Garmin’s acquisition of FirstBeat Analytics will help sharpen its product offerings

Garmin pulse oximeter

Garmin today announced the acquisition of Finland based FirstBeat Analytics. Firstbeat Analytics is a provider of physiological analytics and metrics for consumer devices in the health, wellness, fitness, and performance markets.

Garmin fans should celebrate this news! The new capabilities from FirstBeat Analytics are going to sweeten up the analytics features for all of Garmin’s wearables.

Users can expect many new metrics and associated reports within their Garmin Connect ecosystem.

Related reading:

What FirstBeat Analytics brings to the table for your Garmin wearable

Used Body Battery metric on your Garmin Connect? You can thank the FirstBeat Analytics team for that intuitive feature.

body battery Garmin

Heart-related monitoring is one of the key areas where leading wearable providers like Apple are vested.

Emerging players such as WHOOP are actively using metrics such as HRV (Heart rate variability) to detect potential asymptomatic COVID-19 cases in athletes.

Garmin could in potential make its offerings more appealing, particularly in the area of heartbeat data with the acquisition of FirstBeat Analytics.

The importance of heartbeat data

Firstbeat Analytics has been transforming heartbeat data from consumer devices into meaningful information and advice to enhance performance and wellbeing for nearly two decades. 

Using a combination of sensor data, including heart rate variability (HRV), Firstbeat Analytics blends physiological science with mathematics. This combination provides the most advanced analytics and metrics in the areas of stress, sleep, VO2 max, training status/load, training effect, respiration rate, calories burned, and much more.

According to Cliff Pemble, Garmin president, and CEO:

“Having utilized Firstbeat’s innovative analytics across our product lines for more than a decade, we are excited to have the Firstbeat Analytics associates join the Garmin team, establishing us at the forefront of physiological analytics,”

“Together with their team of physiologists, scientists, and engineers, we look forward to providing Garmin customers with unmatched technology for greater performance, recovery, and overall health.”

“Millions of Garmin customers depend on Firstbeat Analytics data from their smartwatch or cycling computer every day,” said Aki Pulkkinen, co-founder of Firstbeat.

“We have enjoyed a strong collaboration with Garmin over the years. And we look forward to continuing to work together to bring the most advanced and accurate health and performance data to our customers.”

FirstBeat Analytics has been a pioneer in sensor and analytics work with some leading sports athletes in Europe

Firstbeat sports scientist Christoph Rottensteiner implemented the Firstbeat Sports system with Schalke last year for the German Soccer league Bundesliga.

SL Benefica, leading the soccer club of Portugal uses FirstBeats advance performance analytics.

With this acquisition, Garmin could position itself as a serious contender to Whoop. In particular, Garmin could compete for elite training, athlete monitoring, and recovery related areas.

It will be interesting to see how Garmin positions this new capability across its product lines.

Does it create a new division to go after performance sports and compete for head-on with Whoop? Or does it assimilate FirstBeat analytics into all its wearable platforms and attract new customers. Only time will tell.

2020 is definitely turning out to be an exciting year for Wearables!

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Sudz Niel Kar
I am a technologist with years of experience with Apple and wearOS products, have a BS in Computer Science and an MBA specializing in emerging tech, and owned the popular site AppleToolBox. In my day job, I advise Fortune 500 companies with their digital transformation strategies and also consult with numerous digital health startups in an advisory capacity. I'm VERY interested in exploring the digital health and fitness-tech evolution and keeping a close eye on patents, FDA approvals, strategic partnerships, and developments happening in the wearables and digital health sector. When I'm not writing or presenting, I run with my Apple Watch Ultra or Samsung Galaxy Watch and closely monitor my HRV and other recovery metrics.


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