Polar Announces Expansion of Fitness Tracking Technology to Compete with Rival Watches
Finnish fitness watch manufacturer, Polar, is looking to extend its reach in the market by licensing its technology to rival watch brands. The company is making 25 of its fitness algorithms available to selected companies, who will be able to combine Polar’s health and sleep tracking expertise with their own hardware and services. This means that third parties will be able to benefit from Polar’s years of research and technology, without having to spend significant amounts of time and resources developing their own products.
The first watch to use Polar’s framework is expected to be Casio’s G-Shock G-Squad GBD-H2000. The new model is expected to feature a chunky design similar to its predecessor, the GBD-H1000, but with the addition of Polar’s fitness tracking technology and a gyroscope. The watch will also include solar-assisted charging, GPS, and a range of sensors including an altimeter, barometer, compass, and thermometer.
This is not Polar’s first venture into offering fitness technology to business customers. The company already provides solutions for coaches, fitness classes, schools, and teams. However, it is the first time the company has provided technology directly to its competitors. The move will bring advanced fitness tracking to a wider range of devices and could encourage watchmakers to consider creating fitness products that were previously not viable.
This announcement comes at a time when Polar is seeking to compete with more established fitness watch brands such as Garmin. While Polar describes itself as a “top 10 player” in the wearables market, it still lags behind the industry’s heavyweights. According to Canalys estimates, Garmin was the only fitness-first watch brand whose shipments cracked the top five in the second quarter of 2022, with 5.5 percent of the market. Licensing its algorithms could provide Polar with a new source of revenue and influence, regardless of how its device sales perform.