Sports apparel maker Nike (NKE) is moving into the technology businesses.
The company is collaborating with software developers to create apps for its FuelBand, a digital wristband that uses a motion detector to monitor and collect data about users’ activity levels. The band, which sells for $149, provides feedback and “fuel points” to users. Nike is sharing a huge amount of data garnered from the wristbands with software markers in the hope that they will produce apps to make the bands increasingly useful to wearers, the Wall Street Journal notes.
Nike teamed with TechStars to run Nike Accelerator, a boot camp for app startups, geared toward helping nascent app makers who develop software for the FuelBand find financing for the businesses.
Nike is looking to expand its digital reach as consumers become increasingly attached to their smartphones and tablets, using apps to track and schedule workouts and monitor health metrics. A Nike executive notes that the more apps the FuelBand offers, the more likely users are to rely on it.
Part of a trend toward wearable computers, the FuelBand could soon have competition from technology titans like Google (GOOG) and Apple (AAPL), which are said to be exploring wearable devices of their own.
Shares of Nike fell fractionally in Thursday morning trading in a downward-trending market.