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Bits & Bytes | Nike Exits Wearables Hardware, eBay Rising, SecretSales Raises £4.5M

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Bits & Bytes is a weekly roundup of the most important news in the fast evolving fashion-tech space.

Nike Plus FuelBand | Source: Nike

“Nike FuelBand’s Wearable Lesson Not So Clear-Cut for Fitbit, Jawbone” (CNET)

“When the news hit this month that Nike is winding down its FuelBand efforts, there were bold claims that the nascent wearable tech market, it would seem, was suddenly in big trouble. The more nuanced consensus is that current activity trackers are at worst a fad, turning glorified pedometers into flashy app platforms that don’t really change our behavior or make us slimmer. At best, they’re placeholder products before the proven device-makers like Apple and Samsung deliver a mainstream wearable device that consumers will deem a must-have.”

“‘Hardware is Very Hard’: Why Wearables Aren’t Working (Yet?)” (Recode)

“The news yesterday that Nike had laid off members of its FuelBand division, and may not release future versions of the device, underscores the challenges players in this space have faced — and will face. Companies large and small are grappling with ways to cram a variety of sensors, batteries and other components into a device that offers enough value to not be tossed into a drawer after a month.”

“How eBay Regained its Edge by Predicting the Future” (Fast Company)

“Nearly two decades ago, eBay changed the way America shopped. Leveraging the newness of online shopping, the auction site was wildly successful until the mid 2000s when companies that had been Internet pioneers–think MySpace and eToys–started losing their appeal and cash flow. In 2007, posting losses for the first time in its history as a public company, the future of eBay was uncertain.”

“Flash Fashion Site SecretSales Raises £4.5M, Led By Partech” (TechCrunch)

“Flash fashion sales site SecretSales.com, a significant UK player, has raised £4.5 million – its third round of funding – from Partech Ventures’ new Partech VI fund and French private equity firm 123Venture, as well as existing investors Pentech and Doughty Hanson. The co-founders and key managers also participated. The cash will be used on product and customer acquisition.”

“With ‘Touchable Video,’ Brands See What Consumers Want to Buy” (Fast Company)

“Based in Los Angeles and New York City, Cinematique has built a video player that tracks what viewers “touch”–taps on a touch-screen device or mouse clicks on a computer–while watching TV shows, music videos, and branded videos. The objects are then bookmarked and saved to a “boutique” that can be purchased or shared with friends online.”

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