Coaches Samsung/Adidas take on Apple/Nike

Samsung and Adidas are competing against Apple and Nike to offer people a device that plays music and keeps track of users’ workouts. Samsung’s miCoach is a music playing mobile phone that encourages people as they workout. The device tells users to “speed up” if they aren’t keeping pace, and gives them updates on their heart rate, time left in their run, and more.

The device includes a heart-rate monitor, a sensor that can be attached to running shoes and a Web workout journal to help people design and keep track of fitness programs and show progress over time.

Samsung and Adidas are in direct competition with Apple and Nike, which offered the Nike+iPod sports kit in the U.S. in July, 2006. Nike+iPod keeps track of workouts, tells runners the distance they have covered, number of calories burned and other information.

The biggest difference between the two systems is that miCoach is a mobile phone and the Nike+iPod is a music player. The miCoach can play music but only comes with 1GB of storage, while the Nike+iPod comes in 4GB and 8GB models but can’t make calls

Samsung’s miCoach will work with any shoe, unlike the Nike+iPod. The sensor sold with the Samsung/Adidas device fits on the laces of a runner’s shoes, while the sensor in the Nile-iPod system is built into the shoe.

The miCoach mobile phone is a slim, 14.5-millimeter thick slider handset with a 2-inch LCD (liquid crystal display) screen with a textured back to offer better grip. It comes in seven colors, including pink, red, dark gray, sapphire and silver. The handset includes a 2-megapixel camera and can connect to a computer via a USB (universal serial bus) connection or wirelessly with Bluetooth.