The days of the $100+ activity tracker might be over; Movo, a consumer tech company out of NYC, is kicking off pre-orders today for a $29 wearable wrist band that tracks steps, distance traveled and calories burned, collecting and reporting that data via an iOS and Android app. The Movo Wave, as the device is called, is expected to launch this fall following its self-hosted pre-order campaign.
The campaign the company is going with is based on shaming existing wearable designs, including Google Glass apparently, with a donkey wearing all this stuff and going about its daily business inconveniencing humans. Of course the donkey would be annoying without all that gear on – YOU CAN’T FOOL ME MOVO – but the Wave is designed with fashion in mind and a replaceable outer band so users can swap out different designs. It weighs in at less than one ounce, too, according to the company, so it should hopefully be fairly comfortable to wear.
Overall, the Wave looks like most of what we’ve already seen from various trackers out there, albeit with a lower price tag. The economics are fairly clear: There’s no screen on the device, which often accounts for a large part of the cost, and economies of scale and new interest in creating similar devices from Chinese suppliers offering white label solutions ready to go off the shelf have followed the initial wave of Fitbits, Jawbone UPs, Nike Fuelbands and other trackers. Xiaomi launched a $13 wearable with a similar feature set at the end of July, for instance.
If companies want to keep charging north of $100 for their activity trackers, it’s going to get a lot more difficult, especially with devices coming to market based on Android Wear and other smartwatch platforms that offer those same features built-in along with many others. Look for the market to split low end and high, but it’s also up in the air whether consumers will have much of an appetite for either.