HOUSTON, TX, May 11, 2012 – I purchased the Nike+ FuelBand because my father started to have heart problems and was placed on a strict diet. Part of his recovery was also based on exercise, as well as, caloric intake. This is a great product to monitor caloric burn and daily activity in general (i.e. Nike Fuel). I purchased one for my father and one for me, so we could do this together. I am a huge practitioner/instructor of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). So I wanted to see how well this product would work in this environment. This is a great product for competitors/students because we are always trying to cut weight to compete or set physical goals to meet. If you train to compete or just for overall physical health, this is an extraordinary tool to help you meet your goals (helps you balance caloric intake to caloric burn)!
The best way to test the Nike+ FuelBand was to introduce the product into extreme conditions like my NO A/C Jiu-Jitsu class. NO A/C Jiu-Jitsu is basically submission wrestling in a room with no air-conditioning. Temperatures normally reach 95+ degrees Fahrenheit and class sessions last approximately 1hour in duration. Since there is no gi (Jiu-Jitsu Uniform) worn, most grips of control are established on the neck, wrists, and ankles. Since the Nike+ FuelBand is located on the wrist, I noticed the latch would release and the band would open causing the band to fall off. Every time the band falls off, the intensity of the workout is decreased due to stoppage to reset the band. During the course of the class, the band fell off approximately 20 times (which can be seen in the video). The Nike+ FuelBand completely crashed on me after only 10 days of owning the band (two days after the NO A/C JJ test). The good news, the Nike customer service was magnificent and is sending me a new band immediately. Granted the test field was extreme, but the product has great value and potential for this sport, as well as, many other extreme sports.
Modifications could be done to improve and increase the uses of the Nike+ FuelBand would be greatly appreciated. Create a more flexible exoskeleton for the band to prevent the latch from releasing (allows more give and twisting motion of the band). A band that is not only more flexible, but adjustable in a way to make it more snug against the wrist. Or even a sleeve that fits around the arm (like armbands for IPods) to place the Nike+ FuelBand in during extreme workouts. When you see the video, I’m sure you guys at Nike will come up with better solutions.
This Nike+ FuelBand can have a huge impact on many sports and activities besides BJJ and MMA. I think it would be great for all sports, whether it be from the recreational level to the professional level (i.e. wrestling, football, soccer, basketball, etc.). A great thing to add to the Nike+ FuelBand would be personalization to the band (even if it cost more because personalized mouth guards are being sold from $150+ which you can purchase cheaper at Proformance Custom Mouth Guards (shameless shout out..haha!).
I think it would be great to be able to purchase a band that represents your belt rank (i.e. Blue, Purple, Brown, Black). It would benefit Nike to make the exoskeleton interchangeable to the point, that as people increase in rank, they can change out the exoskeleton to match their new rank. When people can relate and personalize a product, they are willing to pay the extra money to own a piece of themselves!
Just a couple of thoughts, but who am I to tell you how to adjust and market your product? I am just a guy that wants a better product for my students and me to use, so we can reach are full potential at our passion!