updated 09:10 am EDT, Wed August 8, 2007
Garmin Forerunner 50
Garmin this morning announced its second product of the week. The Forerunner 50 (link active soon) sport watch is the first that automatically synchronizes exercise info over the air. By plugging in a USB wireless adapter into a host computer, just bringing the watch within range of the system immediately sends distance, speed, and heart rate information to help keep track of a regular cycling or running routine. Sensors themselves are intelligent and automatically turn on whenever they have stats to send, according to the company. Data can also be uploaded online to share or compete with fellow athletes.
The system is entirely modular and provides different information depending on the bundle, Garmin says. A basic Forerunner 50 pack with a heart rate monitor sends just the essential heart data to the PC for $99. Replacing the heart monitor with a foot pod that tracks calories, distance, speed, and other movement data raises the price to $149; a full kit that includes both devices will sell for $199. All kits should be available in October and will be accompanied by an optional bike sensor that adapts to the faster movements of cycling.