The wearable market is growing day by day and Adidas wants a piece of it, too. After seeing rival Nike announce the Fuelband SE and Fitbit update its wristband fitness tracker line with the almost-smartwatch Force, Adidas has decided that it needs to step up and defend its name. The company has announced at GigaOM’s Mobilize 2013 conference in San Francisco, that it will launch the new smartwatch on November 1 for $399. According to Paul Gaudio, the vice president of adidas Interactive, Adidas’ new smartwatch is going to target runner, without saying anything about other types of possible users.
Four hundred dollars is definitely not a cheap price, but Adidas says it will throw in many features. The smartwatch will have GPS functionality, will not measure speed and distance and thanks to the built-in heart rate sensor it will be able to provide personal training coaching based on your heart rate. The good news is that you won’t have to rely on its tiny screen for that, as the smartwatch will have audio coaching via Bluetooth headphones, which is kind of awesome, when you come to think about it. However, we don’t know exactly how exactly the coaching is going to be.
Adidas to release its own smartwatch on November 1
We can see in some early pictures that were taken at the conference that the smartwatch comes with the “mi” sign, which means it will join Adidas’ existing miCoach fitness brand. as well. Adidas’ smartwatch isn’t going to be just any other companion device, but it will actually be a standalone smartwatch with a media player to listen to music. Obviously, this means that it will come with flash storage, as well, but we don’t know any details right now. So, you won’t have to rely on your phone to use it, which makes sense, after all. If you want to run, you definitely don’t want to bring your phone with you.
Adidas’ smart watch is going to be a tough sell, the price being the big issue here, as you’ll have to pay $250 more than both the Pebble smartwatch and Nike’s just-unveiled FuelBand SE. But Adidas is probably betting on the power of the brand and they are launching this device just to fill a product gap. Gaudio said:
We didn’t incorporate anything we didn’t think a runner wouldn’t need or appreciate… we left certain things out on purpose. We’re not trying to make a smartwatch, but the smartest running watch.
Besides GPS and Bluetooth, it will also come with WiFi and an accelerometer, but without a digital compass. The fitness stats will synchronize with Adidas’ existing miCoach fitness cloud from where one could select pre-configured fitness routines and programs. But where Adidas is going to perform a great job is in the materials they will use the “highest quality” silicone rubber for the strap, along with aluminum, magnesium, and glass.
The smartwatch is also water-resistant and will handle about 1ATM underwater, but this doesn’t mean swimmers should take them underwater. Most likely, this is to protect the device against rain. The battery life will obviously depend on the features that you will be. With GPS on, music playing and fitness coaching, eight hours should be a sane average. The more basic watch mode means the battery will resist for about a week.