Today’s second piece of Nike news concerns wearable technology – as following the release of the Nike+Sportwatch and Fuelband SE smartwatch in 2013, it seems that the company is gearing up to launch an entirely new smartwatch early next year to compete with Adidas’ MiCoach device.
Occasionally-reliable electronics news site DigiTimes, citing sources along the supply chains in Taiwan, is reporting that early production runs on the wearable computing solution are already taking place at assembly plants run by EMS firm Flextronics International.
This could mean that a Nike smartwatch could be set to go on to be released in the first half of 2014, with early prototypes possibly making an appearance at CES in January or even Mobile World Congress in February in Barcelona.
We’d expect a Nike smartwatch to be fairly similar to Adidas’ MiCoach offering, which can connect to smartphones to run modified apps and send information, but can’t run external apps or make calls and send texts.
Given Nike’s previously cosy relationship with Apple, we’d not be surprised to see it as an iOS-friendly device, capable of linking in to other Apple devices. But it’s also possible that Nike’s new smartwatch could just be an improved and upgraded FuelBand device, which is already compatible with iOS devices.
The current Nike FuelBand doesn’t have a touch-screen and has a very limited LED display, but it is more than half the price of the Adidas miCoach which currently costs £350. We’re really excited to see if Nike can improve on its existing offerings and make something truly innovative.