HealthBox from HTC and Under Armour

By John Wu - 20 January 2016

After spending hundreds of millions to acquire some of the leading health tracking platforms in the market a year ago, Under Armour is upping the ante again, this time on the hardware side, with a new suite of health devices, its calling UA HealthBox. HTC, which partnered with Under Armour last year, designed and manufactured the devices. They will use Under Armour’s UA Record app as their connected app.
“There are several options for consumers today when it comes to monitoring their daily activity, but no option when it comes to capturing and presenting information in a meaningful way. Most of us know more about the health of our car than we do about our own bodies,” Robin Thurston, Chief Digital Officer at Under Armour, said in a statement. “Under Armour and HTC set out to change that by going far beyond the automation of data tracking. UA HealthBox provides custom health and fitness experiences designed to guide you towards your goals.”
The HealthBox is a package consisting of three devices. UA Band is wristworn activity tracker designed for athletes, UA Heart Rate is a chest strap heart monitor to measure workout intensity and estimate calories burned, and UA Scale is a WiFi weight scale that also measures body fat percentage.
The suite of devices brings Under Armour fully into a crowded competitive field with the likes of Fitbit, Jawbone, Withings, and iHealth, though it clearly caters to a less casual crowd. Not only are the devices designed for athletes, but it appears the HealthBox won’t be available for purchase a la carte — purchasers will have to pay $400 for the whole box set of devices.
The HealthBox will be available at Under Armour stores starting January 22, and will then role out to other US locations in the first quarter. International sales will begin later in the year.
“At HTC design is an uncompromising part of our culture,” Wolfgang Muller, executive director of connected products at HTC, said in a statement. “It is our DNA and we have an obsessive focus on delivering beautiful design not just on the outside but on the inside too. UA HealthBox is beautifully designed with no detail overlooked, but it was also designed to be a comprehensive connected system that is easy to use throughout the day and every day. This is what sets it apart from anything on the market today.”
Once purely an apparel brand, Under Armour has made a big bet on connected fitness in the last few years, spending over $700 million acquiring three major fitness apps — MapMyFitness, MyFitnessPal, and Endomondo. The company announced its partnership with HTC last January.
The companies had initially planned to launch a standalone activity tracker called the HTC Grip, but officially canned it in July, telling Engadget it would instead align the device with a larger product portfolio to be launched later. Earlier this year, news of the connected weight scale component also leaked when AndroidHeadlines spotted a posting in the Bluetooth SIG registered device database.