Nokia may not be ready to re-enter the smartphone business (yet), but the company is apparently looking to make a play for consumer-oriented fitness, wearables, and internet-of-things products. The company has announced plans to acquire Withings for 170 million Euros (about $192 million).
Withings is a French company that makes products including fitness trackers, watches with activity-tracking features, scales that sync you with phone, blood pressure monitors, and air quality analyzers.
I’ve been wearing a Withings Pulse activity tracker clipped to my belt for the last 2.5 years, and it tells me I’ve walked thousands of miles in that time, which is the main reason I bought it (and set up a treadmill desk for my home office). But I also like that the Pulse is small, unobtrusive, and gets about two weeks of battery life, even after all this time.
I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s the best product in the category: I chose the Withings Pulse because it had a built-in heart rate monitor, but I’ve found it to work so poorly that I nearly never use the device to check my pulse. But overall I’m happy enough with my Withings Pulse to say that the company makes some decent hardware. And soon that hardware will be part of the Nokia family.
The acquisition is expected to be complete early in the third quarter of 2016.