Wearable Tech World Feature Article
September 08, 2014

New Garmin Fitness Tracker Adds More Features

Even though wearable technology is in its early stages, consumers across a wide range of demographics are adopting these devices. As of now it is mostly geared toward health and fitness so users can monitor their heart rate as well as how much they walk, run and sleep. According to ABI Research, the market could reach as high as $2.6 billion by 2018, but this growth will only be sustained if the devices add more features that make the purchase worthwhile for everyone besides the serious fitness buff. Garmin, which is known for its GPS devices, has heeded that advice by implementing smartwatch features on its new Vivosmart fitness band.

The Vivosmart at its core is an activity tracker that measures how many steps you take, the distance traveled, calories burned, goal-countdown timed and hours slept. The new features the company has incorporated include a touch screen with a vibrating alert that displays incoming call notification messages with text support. By incorporating the call notification and text support it allows individuals to screen their calls while they are exercising so they can answer the ones that are important.

The device synchronizes with the Garmin Connect smartphone app available for iOS and Android and connects with the company’s ecosystem. Users can control music playback from a paired smartphone, record data from Garmin’s bike speed sensor and control its GoPro-like action cameras remotely. It also has a feature that alerts the user when they have been sitting around for too long. And if you misplace your phone, the "find my phone" option will sound an alarm on the phone itself to help you locate it once it has been activated.

The slim curved device has an OLED (organic light-emitting diode) screen with a rechargeable battery that lasts up to seven days. The display is activated by an incoming call from a paired smartphone, a gesture or touch.

“With its activity tracking features, additional workout support including timed activities, and smart notifications, Vivosmart is like having a personal coach and assistant right on your wrist. It challenges and motivates users to stay active and create lifelong healthy habits, while keeping them connected to family, friends, work, and more,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of worldwide sales.

The Vivosmart is available now for preorder exclusively at BestBuy.com, and will be in its stores in the middle of September. Additional online availability will begin in November 2014.

Edited by Rory J. Thompson

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