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GPS Supplier Magellan Enters Smart Watch Market

Santa Clara, Calif. – GPS supplier Magellan diversified its wearable-electronics lineup with the launch of its first fitness-oriented smart watch, which joins a pair of fitness-oriented GPS watches launched in 2012.

The Echo smart watch, unlike the Switch GPS fitness watch, connects wirelessly via low-power Bluetooth Smart technology to a smartphone to control a smartphone’s fitness apps and display real-time fitness data streamed from the smartphone.

 The Echo will be available in the fourth quarter at a suggested $149.99 without Bluetooth Smart Heart Rate Monitor or $199.99 with the monitor. It will be available in black, blue or red.

 Magellan’s fitness-oriented GPS watches retail for $229 to $249.

The watch is compatible with the iPhone 4S and 5 and select Android phones that support Bluetooth 4.0.

For the first time on a running watch, Magellan said, consumers will be able to view fitness data calculated and displayed by a smartphone. Echo shows elapsed time, distance and other fitness metrics. The watch also lets users control a variety of smartphone fitness-app functions, such as start, stop or lap. The watch also controls smartphone music functions such as next song, play and pause, and it displays messages.

Magellan positions the watch as the first smart watch designed for runners, thanks to a ruggedized design and water-resistance. It also sports a replaceable battery so that users don’t always have to recharge it. And it displays day, date and time.

 Echo is designed for use with apps based on the Wahoo Fitness API, which is used by more than 100 fitness apps, including Strava, MapMyRun, Runtastic, and RunKeeper, to communicate with wearable devices. The Wahoo API also enables the apps to be upgraded with wireless updates.