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Nike has scheduled a Tuesday, October 15th media event in New York City to discuss “the future of the digital world and physical activity.” Besides that, the company has been light on official details about what will be announced. However, we’ve been hearing about an upcoming Nike fitness/digital-related event for the past few weeks, and we are expecting a successor the popular Nike FuelBand fitness device to be announced. The event was originally planned for November, but perhaps the upcoming announcements from competitor Fitbit put pressure on Nike to move up its timeline…

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With the FuelBand being such a hit in the fitness-tracking world, what could be expected from its follow-up? Here’s what we’ve heard from a source familiar with the new product:

  • The design will be similar overall and still wrap around the wrist (current model shown above).
  • The new FuelBand will be constructed with new materials that will result in a much more durable design that could sustain stronger environmental conditions.
  • The new FuelBand will include much better battery life allowing customers to not worry about charging their FuelBand up every couple of nights.
  • While versions with Heart Rate monitoring capabilities have been rumored, we’re hearing that said functionality may not make the cut for this model.
  • The new FuelBand will be built with Bluetooth 4.0 low-energy to connect to new smartphones and work more efficiently. This plays into the improved battery life factor.
  • The display and general software operation of the device will be nearly identical to the current model.

Of course, Nike could be testing several different prototypes for upcoming FuelBands, and plans do change. It’s also possible that the October 15th event isn’t related to the FuelBand, and the new fitness tracker could be announced at a later event. However, based on Nike’s teasing description of the event, it seems unlikely that this announcement would be related to anything else. We’re told that Nike plans to release the new FuelBand in time for the holiday season purchasing rush. We’ve recently reported on two notable Apple hires out of Nike’s development labs, and Apple is expected to debut its own wrist-device in the coming years. 

Nike declined to comment on its plans for upcoming FuelBands.

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8 Responses to “Nike schedules Oct. 15 event; more durable, battery-efficient FuelBand incoming”

  1. Good because mine was crap. Put a “real” button on it. Make it thinner and double the battery life.

    • jayman16 says:

      I’ve had mine for a year, and it’s not crap. My “real” (why are we using quotes?) works great. I press it and the screen turns on.

      Thinner, lighter, and a better battery… At the same price point I’m assuming.

      So first you’re a huge dick, then you have demands?! Great customer.

  2. I hope the new Nike+ app that was unveiled at the 5s announcement is released, or at least talked about.

  3. Lee Palisoc says:

    Nice! Good thing I didn’t buy one yet.

  4. Jeff Kessler says:

    Oddly, some of these features have leaked into the current model. I exchanged mine 2 weeks ago b/c my first broke. I never could get more than a couple of days out of a charge. The new unit has a significant software update (battery meter for instance) and is routinely getting two weeks plus on a single charge. What is odd about this is Nike isnt really discussing this new battery. Its online manual still says 1-4 days on a charge. Cant figure it out but glad nonetheless.

  5. Just make these waterproof.

  6. I’ve owned the Fuelband since June 2012 and my band has always lasted about 12-14 days before a charge is needed. I find it strange that Nike underestimates the battery life in their own docs. The only need I could see for priority into longer life would be if they finally support always-on clock mode which I’d love to make telling the time one interaction shorter. Always-on clock with make the process of learning the time 3 presses (or 7 seconds) shorter for the band and 1 press (or 2 seconds) shorter for my iPhone. The one prospective feature that would easily make me upgrade and forget about the Shine, Jawbone Up, and Fitbit Force is if the FuelBand started sleep tracking.

    Also making the FuelBand app focus more on friend fuel competitions to boost motivation via the social aspect. I feel they’re missing out on this golden opportunity. I’ve now bought Fuelbands for 9 fam/friends and have 8 others on my friend lists. My circle has created our own game out of it via a quick web app I created for just us but I’d love a more dynamic way of tracking competition records and fun notifications to make me want to gain points. The FuelBand app has potential to be a complete exercise portal but the vision from Nike right now seems far too narrow. I’d love to put in about a month of product design hours for that app.