Those who enjoy wearing smart gadgets around their wrists while running or working out, in general, are in for a surprise, as Nike is rumored to launch their own smartwatch before next summer.
Even though Nike isn’t exactly new to wearable tech (the Nike+ Fuelband has been around for quite a while), there’s also room for improvements or for a diversification of the product range. The smartwatch market is currently dominated by manufacturers who, while not involved in the manufacture of sports-related apparel, develop proprietary fitness apps or encourage app developers to make them. For Nike, a smartwatch would represent a complementary accessory for its current range, not to mention that this company would surely have the know-how for creating specialized fitness apps.
The main competitor of Nike’s future smartwatch is Adidas Smart Run (pictured above), which is currently available for pre-order at a hefty price of $400. Given that the former will be launched later, Nike has time to learn from Adidas’ mistakes, if there are any. While Adidas Smart Run bears high resemblance to the Samsung Galaxy Gear, its apps make it more of a fitness tracker than a smartphone companion. Nike should simply follow this road, as finding a niche is essential in what will soon be a very crowded market. A launch date sometime within the first half of 2014 is highly probable, as rumor goes that Nike is already doing a trial production run.
Since Nike and Apple are getting along so well, some even think that Nike’s smartwatch is in fact the iWatch. Apple externalizing the production of its smartwatch would be indisputable proof that this company can’t do anything on its own.
It’s hard to say what Nike’s smartwatch will look like or what specs it will have, since the company hasn’t made an official statement regarding this matter. Because of this, it’s even possible that the rumors were misinterpreted and Nike could just have another Fuelband in the works.
One thing Nike should consider if it really is working on a smartwatch is compatibility with a wider range of mobile operating systems. The Fuelband only works with iOS devices, which is a great downside, given the ever growing market share of Android. I’m not even mentioning Windows Phone or Blackberry OS, as everyone knows who the big players really are.
If you liked this post, please check Nike+ Fuelband and the sensor-packed Hexoskin that acts as a fitness tracker.