Adidas has ended the business unit responsible for development of its fitness watches, sensor-enabled footwear, and other wearable devices, the Portland Business Journal first reported earlier this week.
The decision to close the unit will affect 74 staff positions within the company, according to the reports. Among these were data scientists, experience designers, algorithm developers, and software and hardware engineers. An Adidas’ spokeswoman told Women’s Wear Daily that the company will seek new positions for these employees within other divisions of the company.
MobiHealthNews has reached out to Adidas to confirm the closure, and will update this story with the company’s response.
According to Women’s Wear Daily, the shuttering is part of a realignment effort by the company to condense its digital offerings. This will be led by two of the company’s primary digital platforms: Runtastic, a GPS-guided exercise offering that Adidas purchased for $240 million in 2015, and a relaunched Adidas shopping app. The move to more focused digital offerings also seems to be in line with the company’s corporate strategy and goals for 2020.
“We have redefined our strategic approach towards digital, sharpening our focus on digital experiences,” a spokesperson told Just-Style. “In this context we decided to discontinue running a stand-alone digital sports organization. Instead, we are integrating digital across all areas of our business and will continue to grow our digital expertise but in a more integrated way.”
Adidas isn’t alone in ditching the fitness hardware approach — its chief competitor Nike also cut back on its fitness wearable efforts in favor of digital partnerships and product connectivity. In addition, Under Armour announced just last month that it was killing its Health Box suite of devices.
Still, Adidas’ digital consolidation effort comes not too long after it launched All Day, an iOS and Android fitness app offering customizable workouts, meal plans, mindfulness exercises, and sleep tracking. The company was also rumored to be working on a new fitness device, the Chameleon HR, which some suspected would be linked to the All Day fitness app based on promotional materials.