New Balance seems to be gearing up to improve its customers’ athletic performance by setting up an all-new division called “Digital Sport”. This division aims to develop several wearable technologies, with the first being an Android Wear smartwatch made specifically for runners.
New Balance made the announcement at the recently-concluded Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2016 in Las Vegas, and it mentioned that the Digital Sport division will focus using digital experiences as well as wearable technologies to improve athletes’ lives.
It isn’t just an Android Wear smartwatch that New Balance is making. In fact, the company is building an entire digital ecosystem that focuses on athletes. Embedded technology is something the company is looking into – intelligent sensors that can be integrated into New Balance’s footwear and apparels (similar to Nike+). Besides that, the company is also developing performance sports, which consists of sports equipment micro-fob that can sense, analyse and give feedback based on an athlete’s performance.
The said Android Wear smartwatch is touted to be made by runners for runners. It will have the ability to track a runner’s routes via GPS and enable them to run with music, all without the need of a smartphone.
To accommodate New Balance’s wearable products, the company has introduced the New Balance Run Club. Basically, this is a platform that is powered by Strava and it brings runners together either physically or digitally. Run Club runners can connect to each other to track performance, share routes, and more. Not only that, Strava also allows runners to take part in virtual training programs and races.
New Balance’s Android Wear Smartwatch is slated for a 2016 release, with its other products launching throughout 2017 and 2018. In addition to that, the first Run Club will be launched early 2016 in Boulder, Colorado, and will arrive in other key markets in the U.S., Europe and Asia later this year.
(Source: New Balance Press)