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TomTom Readies Nike GPS Watch

1/12/2011 04:11:17 PM Eastern
Las Vegas - Portable navigation device (PND) maker TomTom has teamed up with Nike to offer a GPS-equipped sports watch targeted mainly to runners but also to joggers and walkers.

Called the Nike+ SportsWatch GPS Powered by TomTom, the product will be available in April in the U.S. at a price to be determined. Nike and TomTom will offer the device through their websites, and Nike will take it to runner specialty stores. TomTom will take it to Best Buy, a spokesman said.

The watch's GPS receiver tracks a person's pace, distance and route. During a run, the watch shows runners their time, distance, pace, and calories burned.

Information on routes taken and past runs can be displayed on the watch's small 1-inch by 0.75-inch screen, but to improve the viewing experience, consumers plug the watch's USB connector into a PC to upload data to www.nikeplus.com, where the user's route appears on a cloud-based map that includes information on elevation. Consumers will also be able to use the site to find new routes, set and track goals, receive coaching tips, challenge friends, and share information on runs through Facebook and Twitter, the company said.

Nikeplus.com also lets users search a catalog of potential routes by location, length, difficulty and landmarks.

The watch's GPS is backed up by a shoe-based accelerometer that communicates wirelessly with the watch and comes into play when a GPS signal is lost. The watch also communicates wirelessly with an optional Nike heart-rate monitor that is strapped to a runner's chest.

The watch stores data on up to 50 runs, but the Nike portal displays all previous runs, a spokesman said.

Users tap the watch's LCD screen to access a menu and information.

Nike already offers a Nike+ GPS iPhone application for use with a shoe-based accelerometer that communicates wirelessly with the app.
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