both companies’ press releases.
The product launch comes weeks after its chief competitor Fitbit went public and posted a first quarter profit of $400 million. Although Fitbit may be ubiquitous within the activity tracking market, Misfit is fighting back for market domination. According to Misfit CEO Sonny Vu, the company is outselling Fitbit in China, which accounts for one-third of company sales, and has sold a total of 2 million trackers over the last 18 months.
According to Vu, ease-of-use is at the cornerstone of the wearable market and an important part of its designs. “You need to make it really easy [for users]. Just a touch of a button and it turns on your lights, [for example], instead of having to go to your app,” he said during a recent CNBC interview, which took place mere days before Fitbit went public. It’s not lip-service either, since Misfit now offers a $20 Flash Link that acts as both a fitness tracker and button to control music on your smartphone, amongst other integrations.
The Speedo partnership is new territory for Misfit, with prior partnership endeavors focusing solely on integrating via software with existing products—such as the Nest Thermostat—through Misfit’s Partners program. Developing a tracker such as the Speedo Shine with a specific use case in mind is a smart approach to appealing to a niche market.
Meanwhile, despite similar lap-counting devices, such as the Garmin Swim, already on the market, the Speedo Shine sets itself apart with price, a small footprint (the coin-shaped device is roughly the size of a 50-cent piece), and six-month battery life.
Furthermore, Speedo Shine users aren’t limited to only tracking activity in the pool. The Shine lineup is capable of counting steps, tracking runs, cycling, and sleep patterns. The all-in-one approach should be compelling to athletes who want one device to track all aspects of workouts. Jamie Cornforth, Speedo’s VP of product and marketing explains: “The new Speedo Shine also allows swimmers to take this information and seamlessly add it to their wider fitness data, providing an accurate and complete view of their total health and fitness regime.”