Fitbit and Intel are set to do battle to buy fitness start-up Moov, a source has told Wareable.
The source familiar with the matter revealed that both Fitbit and Intel have both expressed interest in acquiring the 2016 Wareable awards winner, which uses real-time coaching based on movement detection. Moov Now is designed to be worn on either arms or legs, depending on the workout, to count reps, study form and offer tips on better running and cycling.
Our source revealed that Moov has been talking to Intel's partnership team about a possible buyout, which would see Intel add Moov's algorithm to its tech.
"They have had half a dozen calls and two meetings," our source said. "Conversations have been around adding Moov to their Curie offering due to the algorithms that Intel simply cannot duplicate."
Recounting a conversation with Intel's partnerships exec, Intel has become interested in an acquisition after it "missed with their wearable devices in the past with companies such as Basis." Our source said that Intel believes that buying Moov "allows them to offer more through their licensing arm of the company."
Of course, Intel is only one half of the story. We'd be surprised if Fitbit wasn't looking to buy Moov to add to its fitness proposition, yet our source had less detail on this particular aspect of the buyout. "With Fitbit, these rumours popped up in the past five weeks. All have been based around their wellness and initiative."
The company has already been busy snapping up companies for the Fitbit smartwatch project, namely smartwatch starter Pebble and luxury-wannabe Vector. But would Moov be part of that too?
"That's what the Moov guys initially thought," said our source. "But the algorithm wouldn't work in the watch. As you know one must wear Moov on their ankles sometimes."
That could mean that more diverse wearables are on Fitbit's roadmap, after its long-awaited smartwatch comes out this autumn.
From our side, the only surprising thing here is that Moov hasn't been bought already. It's led the way in terms of fitness coaching and making use of wearable data, something that even the biggest names have failed at. We'd love to see the tech in Fitbit's hands, given Intel's chequered past in scaling wearables. But we're excited to see how a buyout could bring Moov's tech to more people.
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