Adidas launches ‘Micoach smartwatch with heart-rate sensor

18/10/2013

Adidas has launched a smartwatch with an inbuilt heart rate monitor, as the sports brand looks to rival Nike in the upcoming digital fitness market.

The Micoach device is targeted at runners and also includes a GPS location chip to maximise the accuracy of its readings.

It marks a move by the German firm into the smartwatch sector, although the device does not run third-party apps.

The news comes the same week as rival Nike updated its own ‘Fuelband’ fitness wristband.

At $399 (£250) Adidas's Micoach Smart Run is more than double the price of Nike's $149 Fuelband SE. But it offers a wider range of sensors as well as the ability to play MP3 audio files to wireless headphones via Bluetooth.

It also has the advantage of offering partner apps for Android, Windows Phone and iOS devices. By contrast, Nike only offers a Fuelband app for the iPhone.

The new device is bigger than less advanced digital watches and screenless activity trackers also sold by Adidas, but its 1.45in (3.7cm) display is smaller than the screens on Samsung and Sony's new smartwatches.

The Galaxy Gear and Smartwatch 2 both offer a range of activity apps of their own as well as other Android software, but rely on being paired with a smartphone for much of their functionality.

Motorola's Motoactv watch may be its closest competitor. The gadget also features a GPS chip and MP3 player, but not a pulse rate sensor of its own.

Consultancy Juniper Research recently predicted the wider wearable tech market will grow from $1.4bn of sales this year to $19bn by 2018.

However, it suggested that sales of specialist fitness tracking equipment and watches that are, in effect, slaves to smartphones will be cannibalised by more powerful standalone devices.
Adidas said it would start selling the new watch next month.

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