July 21st, 2015
Yesterday was Nike’s day in the spotlight, but today Adidas is officially joining its rival in the wearable devices category. The company has announced its own smartwatch, which it says will appeal to runners thanks to built-in GPS tracking, Bluetooth connectivity, and pulse-based heart rate tracking — a feature that FuelBand users have long clamored for. Speaking at the GigaOM Mobilize conference, Adidas VP Paul Gaudio said that the watch will be able to offer tailored heart rate training, even sending out audio coaching to any Bluetooth headphones that are connected to the device.
But if you were hoping for a smartphone app or a community matching that of Nike+, you may be underwhelmed with what Adidas is offering. The $399 watch reportedly doesn’t communicate with or forward notifications to your smartphone, nor can users stream music from their mobile device. Instead, the Adidas smartwatch is a standalone device that includes onboard flash storage to house your running mix. It’s slated to go on sale November 1st, but at $250 more than both the Pebble smartwatch and Nike’s just-unveiled FuelBand SE, it may be a tough sell for fitness-minded consumers. But if heart rate training is crucial to your workout regimen, Nike’s latest won’t do the trick anyway. “”We’re not trying to make a smartwatch, per se, but the smartest running watch,” Gaudio said.
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