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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.