The wearable market is becoming increasingly crowded as slews of companies and startups jumping onto the bandwagon. Despite how young the wearable industry is as a whole, its recent boom is changing the behaviors and habits of customers who are more receptive of the new concept and technology.
Yet, the basic features like monitoring calorie burned or distant traveled soon lost traction for now tech-savvy users. To overcome this, most wearable makers have been working furiously to go into more specific fields in a bid to differentiate their products from competitors, by gorgeous design, such as Misfit, by features dedicated for certain scenarios like mobile payment, or by focusing on specific user groups, children, women and even pregnant women.
Just like the examples listed above, Fitkat is a smart fitness bracelet. But the addition of security monitoring and fitness alerts is what makes this wearable product different.
In addition to the fundamental functionalities for counting steps, calories and distance covered, Fitkat include a dedicated SOS button which allow wearers to send SOS messages and current location to five pre-selected guardians with a double click.
Another core function of Fitkat is fitness alerts, for water intake by leveraging users’ information on age, weight, height, body type, and daily fixed routine, and for taking pills in case you are on medication.
With safety and reminder features integrated, Fitkat goes after user groups of women, old people and students studying overseas, according the company’s founder and CEO Chirag Jagtiani. “In any kind of culture, we are all worried about our loved one’s safety and well-being no matter where we are or what we do. But today’s world is not the safest place to live in. So we designed these features for them.” he said.
The problem with wearables is that people usually toss their devices aside after just a few months. Fitkat’s main strength in keeping users motivated is its smart coach and adaptive coaching mechanism which give advice to users by analyzing their movement routines.
“During our research we found out that people buy expensive gadgets to compete with one another, basically to show off, so it has become more of a culture need than a personal need. When you meet daily targets at Fitkat, you will get Hi5’d by your friends and family for a job well done.” Chirag added.
Aside from its main market in Hong Kong, Singapore, India and Thailand, Fitkat is planning to explore Chinese mainland market. “We have understood that China market loves games, so for the Chinese version of the app we are introducing a gamification version of Fitkat app where you can compete with each other based on daily challenges. With the help of WeChat, Weibo we will have their friends comment, motivate each other.”
Fitkat is priced at US$69.99 globally, of which shipping accounts for a considerable part. Chirag noted that the price for Chinese market will be lower cause in China the shipping cost will be reduced by a huge number thanks to the proximity to manufacturing center in Shenzhen.
When talking about competition with domestic hardware giants like Xiaomi. Chirag said “Xiaomi is like apple – they have the mass and the mass is very loyal, so it would be wrong to compete with them. But what I have done is to create a whole new segment which is fitness and security. I must say MiBand have a great design, but it has no screen.”
The ultimate goal of Fitkat is to become a big data company, but the primary task for the company now is to attract enough users tapped into the platform so that the team can then segregate themselves into making better wearable devices for different segments such as medical. “We as a team are very interested in medical sensors and sensors in general, and using the kind of user data we have we want to build devices.” Chirag said.
The personal experience of Chirag may best fit the definition for a global citizen. Originally born in Taiwan, he has grew up in Africa, completed education in India, worked in Europe and settled in China since 2005. With 10 years of experience in the telecom field, Chirag has worked for Phillips, Dell and Accenture. As a serial entrepreneur, he is also the founder of wearable security device company spotNsave.
“We are a very small and young team of eight from India and China, mainly focusing on UI/UX and development. We also have doctor and coach on board advising us on our algorithm and logic. I love the blend between our cultures and today the best IT work you get from is India and China. So I am lucky to be in the right place with the right team.” Chirag added.
image credit: Fitkat