A lot of mundane appliances and equipment today are becoming smart, that is they are able to connect to the Internet to do fancy stuff. At the very least, they let users track certain pieces of data, especially when it comes to smart fitness devices. Unfortunately, all that actually depends on a device’s ability to connect to some service somewhere over the ‘net, a truth that owners of Under Armor’s trio of health devices are finding now finding out the hard way.
Like any other fitness brand, Under Armor tried to dabble in smart health accessories once upon a time. Its HealthBox line of products was, however, short-lived and practically disappeared in 2017 after spending only a year in the market. Fortunately for owners of UA’s smart scale, smart heart rate monitor chest strap, and smart wrist activity monitor, the devices continued to work. Until now.
Under Armor apparently removed its HealthBox Record app from app stores on New Year’s Eve, just the day before people around the world strengthened their resolve to live healthier lives in the coming year. To add insult to injury, the Record app will stop working on March 31 and UA is urging its users to move over to its newer MapMyFitness mobile app. The one wrinkle in this plan? MapMy offers none of the critical features that made the HealthBox devices worth their price.
According to Ars Technica, UA’s FAQ states that these pieces of data will not be recorded by MapMyFitness or will not be moved over from UA Record: Steps, Sleep, Weight, How Do You Feel?, Resting Heart Rate, Simple Nutrition, and body fat percentage goals and graphs. Coincidentally or not, these are exactly the pieces of data recorded and tracked by the devices, particularly the UA smart scale which will now become a $180 paperweight for your floor.
All of these may have been foretold by the devices’ disappearance more than two years ago but Under Armor apparently gave no warning or advice to its own users beforehand, further souring customer relationships. It might not be the last either as this incident demonstrates one of the often ignored disadvantages of devices that need to connect to some remote server to even function at all.