Asics, the running trainer company, has just bought FitnessKeeper, the company that owns GPS tracking app Runkeeper.
Currently Runkeeper has over 33 million registered users who track their runs with it. The app is on both iOS and Android smartphones at the moment. Asics now has direct access to all those runners.
The buyout follows Under Armour beginning to work with HTC on their own fitness tracking app called Under Armour Record. Adidas and Nike have also got run tracking apps. All three companies have or are working on some form of wearable tracking tech.
Smart clothes are becoming more and more common, so Asics' move would suggest it too is moving into the smart wearables market. This could mean trainers with built-in GPS, running t-shirts with heart rate tracking capabilities and more. In the short term it'll mean lots of data from the users for Asics to analyse.
The exciting part here is that the smart wearables market is going to really hot up as competition like this grows. The big names have all got apps to translate the data, now's the time to start making and selling smart gear to feed more data into those apps.
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