AT&T Boosts Its Wearables to Promote Healthy Lifestyles


NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- AT&T  (T) is on a health kick these days.

The telecom giant has been broadening its portfolio of devices and apps, diving into the growing market of health and fitness. The company yesterday announced the addition of six new wearable devices to its suite, five of which are fitness trackers of various sorts.

AT&T's expansion comes as the market for smart wearable fitness and sport devices is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 25.4% globally from 2014 to 2019, according to research firm TechNavio.

The maker of one of the more popular fitness bands, Fitbit (FIT), went public today on the New York Stock Exchange, opening 52% above its IPO price. And Apple (APPL) has been touting the health and fitness features in its new Apple Watch. 

But AT&T is also creating a network to help consumers take advantage of its various devices. The fitness trackers will sync with a new app called ForHealth that AT&T announced earlier this year at Mobile World Congress. ForHealth, which is scheduled to launch later this year, collects and analyzes data from all sorts of devices and other apps to create a comprehensive picture of a consumer's wellbeing.

AT&T is tapping into the idea that, while there is an endless amount of health-related data consumers can discover, the translation of that data into helpful and understandable information is a bit trickier and provides a market opportunity.

"Perhaps the greatest unmet need in digital medicine is making all of one's immense data useful for that individual to promote their health," Eric J. Topol, AT&T's chief medical advisor, said when ForHealth was created.

AT&T says it's addressing that market with ForHealth and all of the company's various devices, including more smartwatches and fitness trackers than any other carrier offers.

Recently, AT&T has been making a bigger push into the so-called Internet of Things, realizing that this is a huge area that can have an impact on its consumers' lives. As of the end of March, AT&T's network had almost 22 million connected devices worldwide. More than 945,000 of those devices were connected during the first quarter of 2015, up 70% from the first quarter of 2014.

And that growth will likely continue. The market for Internet of Things is expected to nearly triple to $1.7 trillion by 2020, according to research firm IDC.

"We're figuring out and learning, how do we make it more simple, how do we make it easier, how do we truly make people's lives better because they want to use the application or device that is really driving that," AT&T Mobility President and CEO Glenn Lurie said in a promotional video. "And to me if we can make that customer experience clean and simple and easy, it'll get adopted faster, and we'll all win."

Here are the five new fitness trackers AT&T is adding to its line-up:

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