The North American technology company Garmin buys its long-time partner Firstbeat. The two companies have been working closely together for years: Firstbeat provides some of the most important analysis functions for sports watches like the Fenix 6 and for fitness trackers like the Vivoactive 4.
This involves determining recovery times, estimating stress levels or VO2max and sleep analysis. This also gives amateur athletes a variety of very useful aids for training control on their wrists.
This is far from being exactly what is available to professional athletes with coaching staff and medical care. But the tools are quite suitable for avoiding too much or too little sport.
The financial details of the transaction are not available. Firstbeat was previously privately owned and the company will continue to work at its headquarters in Finland. The takeover is likely to be important for the industry because Firstbeat has at least so far supplied other wearable manufacturers with the same analysis algorithms as Garmin.
Among other things, Casio uses the software in its first G-Shock with heart rate measurement, the GBD-H1000 (test on Golem.de).
Firstbeat is unlikely to work with Garmin competitors beyond existing contracts. Sooner or later, the analyzes should only be found on the in-house wearables. The companies have not commented on this topic.
The deal should have positive long-term consequences for Garmin’s customers. It could mean that Firstbeat’s software will be even better adapted to the hardware and that innovations may also be updated on older sports watches and fitness trackers.
So far, Garmin has had little interest in expanding wearables that have already been sold with new functions from Firstbeat – after all, license payments were due for this.