Adidas boss: Fit Smart is not FuelBand rival but lifestyle tracker could be 'further down the line'

When news of an Adidas smartband fitness tracking device first broke, thanks to numerous leaks including a posting on the US FCC site, many reports claimed that it would be aimed squarely at Nike's ever successful FuelBand products.

However, Pocket-lint spoke to Adidas' director of product creation for its Digital Sports arm, Simon Drabble, who told us that the Adidas miCoach Fit Smart is for fitness and sports training use, not as a lifestyle tracker. Although that's not to say Adidas isn't mulling a move into that area as part of its wearables roadmap.

"Lifestyle tracking has been one of the to and froes we’ve had when designing the product, but the Fit Smart is not designed for that," he said.

"We’ve covered it from the angle of designing this for somebody that wants to focus on the running and fitness area. It’s usage is tailored towards to that part of life. It has that sports focus.

"We’re not getting into that space of all-day tracking with this specific product. That doesn’t mean we don’t think that the technologies in this area are valuable for that further down the line, but from the Fit Smart product prospective, it was designed for that sports usage scenario."

The Adidas miCoach Fit Smart will be released in mid-August at a price point of £179 in the UK, $199 in the US. It is designed to help users tailor workouts that aid them in fitness or sport based on a number of key factors, including heart rate monitoring.

READ: Adidas continues journey into wearables territory with miCoach Fit Smart training device

The company has already got a training smartwatch-style device on the market in the miCoach Smart Run, but wanted to use some of its features in a device that is more widely affordable, and without compromising on the coaching aspects.

"Everything we’ve put into our products, as things stand, is very much coming from that sports authenticity and that sports focus which exist throughout Adidas and everything that Adidas does," explained Drabble.

"It was important to stay true to that in terms of moving down from where we went to with Smart Run.

"We wanted to remain focused on the coaching elements and that sports coaching piece of the puzzle.
The area where we truly believe we can help people get better is through that ability to guide them and coach them."

The band, which comes with an LED dot-style readout in preference to the touchscreen of the Smart Run, works with the miCoach Train & Run application for iPhone, and Windows Phone 8 and Android devices. The smartphone apps set the training plans but the Fit Smart stores them and gives visual and physical cues to change coaching patterns.

"Fit Smart differentiates itself to many watches or bands in this area in that it can work as just a tracker, but then it has that coaching functionality built into it," he added.

"There’s the light pipe element that allows the user to see which heart rate or speed zone they’re in. There’s a vibration mechanism, like on Smart Run, that prompts a user to change a zone. And because it can receive the actual coaching workouts from the smartphone application, users have then got that coaching workout programmed into the Fit Smart product.

"It’s from here that the user can then go on a workout and then be coached through every minute of that workout."

Whether those features will subsequently make it into a lifestyle or activity tracker down the line is unclear at present, although as a partner of both Apple's HealthKit platform and Google Fit, Adidas will be introducing new devices that could capitalise on those platforms.

"There are a number of announcements on the horizon," we were told.