Nike's Fuelband Hits the Wall

The market for fitness trackers is jampacked
Photograph by David Caudery/Official Windows Magazine via Getty Images

Sometimes it seems as if every weekend athlete and slug in sneakers is wearing a device around his wrist that records his every shuffle. But analysts and others who stay safely behind their desks have long warned that many of these wearable computers aren’t long for this world. What few predicted was that Nike would be an early casualty of the crowded market. CNET reported on April 18 that Nike had laid off most of the engineers working on its FuelBand, which tracks daily steps and energy burned, and planned to stop making wearable computing hardware. In a statement, Nike acknowledged “a small number of layoffs.” Although the company said the FuelBand remains an important part of its business and that it will support its second-generation, $149 FuelBand SE for the foreseeable future, spokesman KeJuan Wilkins wouldn’t say whether new versions of the wristband are coming. Nike had previously promised a third, slimmer version would be available as early as this fall.

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