Although new Fitbit products were missing at CES 2017 at the weekend, it appears that the reason is that fitness tracker manufacturer has been busy concluding a deal to buy European smartwatch maker Vector.
“Today, we are happy to announce that the Vector Watch team and our software platform are joining Fitbit, the leader in the connected health and fitness market,” Vector announced in its blog post. “We believe this is an important milestone as a moment when we will start building other new and amazing products, features and experiences, incorporating our unique technology and knowhow with Fitbit’s experience and global community.”
Vector was started by executives from watchmakers’ in 2015. From that time onwards it has gone on to manufacture two luxury smartwatches, the Luna and the Meridian – both of which showcase e-ink screens and the company’s exclusive operating system. The watches also boast a 30 day battery life according to Andrei Pits, Fitbit’s CEO.
Although Fitbit’s plans for the new company have not been confirmed it appears that the company may be considering the development of a new smartwatch of its own creation. The company currently focuses on developing fitness trackers.
The Fitbit Blaze – a smartwatch released to market in 2016, was the beginning of the company’s journey in the category. The new product was capable of tracking heart-rate and additional exercise data with its in-built automated features. However, the device lacked the range of apps available with Apple’s competitor brand – the watchOS.
Fitbit’s acquisition of Vector means that there is potential for using its exclusive operating system on a newly created smartwatch. This would pit a new device more squarely against the Apple watch, giving it more of a competitive advantage.
The move also means that Fitbit can now launch an app store of its own – and more rapidly than originally anticipated – giving it a stronger position in the market.
As to the knock-on effect for Vector, the startup confirms plans to continue developing new products and ideas with the assistance of Fitbit. The company also confirmed that their Vector Luna and Vector Meridian smartwatches will continue to function in their current form – but will not be receive future updates.
Photo credit: vectorwatch.com