Adidas might be getting out of the GPS running watch race, but the sports giant is not giving up on wearables altogether it seems. That's because it's working on Chameleon, a new lifestyle tracking wearable and we've got our first look at it.
Last year a source told Wareable that the Chameleon (as it's currently named) was set to launch in 2017 alongside a new All Day app, which has just been announced by Adidas.
Among the press materials is an image that shows an unknown device. When zoomed in it shows off a new device we've never seen before. Our source has confirmed that this is indeed the new Chameleon activity tracker.
As we expected the smart band/bracelet will track activity, health and sleep metrics. It'll also feature an optical heart rate sensor and an LED matrix-style display which improves on the one we saw on the miCoach Fit Smart.
This isn't pictured in the press image but no doubt Adidas wants to avoid the wrist-gadget aesthetic. It all sounds a bit Nike Fuelband, sure, but with a focus on women who want to get fit that makes a lot of sense given what's available in 2017.
It's likely that Chameleon will be the final branding as this has been used on Adidas Originals footwear before but bear in mind this could be a codename. We don't have any details on pricing but we do expect it to launch in the summer alongside the new All Day app.
This will be a fashion focused wearable with a stylish rope strap and a whole range of colour customisation options including metallic finishes. From the image, it looks like a nicely curvy, narrow yet slightly chunky device. The Adidas Fit Smart certainly doesn't match the best fashion tech pieces and with the new direction in mind, this new device looks likely to be aimed more at the Fitbit and fashion crowds than previous Adidas wearables.
Bringing something unique to trackers
This seems like a pretty smart move to us - focus on coaching and training features for other running watches and sports wearables and tap into Adidas' brand power to go after not very active or semi-sporty people.
When we spoke to Stacey Burr, Adidas' VP of wearable sports electronics, in September last year she told us: "We're not going to see a new running watch from Adidas for a while. There will be some additional hardware in the future that we're very excited about but we're looking, on the running side, at how we can bring our algorithms and coaching and training plans to other device platforms, in addition to Smart Run."
We took that to mean we wouldn't see any new wearables from Adidas for a while but Burr did only clarify we wouldn't see a new running watch. The Chameleon branding has been used on Adidas trainers before and we assume it refers to the customisation that it looks like will be available on this new tracker. "It's a tougher game on the hardware side now," Burr told us last month. "You really have to look at what can an individual company bring forward that's unique."
Adidas spent ‚ā¨220 million buying Runtastic in 2015 and is closing its MiCoach platform in a bid to move users to Runtastic. It also recently announced that it's opening up the platform to third party hardware manufacturers, so we may well see more wearables before the end of the year.
We'll update this story with any more juicy details we get on Adidas' wearable tech and health & fitness platform plans.
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