Harman Kardon Launches Android SDK for Omni Wirless System

Harman OmniAudio, visual, infotainment and enterprise automation group Harman International has released an Android SDK for the Harman Kardon Omni Wireless HD (high definition) home audio system. The SDK enables third-party developers to create home audio and IoT (Internet of Things) experiences for Android users with high-fidelity sound. It will enable developers to access tools, downloads and community forums in order to build Android apps.

“Building audio features into connected apps represents the next wave of user experience, and Harman is taking a huge leap to encourage developers to participate in this world and turn their ideas into reality,” said Harman CTO, IP Park. “Our new relationship with the developer community will unleash ingenious ideas simply waiting to be noticed.”

In addition to detecting, controlling and sending audio to wi-fi speakers, the software can identify the status of speakers, determine the strength of the wi-fi signal, and receive events back from the speaker, such as the volume level, using the Harman abstraction helper library, documentation and example apps built for the Android OS.

“With SDKs for iOS and now Android, HARMAN is offering revolutionary wireless products that open even more opportunities for innovation,” said Kevin Hague, VP developer community and programs at Harman. “We are delighted to see how the developer community takes this tool and uses it to create other pioneering products.”
The Harman Wireless HD Audio SDK is built on and powered by Blackfire Research wireless media technology, under licence from Blackfire.

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Users Respond Twice As Much to Android Notifications

Twitter Notification Tray AndroidAndroid users respond to notifications on average more than twice as often as iOS users, with Android owners reacting to 20 per cent of notifications, compared to just eight per cent of iOS owners.

While both Android and iOS have spent considerable time and energy in elevating the visibility of notifications on lock-screens, the ease of finding notifications later on Android seems to be the key reason Google’s OS shows much higher rates of response.

The figures, which compare nearly 3000 apps and 100bn push notifications sent to over 500m users, come from a new study by mobile engagement platform Urban Airship, and show medium-performing Android apps outperforming their iOS companions in every industry vertical.

Splitting the apps into high, mid and low-performing categories, the study found the gap between the high performers and medium performers was large and growing, with high-performing iOS apps receiving six times more engagement, and high-performing Android apps getting almost four times more than medium rated ones.

“A core advantage of apps is the ability to reach out beyond their confines to engage people on device home screens and smartwatch faces – the only always-on screens that are never more than a glance away,” said Brett Caine, president and CEO of Urban Airship. “Data shows the difference between good and great mobile engagement is only getting bigger, making it critical that brands treat mobile engagement as a personal experience for their users.”

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AppLift Buys Bidstalk

Applift Tim

Koschella: “Bidstalk’s technology is in a league of its own”

App marketing platform AppLift has acquired Bidstalk, a self-service, white-label, mobile DSP (Demand Side Platform), based in Singapore, for an undisclosed sum. Bidstalk’s proprietary programmatic offering enables marketers to buy RTB-traded mobile inventory on a self-serve basis.

The acquisition gives AppLift’s clients access to Bidstalk’s technology infrastructure, which is now integrated into its mobile user acquisition platform, DataLift. AppLift said the combination of Bidstalk’s real-time bidding capabilities with the DataLift data-management and optimization layer will enhance AppLift’s overall offering for a wide array of app advertisers.

The acquisition gives advertisers access to more than 50 programmatic mobile display, video, and native SSPs (Supply Side Platforms), exchanges, and further supply sources, all integrated with the platform on a global level.

“We looked for a company whose RTB capacities could best complement and empower our performance-focused demand stack,” said AppLift CEO and co-founder, Tim Koschella. “Bidstalk’s technology is in a league of its own, with an efficiency and a scalability far above all other companies we have looked at in that space. We are now able to unleash the full potential of DataLift, the world’s first programmatic platform fully optimized for mobile performance.”

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Hail Mary

Murphy's Law MeekerEvery year, Mary Meeker, an analyst (in the same way Michelangelo was a ‘painter’) at VC firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield, Byers, produces her Internet Trends report, looking at how the web and usage of it are evolving. And every year, the industry breathes a huge sigh of relief because it knows it can dine out on the data for the next 12 months.

It’s a wide-ranging study. This year’s, in addition to the web, covers off enterprise software, consumer spending categories, drones, and the evolution of work. There’s little, if any, original research in there, but what Meeker does brilliantly is to amalgamate data from myriad sources to present a comprehensive overview of the way things are, giving us a much better idea of the way they might be going forward.

The dawn of the web
Some of the most fascinating stats in this year’s report are in the early pages, where Meeker turns the clock back 19 years to 1995, comparing the way things were then to how they are now, or in 2014 at least.

Between the two dates, the number of internet users rose from 35m to 28bn, with China’s share of those users rising from zero per cent in 1995 to 23 per cent in 2014. During the same period, the number of mobile users rose from 80m to 5.2bn; in penetration terms, from 1 per cent to 73 per cent. Even in 2014, however, there were more feature phones (60 per cent) than smartphones (40 per cent).

There’s more good stuff on smartphone numbers later in the report, where Meeker reveals that China has the highest number of smartphone users (513m), followed by the US (204m), India (140m), Japan (104m), with Brazil in fifth on 96m. Despite having the largest absolute number of smartphone subscribers, China’s smartphone penetration is relatively low at 38 per cent, while India’s is even lower at just 11 per cent. Australia, has the highest smartphone penetration, incredibly, 100 per cent, followed by Saudi Arabia on 91 per cent, then Japan on 82 per cent, S. Korea on 80 per cent and the UK on 71 per cent.

There’s more interesting data around video, messaging and social. Meeker reveals that six out of the top 10 most used apps globally are messaging apps, and on video, that 50 per cent of Facebook’s DAUs (Daily Average Users) in the US watch one or more video per day. Video views per day in the US, quadrupled in six months, from 1bn in Q3 2014 to 4bn in Q1 2015. 75 per cent of these views took place on mobile devices.

64 per cent of consumer internet traffic was video content in 2014, while video accounted for 55 per cent of mobile traffic. Overall mobile data traffic was up by a massive 69 per cent in 2014, though not as much as the 81 per cent increase seen the previous year.

Social standing
Another section looks at the most important social networks for US teenagers. In the spring of 2013, Facebook ruled the roost with just over 30 per cent of the teens polled choosing it as their most important social outlet. Twitter was in second with just short of 30 per cent, with Instagram in third on around 18 per cent.

By Spring 2014, however, Instagram had moved into first place, with Twitter second and Facebook third and that remained the case in spring 2015, with Instagram on 32 per cent, Twitter on 24 per cent and Facebook on just 14 per cent. Snapchat was the only other social network in double figures on 13 per cent. Those rumours you hear about teenagers deserting Facebook in droves? Maybe you’d better start believing them.

The report also has a fresh take on the media time/money spent data. The figure everyone quotes for mobile is usually 16 per cent of a user’s time but only 1 per cent of media spend, which I think is a Flurry stat. Using data from the IAB and eMarketer, Meeker reports that in 2014 in the US, mobile accounted for 24 per cent of people’s time in media, but got just 8 per cent of the ad spend. The internet accounted for 24 per cent of media time and got 23 per cent of ad spend. The biggest winner was print, which accounted for just 4 per cent of people’s media time, but still got 18 per cent of ad spend, though that trend is unlikely to continue.

Media time
The report also looks at the time spent with different digital media by US consumers, and lays bare the shift away from desktop to mobile. In 2012, consumers spent 1.6 hours per day on their smartphone and 2.5 hours per day on their desktop or laptop. By 2013 it was 2.3 hours on each. In 2014, mobile overtook desktop, accounting for 2.6 hours compared the desktop’s 2.4, and this year to date, mobile stands on 2.8 hours per day, compared to 2.4 hours on desktop.

The report ends with a chart on the 2015 market capitalisation of the leading internet companies. Apple tops the list with a market cap of $764bn (£500bn). Google is second on $373bn; Alibaba third on $233bn; Facebook fourth on $226bn; and Amazon fifth on $199bn. Tencent and eBay also feature in the top 10, but Yahoo is in 12th on $41bn, Netflix 13th on $38bn, LinkedIn 14th on $25bn, while Twitter is 15th on $24bn.

In amongst all the data, Meeker finds room for a couple of general observations, one being that: “One of the things I have learned about effective decision making is that the best decisions are often made by diverse groups of people.” And another: ““Consumer expectation that they can get what they want with ease and speed will continue to rise.” And finally: “Users generating their content are recreating the internet.”

At 197 pages long, Meeker’s analysis is not for the faint-hearted, but if you want to know what’s going on out there in that great big digital world, and where future growth might come from, it’s well worth the time taken to read it. Which you can do here.

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Letting Mobile Mature – Majestic Wine

Majestic Richard WeaverUK specialist retailer Majestic Wine made its first moves onto mobile back in 2012, with its first mobile site, which gave the retailer a 15 per cent bump in mobile traffic, and Since then Majestic’s site has undergone two major refreshes – first in 2013, with a redesign that also added a tablet site, and then with a 2014 update of its entire eCommerce platform – in an effort to make the shopping experience smoother for customers.

It might come as a surprise, then, that Majestic has waited until now to launch an app. MyMajestic officially landed on iOS and Android earlier this month, following a ‘soft launch’ back in March.

“We decided to make sure we got mobile web right first, and I think that was the right decision,” says Richard Weaver, eCommerce director at Majestic Wines. “The bare minimum that anyone needs to do is make sure that their site is optimised for mobile devices. I can’t stand going onto a site on my mobile phone that isn’t optimised – I think it’s just unacceptable now.

“The app is the next stage for us. It was really important when planning the app that we would deliver something new. If you’ve gone to the trouble of building a mobile-optimised site that has everything that your website has on desktop, then an app needs to do one of two things: it either needs to do the same thing again but with a native interface, or it needs to deliver something else entirely.”

Waiting for the right vintage
Having waited three years to launch its first app, Majestic plumped for the latter option. Designed in-house by a “cross-functional team” and developed in collaboration with CRM agency Indicia and tech firm Cohaesus, MyMajestic doesn’t attempt to replicate the site’s functionality of the site – and, surprisingly for a retailer, features no transactional capabilities at all.

“We have a very good mobile checkout at the moment that runs in a browser, we don’t need to build a mobile shopping solution in a native app. We have the mobile site that delivers that already, and I think apps work best when they’re slightly single-minded,” says Weaver. “The clear focus with the app is curating your purchase history with Majestic and having access to product information at the point of consumption.

“It was designed to be useful to customers whether they shop with us online or in-store, which is an important distinction from the site. Plus, from our point of view as a business, it means not having to reproduce work we’ve already done.”

screenshots

The app enables Majestic’s customers to access tasting notes, food pairings and other info for wines that they’ve bought from the retailer previously – or, by scanning its barcode with the device’s camera, a bottle they’ve picked up off the shelf. They can also record which wines they’ve liked, with star ratings and their own notes, and create wishlists of bottles they want to try in future.

“These are bits of functionality that we figured all customers would be able to derive value from whether they’re online or offline,” says Weaver. “In fact, in many ways, this is a functionality that’s more useful if you shop in-store than if you shop online.”

Aging well
“We expect the results of that to be less direct and to be measured over time rather than tracked in the way we would track, say, a piece of online advertising,” Weaver says. “We’ve quite deliberately not set ourselves the kind of direct ROI targets that we do with, say, a piece of online advertising.”

“What we want is for the app is something that’s of use to our customers, that gives them value. But we wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t absolutely feel there wasn’t a really strong business case for customers that have access to this information being more likely to return to us.”

However, in working to connect up customer’s purchase history between web, app and even in-store, Majestic seems to have created a valuable attribution tool. While online shoppers can just use their log-in, customers who’ve never shopped on the retailer’s site are issued a 16-digit ‘personal code’ that can be entered into the app to link it with their in-store activity. Connecting up all these touchpoints sounds like the holy grail for multichannel marketers – but Weaver says it’s not quite that simple.

“The approach that we have at the moment is a way of linking multiple systems,” he says. “The 16-digit code, in some ways, is not as smooth as it could be. It could be automated, but our concern is around privacy and data security. The code is a way of securing the details and making sure that only the actual customer has access to the purchase history. That’s the trade-off we have at the moment, going down the line we may be able to streamline that further.

“Honestly, I think the holy grail is not having those multiple systems at all, but that is a much bigger piece of work – and it raises all sorts of issues. One of the classic problems that we’ve seen other retailers have when they moved to a single customer database is: if I’ve shopped in store and you’ve got my name and address, when I log in or register online, do I automatically have access to purchase history, or does there need to be an element of validation involved. How does that work?”

Answering that question seems like the obvious next step for Majestic’s app strategy, but Weaver says the answer ultimately doesn’t lie with him: “We have some ideas of things that could be done next, in particular improving the integration of what you can do in terms of curating products but really, it’s not for me to decide. We want to put it in the hands of customer and see what they think.”

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Innovation Lab: Limping Robots, Pizza Projectors & Smart Fabric

At Mobile Marketing we’re proud to help tech companies showcase their cutting-edge solutions; the Startup Showcase at our Mobile Marketing Summits gives a platform to those companies, and brings audiences one step closer to ideas and developments that are breaking new ground in the market.

In that spirit, our Innovation Lab feature takes a step beyond the world of apps, ads and handsets with slightly bigger screens, in order to share some of the tech world’s innovative ideas. They might be interesting, disruptive or just outright strange, but these are the stories that have caught our eye over the past week.

Evolving Robot Learns to Walk With a Limp

One of the key problems engineers have faced in designing robots, especially those that are sent into hazardous or hard-to-reach environments, is that if they become damaged, they become more or less useless, unable to adapt to their new situation or repair themselves.

Researchers at Paris’ Pierre & Marie Curie University have been working to fix this issue, with a robot that can adapt like an animal to damaged parts, testing out various methods to continue walking before settling on the most efficient method that maintains direction and speed.

The robot uses an intelligent trial-and-error algorithm that enables it to adapt to damage in less than two minutes without requiring pre-specified contingency plans, instead using a map of it’s high-performing behaviours to determine what ones are most useful, then using this knowledge to rapidly compensate for damaged limbs.

“Whereas animals can quickly adapt to injuries, current robots cannot ‘think outside the box’ to find a compensatory behaviour when they are damaged: they are limited to their pre-specified self-sensing abilities, can diagnose only anticipated failure modes, and require a pre-programmed contingency plan for every type of potential damage,” said Antoine Cully, one of the researchers behind the project. “This new algorithm will enable more robust, effective, autonomous robots, and may shed light on the principles that animals use to adapt to injury.”

pizza projectorPizza and a Movie in One Complete Package, Thanks to Pizza Hut

Pizza boxes are an oft-neglected branding opportunity, and while companies are slowly catching up, with QR codes and those little holes that hold garlic sauce, Pizza Hut in Hong Kong has gone one step further with a pizza box that transforms into a movie projector with the addition of a mobile phone.

The Blockbuster Box, created by Reed Collins, CCO of ad agency Ogilvy and Mather Group, includes a lens and phone stand integrated into the pizza saver that stands in the middle of the box, and features a punch-out hole in the cardboard that enables customers to quickly transform their takeaway into a home cinema.

Pizza Hut has created four different boxes for various film genres: Hot and Ready for romance, Fully Loaded for action thrillers, Anchovy Armageddon for sci-fi and Slice Night for horror. The boxes come with scannable codes for film downloads, meaning that customers don’t even have to worry about being part of a streaming service.

The distinctive boxes are only available in Hong Kong at the moment, but if the campaign proves successful, ‘pizza and a movie’ night may soon transform into ‘pizza with a movie’ night for consumers everywhere.

‘PomPom Mirror’ Shows Your Furry Reflection

It’s not exactly useful for putting on your makeup or making sure you haven’t missed a spot while shaving, but the PomPom Mirror, created by New York-based artist Daniel Rozin, does demonstrate the unique ways that technology and art are intersecting.

Using a Kinect motion capture device, the piece captures movements in front of it, then translates it into instructions for 464 servos that flip 928 black and white faux fur pom poms, creating a furry silhouette in real-time.

The piece is on show in New York City’s Bitforms gallery, which specialises in contemporary art that engages with new media, as part of Rozin’s exhibition Descent with Modification, which focuses on the kinetic and interactive properties of both human beings and technology.

jacquardGoogle’s Smart Cloth Can Act as a Trackpad

Project Jacquard is the latest innovation to come out of Google’s ATAP (Advanced Technology and Projects) division, which has also given us the Project Ara modular phone and the Project Tango 3D-sensing technology. With Jacquard, Google is working on transforming the clothes we wear into smart objects.

According to Engadget, the main focus of the project has been the Jacquard loom, which can weave regular and conductive fabric together to form a single piece of textile with the properties of both. Using this material, conductive squares within a large piece of fabric can be used to turn on lights, control media players or even act as trackpads.

So far, the trials have focused on getting the material to work on flat surfaces. The next hurdle is to ensure the material retains its functionality when curved, bent or bunched, as well as miniaturising the other components needed to connect the fabric to devices. Once these challenges have been overcome, however, we may well be controlling our smartphones and connected homes with our jackets.

Smart Flashlight Integrates GPS, Walkie-talkie and More

The Fogo ‘Adventure Gadget’ does an excellent job of packing in more or less everything you’d need for a camping trip apart from the tent. The smart flashlight includes a walkie-talkie, GPS tracker, digital compass and even enables you to send text messages when you’re far from any conventional signal.

The durable and waterproof device includes a motion detector so you can find it in the dark, can charge USB devices as a backup battery and preserves it’s own power by adjusting light levels based on the environment and where you’re pointing it (dimming when focused on paths, then brightening when pointed at the distance).

The GPS can be programmed with waypoints to guide you, or create them as you walk, while also acting as a pedometer. When attached to a bike, it can track speed, distance, elevation and even use Bluetooth connectivity to monitor your heartrate. In addition, the device is modular, so additional hardware can be added over time.

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Apple Acquires Augmented Reality Firm Metaio

metaio ar ferrariApple has bought German AR company Metaio, whose technology has been used by brands including Macy’s, BMW and IKEA, leading to speculation that the tech giant may be considering a push into the world of augmented reality.

Google has already tested the AR waters with Glass, and Microsoft has recently revealed its Hololens solution that looks to be the next step forward in AR user interfaces. Meanwhile, Apple, often the pioneer in new technology, has yet to show any solid interest in AR.

Earlier this year, Apple did apply for a patent for a Cardboard-style AR headset that would use an inserted iPhone to create visuals, but nothing has been reported of the project since. However, the company may be biding its time in a similar fashion to its release of the Apple Watch, which was carefully timed to take advantage of the growing wearables market.

Metaio’s previous products and services have generally focused on providing useful information in a HUD-style display, although it has also employed its technology for marketing purposes, like an AR tour for Ferrari, and tourism, with an AR experience focused on the Berlin Wall.

Apple has neither confirmed nor denied its acquisition of Metaio, but the company’s website now announces that email support for customers will be terminated at the end of June, and products and subscriptions are no longer available for purchase.

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Path Acquired by Kakao Talk

pathPhoto-sharing service Path has been acquired by Daum Kakoa, the company behind the popular Kakao Talk messaging app, for an undisclosed sum.

While created by a US-based firm, Path and Path Talk, it’s messaging app, have never become popular in America or Europe, instead finding an audience in Asia, in particular Indonesia, where it competes with services like Line.

Path and Path Talk will continue to operate independently of Kakao Talk, but will increasingly focus on the Southeast Asian market, utilising Daum Kakao’s understanding of the local market to grow its user base.

“We have reached a tipping point on our journey and for Path to truly grow we need more resources and a larger local team that deeply understands Southeast Asian markets,” said Dave Morin, CEO and co-founder of Path. “Daum Kakao’s extensive experience in mobile innovation along with a network of millions of users will ensure continued and reliable service.”

“Path’s strong user base in the fast growing Indonesian market makes it a powerful candidate for growth into a mobile lifestyle platform with rich services that impacts users on a daily basis,” said Alex Kim, head of Daum Kakao Indonesia. “We believe there is huge potential for Daum Kakao and Path in the global market, and we are looking forward to bringing out meaningful synergy with other Daum Kakao services and provide greater value to our users.”

Interestingly, while the Path and Path Talk apps are the company’s flagship products, it has retained independent control of its Places b2c messaging service. Places was an addition to the Path Talk messaging app that enabled users to communicate with local businesses, either directly or through a team of Path liaisons.

While the Places service never established a huge audience, it did have a loyal following among a small group of users. Following the deal, the service appears to have stopped working within Path Talk, prompting speculation over what the remains of Path plans to do with the feature divorced from its other apps.

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Google I/O Announcements: Industry Reaction

sundar pichai at google ioAs always, the keynote speech at Google’s I/O developer conference saw the company revealing the next wave of innovations we can expect from the search giant, with a new version of Android and Android Wear, the introduction of Android Pay, expanded capabilities for IoT and the Google Cardboard VR viewer, and much more.

We reached out to industry experts to ask what they thought of the latest wave of Google products, and what impact we can expect them to have on the mobile marketing industry.

“Google I/O lacked the headline announcements of recent years but nonetheless underlined the company’s ecosystem advantage by virtue of the Android installed based, user knowledge, machine learning and highly integrated services,” said Geoff Blaber, vice president for the Americas at CCS Insight. “It’s increasingly clear that consumers are sleepwalking into a world where huge swathes of their personal data resides with Apple, Google or both. Today’s announcements underlined that for both photos and the emerging Internet of Things segment.

“Android Wear remains firmly in early development phase. It may have 4000 native apps, but there is little to suggest it’s ready for mass market adoption. The updates to Android Wear are disappointing, as we had expected more given its a year since the platform was launched. That said, it does not bode well for broader smartwatch adoption and leaves Apple in a strong position to consolidate a strong leadership position with its Watch.”

One of the bigger announcements from the keynote was the news of Android Pay, a new mobile payment solution that will replace Google Wallet and has partnerships with major financial firms and retailers.

android wear at google io“Google may have been first to offer mobile payments on a smartphone in 2011 with Google Wallet, but Android Pay represents a complete refresh of their strategy, opting to ‘play nice’ with major payment networks and banks and focus their energy and design thinking on improving the consumer’s experience,” said John Haro, CTO of Vibes. “What Google showed us is the result of this focus and acknowledgement that reducing friction and removing roadblocks for the customer is critical to gain adoption.

“Including better support for fingerprint scanning will further improve this experience and bring it in line with what consumers on the iPhone are becoming accustomed to. The fact that there is some similarity in their approaches shows mobile payments are beginning to be standardised, and I think that this is rocket fuel for mobile wallet adoption in general.”

Among the smaller announcements from last night was the news that Google will start surfacing in-app pages in Google searches on iOS via the Chrome and Google apps. While it may not have drawn the headlines the same way Android Pay did, it has the potential to have a huge impact on the mobile web and how users discover content and apps.

“To stay relevant in an increasingly fragmented mobile ecosystem, Google’s announcement represents a huge step forward for apps that are already installed on Apple devices,” said Lei Sun, CEO and founder of Yozio. “It’s essentially freeing the information inside of apps so it is easily discoverable for users, an incredibly important function since people find products and content on Google through mobile web search.”

Also indicating a bridge between the Android and iOS systems was the news that the Google Cardboard app for augmented and virtual reality would be coming to iOS, offering iPhone users the chance at cut-price VR experiences.

“Google’s announcement is a step closer to getting virtual reality into consumer’s hands and demonstrates how the physical and virtual worlds are colliding,” said Andrew Gilboy, vice president of EMEA for Demandware. “As this emerging technology breaks into the mainstream then it will become another tool for retailers that want to reinvent the purchasing experience and enable customers to reimagine a brand or product in new ways.

“Increasingly, virtual reality will be used to deliver fluid, highly relevant interactions that allow consumers to conveniently weave between physical and virtual shopping interactions as they move between different channels.”

android one at google ioFinally, there was the news that Google will be expanding its Android One capabilities for consumers in emerging markets where connectivity can be unreliable or difficult to find, enabling users to take more content than ever offline, including YouTube and Google Maps.

“Google’s newly announced offline capabilities will bring more of the internet to content-hungry users in emerging markets who are currently held back by unreliable mobile networks,” said Marco Veremis, CEO of Upstream. “As the firm rightly points out, the next billion users are going to access the web through a smartphone, whether it is for entertainment, education or just for information.

“The new features in Google’s apps are going to drive a thirst for content amongst consumers in emerging markets. Other app makers need to be thinking about their content distribution strategies now, so that they are ready to engage these consumers as they become full citizens of the internet.”

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Jawbone Suing Rival Fitbit on Eve of IPO

jawbone up fitness trackerFitness tracker manufacturer Jawbone is suing rival firm Fitbit, alleging that Fitbit drew Jawbone employees away from the company and got them to download confidential information before they left in an effort to steal Jawbone’s designs.

The lawsuit, filed in California State Court on Wednesday, alleges that earlier this year, Fitbit recruiters actively tried to poach Jawbone employees, with those who left downloading files onto thumb drives before leaving in a process Jawbone describes as “systematically plundering”.

“This case arises out of the clandestine efforts of Fitbit to steal talent, trade secrets and intellectual property from its chief competitor,” said Jawbone’s lawyers in the complaint. The suit goes on to cite several instances of Jawbone employees who handed in their resignation without indicating they were leaving to work for a rival company.

The lawsuit comes at a delicate time for Fitbit, which filed to go public earlier this month and is preparing for its IPO. The company has been growing quickly, with revenues increasing tenfold in the past two years, and net profits of $132m (£86m) recorded in 2014.

In contrast, Jawbone has struggled in recent years, delaying the launch of its latest Up3 model, and industry experts speculating that the $300m it raised in February wasn’t equity investment but a loan with strict terms that will see BlackRock paid ahead of other investors.

According to the New York Times, Jawbone is seeking financial damages in the lawsuit, as well as a ruling that prevents ex-employees from making use of the information it alleges they took when they left.

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