Adidas has announced the launch of the miCoach training platform which extends the concept first seen in the miCoach Samsung phone team-up.
As well as an online service, like Philips' Activa launch, Adidas will offer a device that "verbally coaches an individual during a run", making the launch a strong rival to the iPod and Nike+ partnership.
Two products are to be offered, the first of which is the miCoach Pacer, described as a small, lightweight device that delivers real-time audible coaching as a user exercises via headphones or combined with their own MP3 player.
During a run, Adidas says, the miCoach Pacer verbally coaches the runner to ensure that they are staying within their targeted heart rate zone and keeps them running at the right personal level.
Also launching is the miCoach Zone, said to be an easy to read colour-code LED display on a wristband device it provides accurate, real-time information making it easy to train at the right intensity with the help of a heart rate monitor.
"miCoach makes it easy for anyone at any level to get personal coaching. The instant progress reports help you get the most out of your run and achieve your personal goal", says Bernd Wahler, chief marketing officer of adidas Sport Performance.
"The audible coaching feature of the miCoach Pacer provides a new dimension to any workout experience allowing users of any level to discover their true potential. This product is really about offering our consumers a personal way to train".
Meanwhile at www.micoach.com, a user can create personalised training plans, set goals and pro-actively monitor and manage their progress over time.
The pricing for the miCoach Pacer system is $139.99 or £95, and the Zone is due to cost around $70 with no UK price confirmed.