New Balance has confirmed that it is embracing digital technology, with plans to launch a consumer running watch during 2016.
Announcing a new Digital Sport division, the company has outlined that it wants to create a digital platform for runners, covering wearable devices starting with a smartwatch and expanding to embedded technology such as sensors in shoes and clothing.
The New Balance smartwatch will be an Android Wear device and it's been confirmed that partnerships with Intel and Google will bring it to fruition. It will be designed to work untethered, with GPS and support for music playback without a smartphone.
Few other details are given, but New Balance points out that it is designed by runners, for runners, a message that should resonate with those looking for a pure sportswatch experience, rather than a device that aims to do everything.
Partnerships with Strava and Zepp have also been announced, the former, will form the basis of the connected community of runners called New Balance Run Club. Zepp is a sensor specialist, and we'd imagine Zepp sensors will appear in shoes and apparel.
"Digital technology has truly revolutionised, 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," said Rob DeMartini, president and CEO of New Balance.
The New Balance Android Wear smartwatch is due in time for the holiday season 2016, so towards the end of the year.