New Balance announced at CES 2016 that it is entering the wearables market later this year. To do so, New Balance created a new Digital Sport division that will develop digital experiences and wearable technologies to understand, motivate and improve the lives of athletes. Its first product, a New Balance smartwatch, is expected to launch in time for the 2016 holiday season.
“New Balance has a 110-year heritage of product development and innovation in the running category, and, our new Digital Sport division represents our newest commitment to invest in athletes and runners around the world in their pursuit of extraordinary physical feats,” said Rob DeMartini, President and CEO of New Balance. “Digital technology has truly revolutionized, very quickly, this industry and New Balance wants to continue to be a brand on the forefront, arming our athletes with the cutting-edge products that will help them reach peak performance.”
The New Balance smartwatch will be powered by Android Wear and an Intel processor. Designed specifically for runners, it will support route tracking via GPS as well as music playback.
More devices will follow in 2017 and 2018. Along with wearables, New Balance will also focus on embedded technology including integrating sensors into footwear and apparel and sports equipment micro-fobs that will analyze and provide feedback on an athlete’s performance. It will also create digital experiences like the New Balance Run Club which will allow runners to interact with others both online and offline.
Source : New Balance