As announced at CES last week, Under Armour announced its major foray into the exercise community space with Under Armour Record. UA Record freatures a personalized health and fitness platform that is open, a key differentiator versus Nike’s closed platform, meaning third party data can easily be synced into the UA user’s account. While it remains to be seen how simple the 3rd party data integration is, it is certainly a differentiator addressing a major complaint of the Nike community, e.g. that there is no way to use third party devices’s data.
Beyond its open architecture, allowing users to import third party device data, Record also is debuting a new feature, allowing users to follow celebrities, athletes, and other users hoping to drive social behavior in a way Nike+ Running, Runkeeper, or others have been unable to do, create platforms that are social rather than merely repositories for your cross-sport workout information.
While it is easy to jump to conclusions based on pretty screenshots of any personalized health and fitness platform that these attempts by Nike+ Running, Adidas, UA are little more than pretty pictures done by highly paid interactive design firms without any real knowledge of how to build and ship consumer products (no long term ownership of a product = no good when it comes to social apps!), it will be interesting to see how these companies offerings develop over the next few years as new smaller entrants begin to aggregate sizable active user basis due to building and improving on products that consumers love to use versus those that they tolerate using because of a brand affinity!
ReadWriteWeb’s Owen Thomas has a great overview of the new platform: http://readwrite.com/2015/01/09/under-armour-record-mapmyfitness-follow-model