Garmin introduces vívoactive, a GPS-packing smartwatch for an active lifestyle

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At CES this morning, Garmin introduced a new GPS-packing smartwatch geared toward those who live an active lifestyle. The wearable is said to sport built-in sports and activity apps, that include GPS-enabled cycling, golfing, swimming, and running apps on top of the normal activity tracking apps. Not just sports watch, the vívoactive will also feature smart notifications and come with the ability to customize the watch.


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Garmin announces the Vivofit 2, a wearable that tracks your fitness

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Last year’s CES brought the Garmin Vivofit, so it’s only fitting that CES 2015 brings the followup, dubbed the Vivofit 2. There really isn’t a lot that has changed, at least as far as appearances go, but they have added some subtle changes.

The Vivofit 2 now features audible alerts to remind you to get off your butt and move a little. The activity timer will track and analyze each individual workout. They also added a backlight to improve visibility in the dark. Just like the original, the Vivofit 2 will work with Garmin’s Connect Mobile app that can be found in the Google Play Store.


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Garmin launches new premium navigation app called víago

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Garmin finally decided that its $30 StreetPilot app might be a little overpriced, and has just released a new app called víago. With víago, pricing starts at $1.99 ($.99 until July 13), but you can also add additional features through in-app purchases.

Let’s start with what you get for $1.99. You will get off-board maps for many regions around the world along with lane assist, weather information, in-map traffic display, photo-realistic junction views, and the current speed (with speed limits). Premium add-ons include downloadable maps (“Maps to Go”) for when you don’t have a data connection, real-time traffic, urban navigation with public transportation, 3D terrain view, and more. In app purchases range from $4.99 to $19.99.


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Garmin adds Xperia smartphone app with an extension for Sony’s SmartWatch 2

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Xperia users will now have another navigation option to choose from as Garmin announces a new way to navigate. The new app will also work with Sony’s SmartWatch 2. The app itself will include onboard maps, lane guidance, speed warnings, social media integration among other things. The smartwatch extension will display walking directions and provider user navigation without the need to look at your phone. Joern Watzke, VP of world-wide mobile business at Garmin Wuerzburg GmbH, had this to say:

“We’re thrilled to bring Garmin’s premium navigation features to Xperia smartphones. Garmin XperiaEdition boasts a comprehensive navigation feature set not available from other apps. The unique integration with Sony SmartWatch 2 provides users a seamless experience that extends smartphone navigation in the car to displaying pedestrian directions on the user’s wrist.”  


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Hands on with the Garmin vivofit at CES 2014

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Smart glasses and smart watches are not the only wearable tech making an appearance at CES 2014. Companies continue to try to help users improve their health through “fitness” bands. The Garmin vivofit is one such device. Similar to a watch, fitness bands like the vivofit are designed to be worn 24 hours a day as they continually collect data about the activities you are engaged in. The Garmin vivofit is capable of collecting information like number of steps walked per day, miles per day, calories burned, and even heart rate if connected to an appropriate heart rate monitor. Garmin has also added a feature that will display a red bar on the display if you have been sitting for too long.
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Hands on with the Garmin HUD+ at CES 2014

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At CES 2014, Garmin decided to announce its HUD+ device to make driving safer. Like the original HUD did, information is projected onto the driver’s windshield. The difference is on the software side. Before, the HUD only worked with select Garmin apps that users had to purchase from the Play Store. The HUD+, however, allows drivers to use its own companion app. The original HUD will stick around for $149 while the new HUD+ will retail for just $179. Not bad for people that want a heads-up display.

Hit the break to watch our hands on video.
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Garmin’s new HUD accessory will project navigation information on your windshield

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Garmin was always the name you thought of when it came to Navigation systems, but Google Maps and smartphones changed the landscape forever. Companies like Garmin need to come up with more creative ideas or innovations to stay competitive. The HUD is the perfect example. It stands for Head-up Display, and appears to be not only innovative, but very cool. It is a portable accessory that connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth. You rest it on your dash and it will project navigation information to a transparent film on your windshield or an attached reflector lens. The only caveat is that you need to be running the Garmin StreetPilot or NAVIGON app on your phone.

HUD will display turn arrows, distance to the next turn, current speed, speed limit, and estimated time of arrival. It will even warn you of traffic delays and make sure you are in the right lane for the next turn. You will still get spoken turn-by-turn directions from one of the compatible apps I mentioned above. If you happen to connect your phone to your car’s Bluetooth-enabled stereo, any music you are listening too will fade out with spoken prompts. Also, when you take a phone call, HUD will continue to display the information.

HUD will be available this summer for a price of $129. As I mentioned, you will need to use either the Garmin StreetPilot or NAVIGON app, which both start at $29.99. Full presser after the break.


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Garmin announces Monterra, an Android-powered handheld GPS

garmin_monterraGarmin announced the Monterra today, a handheld, Android powered GPS. We only know basic specs right now – 4 inch touchscreen display, 8-megapixel camera with flash and geotag support, 6GB internal storage, and microSD support.  The Monterra, being an outdoor device, has an IPX7 waterproof rating, is transflective (meaning the LED backlight is optional), and runs on either a rechargable battery pack or AA batteries.

In lines of GPS features, the Monterra comes with dual-band GPS and GLONASS, a three-axis compass, an accelerometer and gyroscope, barometric altimeter and a built-in UV sensor. Also, Garmin’s useful 3D MapMerge, which combines multiple kinds of maps, like TOPO, basemap or BirdsEye imagery is going to be part of the Monterra.

See the full press release from Garmin after the break.


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Garmin’s Navigon Navigator App Gets Extensive Update

 

Garmin’s Navigon Navigator app has just received an extensive update bringing even more functionality for its users. Right off the bat, Garmin has brought the ability to share your location with others using its Glympse technology. This means that no matter where you might be, users will always be able to share their locations with friends and family via a text message or email with a location link to a tracking map included. In addition, the Navigon app will include even deeper Foursquare integration, which eventually learns your check-in behavior and even offers suggestions of places to visit and check into.

While the Navigon app has been revamped to include more features, Garmin is also getting into the holiday spirit by offering a price reduction of the app. Garmin will be offering the Navigon app for 25% off its normal price— so this means you can grab the app for $39.95, instead of $49.95. Not too bad of a deal, right?

You’ll find the complete presser as well as the Play Store link once you hit the break.


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Garmin Gets Into Fitness Industry With First Fitness App, “Garmin Fit”

Garmin is preparing to enter the fitness arena using its satellite technology coupled with your phone’s GPS. We knew as early as last year that Garmin planned on developing applications for other mobile phones. The company just released their first fitness application for Android and iOS. According to Garmin’s Dan Bartel, Vice President of Worldwide Sales:

“Garmin Fit is the ideal solution for users who are new to the fitness tracking landscape and for those looking to stay totally connected. To be able to utilize Garmin’s powerful fitness accessories with the same device that plays music, makes calls, and uploads workouts automatically to share and analyze, makes Garmin Fit a must have app”.

The ability to utilize Garmin’s powerful fitness accessories and upload workouts automatically to share and analyze? Yes friends, the app will save your precious kilobytes of space on your Android and upload all pertinent data to the cloud using the (gratis) built-in Garmin Connect service. In addition, Garmin Connect promises to allow users to log workouts, track totals, set goals, and share workouts with friends and family. For some of us who love pictures (and most of us do!), there is the added ability to see the information through charts, illustrations, reports, and a variety of maps.

The new Garmin Fit app for Android represents good value at 99¢ for the download. While the Android version lacks the accessories found on the iPhone version, it’s still exciting to see a fresh take on apps and products to enhance our exercise experience without breaking the bank. You can find the QR code for the app below as well as some screen shots and the Presser after the break.  
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