Indian fashion e-commerce company Myntra has launched its first fitness tracker as Bangalore makes strides in the wearable technologies (WT) market.

‘Blink Go’ was developed in the Innovation Labs of Myntra-Jabon in Bangalore – the first product Myntra has launched from the lab after the acquisition of Witworks, a consumer IoT company that makes smart wearables and home devices.

Bangalore, known as India’s Silicon Valley for its hub of information technology companies, is set to host the second WT Wearable Technologies Conference ASIA in September after the inaugural edition in 2017 was deemed a “great success”. It drew senior decision makers from big industry players in the local WT value chain, including TATA, software giants like Wipro and multinational cloud analytics providers like IBM.

Wearables is a growing market in India, the world’s youngest nation, where nearly 60 per cent of the population is under 35. The market for smart wearables in India has been growing at a CAGR of 140 per cent over the last five years, with 85 per cent of the sales happening online.

Wearables in the healthcare sector are still a very nascent, but promising segment, in India, given the applications they potentially have. “They could be life-changing in India, especially in rural areas,“ says Christian Stammel, CEO of Wearable Technologies AG, a platform for devices, apps and other ecosystem players in the wearable technology space. He says the high smartphone penetration in India enables upload of data in real time to the cloud to augment data analytics and the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in solving major healthcare problems.

Celso Gomes, associate market analyst – client devices, IDC India says the health aspects in even basic wearable are becoming more important to consumers: “Features such as heart rate, sleep monitor and among others are becoming the must-have features in basic wearables, even in entry-level (less than $50) segments.”

In the affordable wearables section, GOQii leads the market in India, according to IDC data.  The California-based fitness technology venture was founded by Indian entrepreneur Vishal Gondal, the former CEO & Founder of Indiagames, and is focused on building a unique wellness proposition with lifestyle doctor, personalized coaching, and health locker available as a subscription.

Activity tracking on the new Blink Go includes steps, distance, calories, and sleep, and it also has a heart rate sensor, Sleep Goals tool and Leaderboards fitness challenge.

Myntra’s Chief Technology Officer, Jeyendran Venugopal, says the new Myntra Wearable software platform will be rolled out across a range of fashion wearables: “This is an exciting moment for Myntra as we foray into the connected wearable segment with our first product Blink Go, which is a perfect blend of fashion and technology to help our customers keep track of their goals and stay fit. We are planning to bring in smart features through a combination of varied sensors and connectivity modules for audio wear, footwear, eyewear and apparels and are looking at acquiring 10-20 percent of the wearables market over the next 3 years.”

For example, an earphone may have capabilities to stream music while a smart shoe may allow users to more accurately count their steps.

“The intent behind this platform is to not only allow our wearable products to co-exist and leverage each other’s data to provide meaningful insights but also enable external developers to build apps or device manufacturers to integrate their own offerings to the platform,” Venugopal said.

(via Wearable Technologies, WT2017)