Sportswear giant Nike Inc today confirmed it plans to link up with Dutch firm Philips Electronics NV to develop a line of hi-tech clothing with built-in gadgets.

The Oregon-based company said the two firms will look at various "smart apparel" opportunities such as shirts that will use conductive fibre to monitor pulse rates and shoes that can show speeds and distances.

The agreement will also see Philips produce a range of athlete-oriented MP3 players and CD players featuring the famous Nike Swoosh logo.

Peter Ruppe, vice president, Nike Equipment, stated: "Athletes want technology that stimulates and enhances the athletic experience. We believe no company or combination of companies has fully demonstrated how technology can accomplish this. By partnering with Philips, we believe we can transform the sportswear, electronic and athletic industries."

Wil van den Berg, chief marketing officer, Philips Consumer Electronics, added: "By working together, Philips will be able to translate its core expertise in display, connectivity and storage technologies into product solutions that will delight millions of sports-loving consumers worldwide.

"But, more importantly, the vision of the future that the Nike and Philips brands share should lead to a vibrant new category of products and apparel."