With its own operating system to back them up, Garmin smartwatches become much more than GPS-enabled fitness trackers.
Since 1989, Garmin has been revolutionising the electronics industry with GPS technology that works for dozens of industries. Founded by Gary Burrell and Min H. Kao, the pair’s first GPS unit was sold for USD$2,500. By 1991, this time device was contracted by the United States Army for advanced design of GPS devices.
Using GPS technology in a variety of different applications, Garmin produced 50 different GPS enhanced devices by the year 2000 and sold over three million units in 100 countries.
Their rapid growth rate necessitated a 1,205 person company in three facilities around the world. It was during this same period when they began trading publicly on NASDAQ. The GPS enhanced and other types of products they now develop include:
Garmin has now taken that world-renowned GPS and used it as a major component for smartwatches and fitness trackers of their own design. With three distinct models issued in 2015, Garmin may just become the biggest name in wearable gear. (In our humble opinions.)
Over the last few years, Garmin’s been slowly building a line of quality fitness trackers and navigation devices to be worn on the wrist like a watch. With features like activity tracking, app connecting and smart notifications, this extensive line of over 30 variations of wearable tech gear is both functional and great looking.
Now Garmin has put its name behind three new smartwatches – each with its own style and set of features, which makes it easy to find one that appeals to you.
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Garmin’s Fenix 3 smartwatch
Garmin’s Epix smartwatch
Billed as the “rugged GPS mapping watch for outdoor enthusiasts who are looking for a hands-free navigator”, admittedly Epix will have a limited spot in the smartwatch market. Even so, it’s good looking tech gear that serves a variety of functions.
The main function of Epix is a colour moving map that helps you pinpoint where you are, or where you want to be. It comes with a built-in base map as the main display, which is a 1.4 inch touch screen. This allows you to scroll through the map, which is kept up to date with the one-year subscription to satellite imagery that the smartphone comes with. You can also store additional details on its 8GBs of memory.
There are watch-like features as well, including a digital compass, altimeter and barometer. The smartwatch can also be used for basic fitness tracking as it has the support required for ANT+ devices such as heart straps. Water resistance is to 50 feet which makes it an appealing choice for water sport activists.
Like the Fenix 3, the Connect IQ platform is at the controls of this smartwatch, connecting to your mobile phone with Bluetooth. This gives you the opportunity to customise your smart map to meet more of your wearable tech needs.