This morning, Garmin announced the acquisition of Firstbeat Analytics, the consumer licencing division of Firstbeat Technologies.
In the world of sports watches, this is a major event and a big shakeup. Firstbeat Analytics provides metrics for Suunto, Xiaomi, Huawei, Huami, Samsung, and Casio, among other manufacturers. Polar, like Apple and Fitbit to a lesser extent, creates its own sports analytics, which is a striking omission.
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One of the names on this list is Garmin, which has a wide selection of watches that include Firstbeat Analytics. The list goes on… Body Resources, Training Effect, Real-time Performance Condition, Respiration Rate, Vo2Max, Training Status, Training Load…The Garmin Fenix 6, for example, includes 18 different metrics.
With today’s transaction, Garmin now owns Firstbeat Analytics. It means the company’s Finland-based operation will continue to provide this type of data, but what this means for other companies remains to be seen.
Nothing should change until the present licences expire. After that, what happens? It’s anyone’s guess at this point. In the long run, it appears unlikely that Garmin will agree to supply the functionality to its competitors. However, that is merely our viewpoint. Unless the corporation thinks that continuing to licence the technology makes financial sense.
“We’ve been using Firstbeat’s revolutionary analytics across our product lines for more than a decade, and we’re delighted to welcome the Firstbeat Analytics associates to the Garmin team, putting us at the vanguard of physiological analytics,” said Cliff Pemble, president and CEO of Garmin.
“We’re excited to work with their team of physiologists, scientists, and engineers to bring Garmin customers unrivalled technology for improved performance, recovery, and overall health.”
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Finald, Finland-based Firstbeat Analytics will continue to operate from its current location in Jyvaskyla. The corporate Fitness and professional sports divisions of Firstbeat Technologies will continue to operate as usual. The financial terms of the Garmin purchase have not been revealed.