Any smart device comes with its own set of benefits and trade-offs, however there’s one big shoe waiting to drop with every one of them: anything you connect can be detached at the other end, and there’s absolutely nothing you the consumer can do about it. Today’s example of wise stuff going dumb comes courtesy of Under Armour, which is successfully rendering its physical fitness hardware line really costly paperweights.
The company silently pulled its UA Record app from both Google Play and Apple’s App Shop on New Year’s Eve In an announcement dated at some point around January 8, Under Armour said that not just has the app been gotten rid of from all app stores, but the company is no longer providing customer support or bug fixes for the software application, which will entirely stop working since March 31.
Under Armour introduced its lineup of connected physical fitness devices in2016 The trio of trackers consisted of a wrist-worn activity display, a smart scale, and a chest-strap-style heart rate screen. The scale and wristband retailed at $180 each, with the heart screen opting for $80 Shoppers could buy all three together in a $400 bundle called the UA HealthBox.
Ars’ review at the time noted that none of the elements, by itself, was revolutionary, but as a trio they spoke to each other fairly well. The linchpin of the entire operation was, rather, the software: the Under Armour Record app. Record tied all the information from all the hardware together into a detailed health, fitness, and health journal, enabling a user to see both top-level and granular data about their activity, weight, sleep, heart rate, and other metrics. Record likewise functioned as a one-stop look for adjusting settings on any of the hardware.
In 2017, less than 2 years after introducing the HealthBox line, the business gave up on the project. HealthBox, and the three items comprising it, gradually disappeared from both literal and digital shop shelves. “I believe the marketplace has evolved and we have actually evolved with it,” Under Armour’s primary tech officer said at the time The business would instead return to its roots as a clothes line and concentrate on real wearables, such as connected running shoes, together with doubling down on the MyFitnessPal app, which it acquired in2015
Customers who had currently spent numerous dollars on UA’s wearable line, however, could continue utilizing them– previously. The end of the road is nigh, it appears, and all 3 products are about to fulfill their doom as Under Armour kills off Record for good. Users are instead expected to change to MapMyFitness, which Under Armour bills as “an even better tracking experience.” The business likewise set the UA Record Twitter account to private, effectively taking it offline to anybody except the 133 accounts it follows.
Record, however, aggregated and provided more information to users than MapMyFitness does. Under Armour writes in its Frequently Asked Question to its clients:
Exists any information from Record that is not offered in MapMyFitness?
Yes– Steps, Sleep, Weight, How Do You Feel?, Resting Heart Rate, and Basic Nutrition data will not be offered in MapMy. Additionally, body fat percentage goals and graphs and some of your UA Record profile fields will not move to MapMy.
Existing gadget owners likewise can’t export all their information. While workout information can be exported and moved to some other tracking app, Record users can not capture weight or other historic information to carry forward with them.
A reader informs Ars that Under Armour did not provide any notice of Record’s death to clients who were utilizing the app, basically springing the sunset date on them as a silent surprise. (Update: After publication, an Under Armour representative told Ars all signed up users were gotten in touch with by e-mail on Dec. 20 or 21.)
The story of Under Armour’s doomed scale is, unfortunately, something of an endemic side-effect to the Web of things age. Not just can a business choose to pull support for an item that needs to phone home at any time, but likewise business get obtained and declare bankruptcy all the time.
When this pattern afflicts something little and low-cost like a wise lightbulb, the disconnection is irritating but relatively low-stakes. But when it’s something like a $300 smart-home center, or $1,200 worth of house security products, customers who invested a reasonable amount of money into something are all of a sudden up a creek.