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Garmin Expands Fitness Portfolio

10/25/2011 10:10:12 AM Eastern
Olathe, Kan. - Navigation supplier Garmin continues to expand its fitness-product portfolio with its first fitness app for iPhones and Android smartphones and with an iPhone accessory that wirelessly connects the iPhone to Garmin fitness accessories.

The 99-cent app lets joggers track speed, pace, distance, time and calories burned. With the optional $49-suggested ANT+ accessory for iPhones, an iPhone will display heart rate and cadence when used with the company's separately sold sensors.

The app and ANT+ accessory are designed for use by consumers who are new to fitness tracking or who travel and forget to bring their Garmin GPS-enabled sports watch. Garmin's sports watches, priced from a suggested $179 to $399, track multiple fitness metrics, in some cases going beyond the app's capabilities.

The app is called Garmin Fit, which tracks speed, pace, distance, time and calories. The data is automatically uploaded to the Garmin Connect website, where consumers can view their route, the uploaded data, elevation along the route, and data from Garmin's cadence and heart-rate monitors. Data is displayed in charts, illustrations and reports, and in street, photo, topographic and elevation maps. Garmin Fit also displays the previous 30 days of Garmin Connect history directly on an iPhone.

The app lets users control their music from within the app and view and answer incoming calls and text messages without interrupting the app.

With Garmin's ANT+ adapter for iPhone, users will be able to monitor and record heart rate and cadence directly on an iPhone when used with such optional accessories as a $69-suggested heart-rate monitor and a separate speed/cadence sensor. Select GPS watches also use ANT+ to upload such data to the Garmin Connect website via a PC equipped with an ANT+ USB stick. The company also offers such sensors as a speed/cadence sensor for bikes.
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