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What We Want to Hear From Under Armour at SXSW

By Motley Fool Staff - Mar 10, 2016 at 6:43PM

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The company made a huge splash at the Consumer Electronics Show when it unveiled its HealthBox. These Fools are hoping CEO Kevin Plank will give an update on the company's connected fitness suite at SXSW.

A few months ago, Under Armour (UAA 2.82%) introduced a new interactive fitness solution called HealthBox at the Consumer Electronics Show.

In this clip from Tech Industry Focus, Sean O'Reilly and Dylan Lewis talk about why they're looking forward to finding out more about the product and discuss its potential to change how we interact with our health.

A transcript follows the video.

This podcast was recorded on March 4, 2016. 

Sean O'Reilly: On to another Fool favorite, Under Armour. What are they going to be doing at South by Southwest because I thought they just sold T-shirts?

Dylan Lewis: Yeah, we are rehashing our conversation on CES a little bit, the Consumer Electronics Show.

O'Reilly: Right.

Lewis: Yeah, yeah. If you'll remember, Under Armour unveiled their UA HealthBox at CES. Kevin Plank, CEO of Under Armour, will be speaking at South by Southwest again. Just as a refresher for what the HealthBox is, what goes into it, basically it's the world's first connected fitness system. That's what they're billing it as. The components for it are the UA Band, which automatically tracks steps, distance, resting heart rate, sleep, all that stuff. Everything that you're used to with a Fitbit, Garmin, health tracker, that kind of thing.

The UA Scale is a Bluetooth- and Wi-Fi-enabled scale that measures weight and body fat percentage. Then UA Heart Rate, which is a compact heart rate monitor, features innovative micro-snap technology designed to provide comfort during workouts.

O'Reilly: Oh, boy. All yours for the low, low price of $400.

Lewis: Yeah. The whole package sells for 400 bucks. The individual components sell for $180, $180, and $80 respectively. We got some insight into... We had the launch itself and some insight into what their broader plan is. At CES, he talked with the CEO of IBM, Ginni Rometty...

O'Reilly: OK, sure.

Lewis: ... about UA Record, which is like their kind of hub for, it's a health hub. The way he described it during their conference was just basically like a daily health dash. He said that wearables, in this conference call he said, "Wearables have been very effective in telling you how many steps you took or how many hours you slept, but they haven't been effective in giving you proactive information on how to utilize that data to make your life better. Put simply, there's no call to action until now. IBM's Watson, a platform that executes cognitive thinking will provide personalized insights in real time to the user based on the information we collect for UA Record and will take the experience and service to a whole new level."

O'Reilly: How does a computer that plays Jeopardy help you become healthier?

Lewis: Yeah, I think when you hear IBM Watson you have that, whoa, this is some serious data analytics and serious AI-type work that they're going to be doing. The idea here is to be able to mine and find patterns in people's health habits and also provide more insight into their health habits. You know, I mean, it was something as simple as in the CES demo he did something where within an app there's a 1-10 scale of how are you feeling today.

O'Reilly: It's telling me how I feel?

Lewis: No, no.

O'Reilly: Oh, OK.

Lewis: It's soliciting, how are you feeling on a scale from one to 10? Then it wants to sync up your behavior, the things you've done, the things you've eaten with that feeling.

O'Reilly: Oh, yeah.

Lewis: So that you have a better sense. He pointed to, he said, "If I were to ask you how many days have you felt like you were sick in the past year, you have no clue, right?"

O'Reilly: I have no idea.

Lewis: Yeah. That seems like something that you should know, but...

O'Reilly: That would be really useful. I'd like to... Yeah, OK.

Lewis: Spotting patterns. If it's something where if I had lunch before I work out and I don't feel as good or whatever, if I eat dairy, I realize that my stomach doesn't feel awesome. Things like that, just providing more insight into that. The recent conference call that Under Armour had was shortly after HealthBox launched, so obviously no product insight there.

I doubt that we're going to get anything in terms of sales, anything like that, but I'm really just looking more to see if they have any updates on that product launch, anything favorable they can tell us in terms of units, anything like that. Just kind of what else they're playing to do in the wearable fitness space.

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