For Australians lucky enough to have one, the Nike+ FuelBand is still supported by its iPhone apps.
Nike has been the premier name in sports gear since 1971. Having derived its name from the Greek goddess of victory, the brand provides athletes around the world with an array of high quality sportswear and gear.
Taking advantage of modern technologies, Nike introduced a sports watch that also had the functionality of a smartwatch. Named, the Nike+ FuelBand while this smartwatch has since been discontinued, many athletes who have made the investment can still take advantage of its features.
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The Nike+ FuelBand SE
Nike’s journey through smartwatches began in 2012 the brand releases its first FuelBand, a bracelet-like device able to track an athlete’s performance. This version was quickly followed in 2013 with the Nike+ FuelBand SE; the same wearable tech device, but with some additions that made it smarter.
The Nike+ FuelBand SE included Bluetooth 4.0, allowing it to sync to an iPhone. With this upgrade, users could be alerted to calls and texts, as well as have connections with other athletes who also sported the watch.
Nike+ FuelBand SE as a fitness tracker
The Nike FuelBand measured all of the wearer’s movements throughout the day, and recorded them as “fuel”. These fuel points were a special feature added by Nike to help make the product stand out from other fitness tracking watches.
The problem was translating the fuel points to be understood by users - who are more accustomed to seeing data such as calories burned and steps taken. If you wanted, you could add these measuring devices using specific apps - but these were only compatible with iOS.
The Nike wearable tech is not supported by Android devices.
Even with the addition of an app, distance travelled, flights of stairs climbed, and the wearer’s heartbeat were all not recorded. Which was a huge downside, as this data is currently available for other, more advanced, smartwatches on the market.
The Nike+ fuel app
For those who do like the features of the Nike+ FuelBand, they can keep track of their progress using the Nike+ fuel app. This iOS application connects the watch to your iPhone, tracking your fitness progress during the day. This progress can then be shared with friends and competitors in your Nike network. This is an enticing feature for athletes to excel when competing with others, but not something unique to the Nike+ FuelBand when compared with other companies with similar wearable tech.
The Nike+ FuelBand design
The design of the Nike sports watch is unique from most others. It is a simple, hard bangle constructed from comfortable rubber. The matrix display is an LED dot that is scrolled through with the press of a button. The Nike+ FuelBand was available in all black, or accented with yellow, magenta-pink or orange. You also had a choice of size, which was easy to determine by entering your height, weight and sex on the Nike site. Even then, the watch came with extender links if it was too small.
The battery is rechargeable, and most users report at least a week’s use before it needed to be recharged. It was, however not waterproof, making it ineffective for tracking water sports.
The Nike+ FuelBand SE retailed on the Nike website at USD$150, but was only available in Australia through third party vendors. Still, it was a popular item to have at the time, and sold out quickly when shipments did arrive. If you’re still using yours as wearable to track your athletic progress, you can still take advantage of the features through the app available at the Apple store.
The Nike+ FuelBand discontinued
Since the Nike+ FuelBand did not gain the popularity that Nike had hoped for, its production was discontinued. Yet in order to not disappoint loyal customers, the iconic sportswear brand still continues to support users through the website and the iOS app.