We’re still in the early days, but it seems a safe bet that this CES is going to be quiet on the smartwatch front, as companies reassess the flagging category. The RunIQ is a rare exception to the story, the fruits of a long ago announced partnership between Intel and running-shoe maker, New Balance.
The company has teamed up with a number of other big tech names for the wearable device — because that’s what you do when you’re a shoe maker launching your first smartwatch.
At first glance, the RunIQ looks to be standard fitness smartwatch fare, big names aside. You’ve got a heart-rate monitor, GPS and a battery that should give you a fairly middling 24 hours of life on a charge. There are also a few physical running watch buttons built in, for things like laps, making it a somewhat interesting marriage of smartwatch and running watch. The watch is also waterproof, naturally.
The Google partnership brings offline Google Music access, so users can go for a run without bringing their smartphone along, while Strava has integrated its social network of runners directly into the product.
New Balance is also using the occasion to announce a pair of Bluetooth headphones, the similarly named PaceIQ, which were created in partnership with Jabra. You’ll be able to pick up both devices at retail February 1, running $300 and $110, respectively. Assuming, of course, you aren’t still harboring strong negative feelings about the shoe company…