Luxury watchmakers like Tag Heuer and Breitling and technology brands like Apple and Motorola are all battling it out for a slice of the billion-dollar wearables market. They have all launched devices that track your fitness or do that plus act as an extension of your smartphone. Some already run independently.
But it isn’t just watchmakers and technology brands that are having a look into this new category; footwear designer New Balance will launch a smartwatch later this year alongside a new range of wearables, as part of a new vision for the brand to become a leader in tech and innovation.
New Balance Smartwatch: What We Know Right Now
Announcing their smartwatch at CES, New Balance revealed that the as-yet unnamed watch would run Android Wear. As you might expect, it will be a fitness-orientated device for sports that require a pair of trainers, like running, and to that end excitingly the company revealed that the watch would integrate with future New Balance trainers.
In terms of features, New Balance’s first smartwatch will have in-built GPS so users can track their routes, and it will have enough internal storage for music, so you don’t have to run with your smartphone. Most smartwatches are shipping with 4GB of internal storage at the moment so expect New Balance’s offering to have around the same, or maybe up to 5GB.
Also revealed at CES was New Balance’s partnership with Intel. The company’s first smartwatch will be powered by Intel Curie technology. Intel Curie is an all-in-one low-power hardware module that includes Bluetooth Low Energy and a 6-axis combo sensor with accelerometers and gyroscopes. The technology was shown off by Intel at last year’s CES, however other than the Fossil Q-Founder, no major smartwatch vendor has adopted it.
Pricing and Release Date
Pricing and availability are yet to be announced by New Balance. However, the device’s two main competitors, based on the smartwatches currently available, will be the Moto 360 Sport and Fitbit Blaze and these are priced at £219.00 and £159.99, respectively.
We expect the New Balance smartwatch to be priced closer to the Moto 360 Sport, to be honest. Both the 360 Sport and Fitbit Blaze pack in an optical heart rate sensor as well as significant fitness-app compatibility. New Balance’s smartwatch will have to do the same, or risk mediocrity in a market where the next best thing is always round the corner.