The launch of Digital Sport will have New Balance partnering with some major tech companies such as, Google, Intel, Strava and Zepp, to create smart wearables that are optimized for athletic apparel and movements. In addition, the executive announced New Balance's new Digital Sport division.
The timepiece, according to New Balance chief executive Rob DeMartini, will allow runners to "focus on their training so they can constantly improve performance". It alludes to the inclusion of a Global Positioning System chip so you could work out and track your route without a phone, and it explains that you'll be able to load your music and listen directly from the watch (which you can already do on any Wear device). It will also look at the performance sport category, which will include things like a micro-fob that analyses an athlete's performance.
The New Balance Android Wear smartwatch is due in time for the holiday season 2016, so towards the end of the year.
The New Balance Digital Sport will develop a comprehensive athlete-focused digital ecosystem featuring innovative New Balance-branded wearable technology products created to improve physical performance.
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. It will be interesting to see how it differs from the Moto 360 Sport, another Android Wear GPS watch targeted at runners and made by Google.
While the watch will be the first of their line of tech products, New Balance is also going to be putting embedded technology on the market following the launch of their watch. New Balance owns five factories in New England and one in Flimby, U.K. New Balance employs more than 5,000 associates around the globe, and in 2014 reported worldwide sales of $3.3 billion.