Much of the value in the Internet of Things is in the connections.
Not the technical connections between and among objects, but the people connections that result.
This point was magnified by the opening keynote speaker at the MediaPost IoT: Shopping conference last week.
“The value is in the community,” said Doug Ziewacz, head of North America Digital Media & Advertising at Under Armour Connected Fitness.
Best known as a sports apparel company, Under Armour is staking out a major IoT platform claim, aimed at becoming the aggregating platform for any fitness device.
“We’re in the middle of a massive digital transformation,” said Ziewacz. “Make no mistake about it, we’re a technology company.”
Under Armour’s open and device-agnostic platform allows participation by any athlete, any device or partner program at any time of day.
The company already has 140 million registered users in its connected platform.
“An open platform is important,” said Ziewacz. “It enables a better user experience. Also, a lot of brands want to know what’s happening in connected fitness.”
The four main focus areas for Under Armour are sleep, activity, fitness and nutrition.
“The more people work out, the more shirts and shoes we’re going to sell,” said Ziewacz. “The more people who work out, the more moments of need there are.”
The $4 billion company sees the wearables space as highly fragmented and sensed the need for a central depository for all data from devices.
The idea is that someone with a device from Fitbit, Jawbone or any other major supplier can be connected into one platform to centralize tracking activity for the consumer.
“We’re hubbing all that data,” said Ziewacz.
While the devices continue to grow and evolve, Under Armour plans to position its platform as the continuum for the consumer, no matter what device they move to next.
“These are still the early days,” said Ziewacz.