At CES 2017, New Balance has announced its partnered with Google, Intel and Strava to create its first ever fitness wearable.
New Balance is probably better known for its sports apparel but like Under Armour, the company is now making moves in the technology space. The company isn’t going it alone, though. It’s partnered with Google, Intel and Strava to create its first ever “made to run” smartwatch named RunIQ.
The RunIQ will run Android Wear, although it’s not clear if it will launch with Android Wear 2.0 as is the case with Casio’s WSD-F20 that was also announced at CES. There’s 512MB of RAM and 4GB of storage inside, and the RunIQ uses Intel’s Atom Z34XX processor.
You’ll also find all the usual sensors, including GPS and a heart rate monitor. New Balance is also promising “marathon distance battery life” while tracking a run. Standard use will only get you up to 24 hours of battery life, however, which is a little middling in this day and age.
Other run-friendly features include a dedicated lap button and interval capabilities.
On the launch, Rob DeMartini, President and CEO of New Balance said, “New Balance has a 110-year heritage of product development and innovation in the running category, and RunIQ represents our commitment to helping athletes achieve unparalleled fitness experiences”
“A smartwatch for runners made by runners, RunIQ combines our expertise in running with the best engineering advances through breakthrough collaborations with some of the biggest players in the technological industry.”
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New Balance has said the collaboration with Strava will allow you to seamlessly upload and share workouts on the platform. In fairness, most running watches integrate with platforms such as Strava already.
However, the partnership supposedly does stretch a little further, with New Balance creating something called the New Balance Global Run Club. It’s describing this as a digital and physical community powered by Strava. NB Run Club members will be able to use the platform to connect with other users and participate in group and individual virtual training programs.
There will also be physical NB Run Club activities at New Balance stores, which sounds a lot like what Nike does with its own Nike Run Club activities.
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The RunIQ is releasing on February 1st for $299.99 although UK pricing and availability isn’t currently known.
New Balance is also releasing PaceIQ wireless headphones developed by Jabra. Considering how much we loved the Jabra Sport Pulse and more recently the Jabra Elite Sport, these could also be worth keeping an eye out for. These also come out on February 1st for $109.99.
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