CES 2017 Day 3: Under Armour Joins The Sleep Tech Boom

 Earlier this afternoon, Under Armour CEO and founder Kevin Plank delivered the last solo keynote address of this year’s CES. The fast-talking CEO began with a passionate and detailed account of the transition his company has successfully made in recent years from a sportswear brand into a fast-growing athleisure lifestyle brand supercharged by fitness technology, before moving on to introduce a few new products and updates.

The Sleep Tech Boom
As we noted in our CES First Look on Tuesday, sleep-related tech is a hot area at this year’s CES, which even created its first-ever dedicated “sleep tech marketplace.” Startups like Vobot, Motio HW, ZEEQ, and Acesleep come to showcase their products all designed to monitor and enhance your sleep. Sleep Number debuted a self-adjusting connected bed that can fit various sleeping positions and alleviate mild snoring. 

Now, Under Armour is jumping on the sleep tech bandwagon with a new line of sleepwear dubbed Athlete Recovery Sleepwear. The company partnered with researchers from John Hopkins University and star quarterback Tom Brady to design this high-tech pajama line, made with a special fabric that the company claims can enhance your sleep quality by absorbing heat and improving blood flow and cell regeneration.

The company announced on stage that it is partnering with Arianna Huffington’s lifestyle and wellness brand Thrive Global to promote this new line of sleepwear. On the software side, the company is also updating its UA Record app to incorporate its new focus on sleep. New features for this fitness tracking app include generating reports on sleeping cycles and consistency and offering tips on how to achieve better sleep.

As sleep quickly becomes digitalized and integrated as part of our health and fitness data, we expect to see more fashion, healthcare, and sports brand to come out with their own sleep-related initiatives.

Under Armor’s Digital Fitness Strategy
Beyond its new sleep initiatives, Under Armour also updated its MapMyRun app to add a feature called Jump Test, which asks users to do a set of jumping jacks and uses the sensors on its connected footwear line to determine if your body has sufficiently warmed up for a run.

Under Armour is not the only company showcasing fitness-oriented connected apparels at this CES. Two standout examples from this category are Polar’s new connected sports shirt, which comes with built-in vital-tracking sensors that can share data in real time, and the “E-Skin” bodysuit developed by Xenoma, which is embedded with 14 motion-capturing sensors designed to track your full-body movements during workouts.

A big part of the success that Under Armour has enjoyed so far can be attributed to its digital fitness strategy. Looking beyond physical products like apparels and shoes, the company made a series of acquisitions from 2013 to 2015 that beefed up its fitness app portfolio, which includes the aforementioned UA Records and MapMyRun as well as the popular calorie-tracking app MyFitnessPal. By allowing its customers to aggregate and understand the fitness data they generate with their apps and products, the company has fostered an online fitness community of over 160 million users. For other fashion and sports brands, this digital-led strategy should provide some inspiration in how to effectively reach and engage with today’s connected consumers.


Retailers At Westfield’s WTC Mall Opt For Mobile-Driven In-Store Experience

What Happened
Westfield reopened its mall at the World Trade Center this week, and many participating retailers are embracing mobile-driven strategies to enrich their in-store experience. Some highlights include:

• Cole Haan will equip its sales staff with mobile checkout devices to speed up the process. A courier service will also be available for customers who’d prefer to have their purchases sent straight home or to their hotels.

• Footwear retailer Aldo is prompting shoppers to download the Aldo app, where they can check inventory, request sizes, and read reviews. The app also features “virtual aisles” that display online-only items that may help inform their decisions.

• Under Armour is integrating its Connected Fitness app into its store for the first time, displaying stories collected from app users in-store to entertain and inspire shoppers.

Why Retailers Need To Do
Even though brick-and-mortar retail still commands roughly 90% of consumer purchases, there’s no denying that U.S. shopping malls are in decline, evidenced by a steep drop in foot traffic and Macy’s closing 100 underperforming stores across the country. It’s no secret that physical retailers need to shape up and embrace digital technologies to appeal to today’s customers. With nearly 90% of retail shoppers already using their smartphones in stores, mobile offers a great tool for retailers to engage with customers and improve their in-store experience.

The Lab has extensive experience working with retail, beauty, and CPG clients to create and implement digitally-enhanced experiences for their stores. Our recent work with NYX Cosmetics incorporated the brand’s social assets into its in-store experience and offered an innovative take on sampling with a digital beauty bar. Please contact our Client Services Director Samantha Holland ([email protected]) if you’d like to learn more about how to develop a mobile-driven retail strategy that bridges the gap between physical and digital shopping experience.


Source: Glossy

CES 2016: Under Armour Teams Up With IBM’s Watson For Smart Fitness Data

Under Armour has been developing “connected clothing” for a while now, and at CES 2016, the sportswear maker announced a new partnership with IBM, integrating the computing power of IBM’s AI platform Watson into its health and fitness app, UA Record to analyze users’ fitness data and give them actionable insights on healthcare and exercises.

Moreover, Watson will also use other data in making those fitness and health suggestions. For example, it can pull real-time weather data from The Weather Channel app, which IBM recently acquired, to figure out the optimal time and temperature to suggest a run outside. This signals an exciting new direction for the fitness wearables to tap into big data and AI to expand its functionality and offer added value to users.


For more of the Lab’s CES coverage, click here.

Under Armour Purchases MapMyFitness

In an acquisition that is reported to be worth $150 million, Under Armour is adding MapMyFitness to forcefully inject itself into the quantified self movement. MapMyFitness has over 20 million registered users, 700,000 of which use the service daily. It puts Under Armour squarely in competition with Nike, Jawbone, and FitBit – but whether they take the service to a device-based level to really go toe-to-toe with these services remains to be seen. That traditionally clothing-centric brands continue to invest in quantified self and fitness trackers points to the potency of this trend. Consumers want to track their daily activities, and if clothing companies can expand their business into this area before anyone else they’ll be poised to capitalize.