“The biggest struggle we have is overall awareness of category. More players only legitimizes what we’re doing. It’s great for all involved, including consumers,” Park said.
Fitbit is continually looking to add new types of sensors, app features and tracking metrics, Park said, but thinks some of the proposed features by Apple and others may take the idea of fitness monitoring too far for the average person.
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“There will always a subset of people who will want as much tracking as possible. They like to quantify self and track every last aspect of their lives,” he said. “However, most people are interested in achieving their goals –- you don’t need to go too overboard to do that."
Park also said that if tracking shifts to a more medical focus, more data could be useful. But for practical and everyday goals, too much information might be overwhelming for some consumers.
“Consumers consider other things besides data. They are also looking for motivation and fashion,” he said.
Herb Baer, president of Polar USA, a company that makes heart rate monitors and fitness trackers, was critical of the idea of packing trackers with too much information.
“We are not in the camp of cramming as many pieces of technology as we can into a product,” he told ABC News. “Bombarding users with numbers does not help them understand what's really important. And numbers, in isolation, are of little value. This is why we’ve made it a priority to take numbers and turn them into useful information that helps users get and stay active.”
Napala Pratini, a health analyst for NerdWallet, said it’s hard to tell exactly how Apple's first foray into the health industry will influence the fitness tracking device space.
“It's certainly possible that third-party devices like Fitbit or Jawbone will integrate with HealthBook, but there are also speculations about the rumored iWatch's health monitoring capacity -- and the iWatch would, of course, integrate seamlessly with HealthBook,” she said. “If something like the iWatch were to be released, the fitness tracking market size and composition could change drastically."
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