After tying their sneakers, runners will be strapping on a smartwatch if Adidas has any to say about it. The purpose of running is to get or stay fit. Measuring your success is tricky. The new smartwatch from Adidas can lend a hand.
Paul Gaudio, vice president of Adidas Interactive took the stage at GigaOM?s Mobilize 2013 conference in San Francisco to differentiate his company?s device from those already on, and those headed for, the marketplace. Their smartwatch is designed specifically for a niche market ? it?s geared solely toward runners.
GPS location, speed, heart rate, music, and coaching ? what more could a runner want in a smartwatch?
The watch is multitasking, providing not only data about your location, speed and the all important heart rate, but it also offers music storage. Its most unique feature is the personalized coaching based on your heart rate. The information is both visual and audible through the face of the watch and headphones via Bluetooth.
Although Gaudio, of Adidas Interactive, was showing off their smartwatch for runners, he was only running a conference, not a marathon at the GigaOM event
The miCoach SMART RUN is priced at $399 and set to go on sale the first of November. Gaudio said they didn?t try to be all things to all people. ?We didn?t incorporate anything we didn?t think a runner wouldn?t need or appreciate. We left certain things out on purpose.? He quipped: ?We?re not trying to make a smartwatch, but the smartest running watch.? There are no extra wires, cables or sensors, just a wrist watch that is smart.
Similar to interval training, the miCoach system uses four colored zones ? blue, green, yellow and red. SMART RUN uses them to coach you via vibrations, the color touch guerrilla glass screen display or an audible coach that tells you to pick up the speed or back off a little as you work out.
Olof Schybergson, CEO of a design company called Fjord, helped Adidas design the watch. He believes wearable technology for athletes will evolve, but it will probably take a ?less is more? approach. Runners see smartphones as being too cumbersome. A watch, however, is convenient and Schybergson says ?.. it is a habit that has been there for ages. It?s not socially intrusive and it doesn?t introduce a lot of social awkwardness.? It was pointed out that runners run to de-stress, this is why they left out a wireless phone capability.
Emphasizing their men?s training gear, Adidas? motto is Glory is Earned; Pride is Worn. The company is hoping some of that pride will be garnered from owning their new wearable technology ? the miCoach SMART RUN smartwatch that coaches those who run.