The Aussie Fitness Tech Boom

- June 24, 2014 3 MIN READ

As we travel rapidly into the last 6 months of the year, I will begin doing a bit more media work in front of the camera than usual. This is exciting, I love doing that type of stuff, I’m in my element doing it.

Though whilst doing some screen testing the other day, and watching it back, I appeared a little less in my ‘element’ and more like a baby elephant.

Needless to say, “fat bearded toad” is not the look I want to be portraying when presenting on camera, so I went straight to the Nike store bought a new pair of runners, then an ipod shuffle and started running (well jog-walking-dying) yesterday.

Of course I am now also using all the applications and gadgets available to get that extra edge and remain committed this time.

Australian’s have always been large adopters of fitness based technologies, we have also had some major success in the space too. In 2012 Australian entrepreneur Nick Crocker launched his fitness coaching technology startup Sessions, which was acquired in February by My Fitness Pal. The Sessions deal is a shining example of the impact a Australian born application can have at a global level.

At the moment within the Australian fitness ecosystem exists a number of opportunities for entrepreneurs to take advantage of. There are three major areas:

  1. Wearable Technologies
  2. Social Health Applications
  3. Media

The announcement in March of billionaire investor Mark Cuban’s capital injection into Australian wearable technology startup Catapult Sports, shows that currently analytics at the professional end of town of the health and fitness sector is a fast growth market.

The meteoric rise of wearable hardware such as FitBit and Jawbone show that at the consumer end, things are moving just as fast.

The fitness industry has undergone a major transformation, an industry that previously thrived on telling customers what to buy, now has tech savvy customers that already know exactly what they want to achieve and what products they want to buy to implement the changes they desire.

Personal fitness is no longer personal, it’s a social event. People like tracking themselves and love tracking their friends even more. Whilst applications such as My Fitness Pal are definitely dominant in this space, the potential for new software / hardware and even combinations of both are limitless.

According to Startup Daily sources, we are on the edge of what seems to be a Fitness Tech boom. Presently we are aware of a number of home grown wearable technology startups in the skate and surf sector as well as other analytics based ventures undergoing initial builds in the prototype phases.

In the area of Social Health Applications, diet and food will be the big growth market. Especially in the ecommerce space as companies start to look at adding features and increase smartphone capabilities across their offerings.

Online stores such as Schkinny Maninny and Urban Remedy are two examples of brands constantly improving their tech on a monthly basis and expanding their offering to reach into high value markets such as the wedding industry.

The biggest market of all however is media, or to be more specific the productization of new media ventures. Startups such as OMNY have big potential in the fitness industry, more so from a technology standpoint than the current marketing strategy and target market they are focused on. This type of media is intuitive.

Intuitive Media and Inspirational Media are the two most profitable areas in this space.

The key is in creating a lifestyle brand that becomes a household name. We think of iTunes as a “music industry” application, but I would hedge my bets it’s used everyday by millions of people as their platform of choice for workout music. GoPro HERO 3 might be a camera but it now has a reputation for being the go to device for action shots across a wide range of adventure sports. In fact it’s one of the most common pieces of wearable technology to date.

If you really think about it, a brand like Go Pro is a media company that sells cameras, maybe not immediately in the beginning – but it certainly is that way now.

Fitness Tech is a profitable space and we are about to see a lot more of it, especially in Australia’s eastern states.