April 2, 2009

Garmin Forerunner 310X - the For-Triathlon GPS


Garmin has announced a new Forerunner, the Forerunner 310X that is heart and sole made for multi-discipline athletes who want to get the most out of GPS fitness tracking across a few different scenarios. The one that comes to mind is the Triathlon, which has you transitioning from the swim to the bike to the run.... and until now, your Forerunner couldn't reliably come with you. People have been using them, but up until now use on the swim leg wasn't always good for the Forerunner. The New Forerunner 310X is designed to do just this, water resistant to 50 meters, with wireless heart rate monitor that will soon be available with a soft chest strap, a vibrate function that can alert you while exercising that you have reached milestones, and has a battery life up to 20 hours. After the workout, you can connect to your PC or Mac wirelessly via the ANT+ technology to download your workouts to your machine to analyze and store them.

The Garmin Forerunner 310X should be available this summer.

Full Press Release after the jump......

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Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Garmin Forerunner 405CX - New Calorie Counting Fitness GPS


Garmin announced the new Forerunner 405CX also today as a top of the line intelligent fitness device that uses a complex algorithm to help you accurately count calories burned while working out. The unit not only features the same great, attractive GPS-based capabilities, but also a new calorie counting feature that uses an algorithm that detects changes in your heart rate during aerobic activity to better calculate the end result. The Forerunner 405CX still keeps the thin profile and a touch bezel to control the system that is so popular with the very watch-like high tech device.

The Forerunner 405CX should be available tis summer, and will be on display at the Boston Marathon in a couple of weeks.

Full Press Release after the jump.....

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Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

March 25, 2009

Garmin working with Sprint on Connected GPS - When will Connected GPS Take Off?

Two news items came on the radar yesterday about connected GPS, which seemed coincidental after just reviewing the TeleNav Shotgun. My conclusion here, and it may be no surprise, is that great capabilities await us as consumers who get this connected GPS thing right. Right data integration, right interface, right product features and right business model. A good economy will help too.

The WSJ reported that Sprint and Garmin are working together on a connected GPS; Garmin doing the heavy lifting, Sprint providing the wholesale cellular connection. Much like the Kindle book reader, the device would call upon the Sprint network to get the information without advertising that Sprint is really involved.

Not a big surprise that Garmin is working on a connected GPS because: 1) They leverage innovation platforms well, and what connected navigation features that are designed for the Nuvifone should in some form find its way to stand alone GPS units, and 2) Garmin appears to be taking up its place as slow to market with a rock solid option. With Dash, Isignia, TeleNav, and soon TomTom hitting the US market, Garmin couldn't leave this market alone.

Yesterday news also came out that the GPS market is predicted to continue its growth pattern in 2010, assuming that the economy improves. ABI also indicated that they believe that connected GPS nit sales may not take off until the overall economy and the GPS market resume strong sales. Makes sense; if you might lose your job, and the traffic congestion is down anyway, maybe you talk yourself into not buying a unit with a monthly subscription. I wouldn't be surprised that despite some critics, that Garmin tries an ad supported model for the connected GPS. If they can offer free traffic updates over the FM airwaves covered by an ad supported model (~$60 year savings), there may be a more sophisticated targeting capability that ties into your GPS use in order to garner higher ad dollars on the GPS. Even if they could cover half the expense, a $5/mo fee would be a lot more motivating than the current $10 range for connected models.

I know a lot of people who can't wait for the TomTom 740 GO Live to hit the shelves (Loyal TomTom-ers), and I will say that internet connected traffic is a lot better than FM connected traffic; it's tough to go back.

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

March 18, 2009

Garmin Nuvi 465T - The First Nuvi for Trucks


Garmin is slicing the market for their GPS units, and with this one, I think that they may have just hit gold. I have had a lot of people ask about a GPS for trucks that knows about the special road restrictions for height, weight, length and hazardous cargo. The Garmin Nuvi 465T is also pre-loaded with the 30,000 repair facilities that are in the NTTS, which is apparently the bible of truck repair services across the country. The press has been littered with one truck or another (oddly the stories usually come out of the UK) where teh trucks got stuck when trying to use a particular route that the GPS would spit out; of course not accounting for the low bridges or narrow roads. Sounds like the Nuvi 465T will solve these issues; humm, when will it launch in the UK?

The Nuvi 465T is loaded with regular features too like Text to Speech, Widescreen display, Lane Assist to see what lane you need to be in while exiting or coming to a tough intersection on the highways, Bluetooth Handsfree, and a feature that automatically switches Time Zones based on where you are (Why can't all GPS units have this?).

Launch in the US is expected in the second quarter and list for $499.

Full PR\ress Release Below......

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Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 17, 2009

Ever More Fit - Garmin Extends Fitness Network


Garmin is getting some deep support from the fitness industry for their latest sportwatch - the FR60 - it is now capable of being the wireless fitness hub of your workout. The FR60, like many of Garmin's latest fitness launches has the ANT+ wireless protocol that allows exchange of data with things like heart rate monitors, and now a long list of workout machines.
Concept 2 is offering a connection to its rowing machines, Madd Dog Athletics is fitting Spinning bikes with receivers, New Leaf personalized fitness routines is incorporating the FR60 into its regimen, Octane fitness in its elliptical trainers, and Woodward into treadmills. Not a bad list right out of the gate fro this little fitness partner.

Full press release below.......

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Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Garmin Nuvi 780 - $249 at Costco & Amazon


Thanks for all the folks who sent this one in, the deal is a good one, for a solid Garmin Navigator with a few extras. The price at Costco is $249; $100 off. The Nuvi 780 was released in 2008 and offered a lot of capabilities back then, still a strong player now, especially considering the MSN Direct service which offers gas prices in your area, weather, and a long list of other features. The traffic capability can come in handy, and will allow you to see traffic for your area. The coverage for the service is pretty good and gets most major metro areas through an FM band feed. Check the MSN Direct website for more information. After the free trial period, the cost is $49 per year. The GPS will work fine without the services too if you don't want to continue.

The Nuvi 780 has text to speech, bluetooth handsfree, maps of North America, and is a widescreen (4.3-inches) unit. For more information see my Full Review of the Nuvi 780.

At Costco and Garmin Nuvi 780 at Amazon for $249 right now too

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 16, 2009

Leaked: Garmin Oregon 500 & 500T - Touchscreen Handheld GPS with Camera

REI has apparently leaked specs to the new Garmin Oregon 500 and 500T handheld GPS units that will of course be based on the touchscreen Oregon series but add a camera to the mix. This is not a big surprise given that the Oregon 400 units can already hold and share images of your outing. I would imagine (hope) that the units come with the ability and integration to take the picture and then if selected, upload the results along with your report to the cache log entry for the Geocaching website. I would expect that at least the pictures would be goetagged for later reference.

Check out the image and scroll down for info on the REI spec sheet.

Via GPS Review

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 14, 2009

A Little Garmin History - From the Inside

So, Garmin has posted a short video interview with one of its employees who has been there a long time and who has a pretty large collection of GPS units. He walks through some of the early items and shows off the first GPS from the company we now know as Garmin - A ProNav GPS 100; which was later re-branded the Garmin GPS 100 after another company came forward who was already using the brand.

Good look at the range of Garmins from the early days and it's amazingto see what portable meant back then.

Via Garmin Blogs

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March 11, 2009

Garmin Oregon 200, 300, 400t, 400i, 400c - $50 Rebate

Garmin has a $50 rebate going for the Garmin Oregon handheld GPS unit purchased now through 5/10/2009. The rebate is a available on all Oregon models, including the 300, 400t, 400i, 400c.

The touchscreen GPS has a lot going for it at the top of Garmin's line and is well worth considering if you are in the market for a full featured, big screen GPS. Read my Full Review of the Oregon 400t for more information.

  • Garmin Oregon 200
    - Full touchscreen unit with great new interface. Has a basemap
  • Garmin Oregon 300 - Adds wireless sharing capability along with electronic compass and altimeter
  • Garmin Oregon 400T - Adds the Topo map to the 300 model features.
  • Garmin Oregon 400i - Adds inland lakes maps to the 300 model features.
  • Garmin Oregon 400C
    - Adds Coastal maps to the 300 model features.

    Get the Rebate Form HERE (PDF Link)

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (4) | social bookmarking
  • March 10, 2009

    Garmin to Lay Off 141 workers or about 5.6%

    No surprise that Garmin is turning to layoffs at its headquarters in Olathe KS to help out its financial situation, as the GPS market along with the rest of the country hits harder economic times. The KC Star is reporting the layoffs indicating that Garmin is getting its capacity and overhead in line with its business demand. Earlier this year, TomTom laid off 115, or 7% of its workforce, according to Twice.

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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