If you’ve looked into fitness gadgets, chances are that you’re already taking advantage of a smartphone, and using the accelerometer and GPS to track your progress. GPS maker Magellan is suggesting another solution, though, and it’s one you can wear on your wrist.
Designed to replace the wrist watch, the Magellan Echo is like a smart watch, but doesn’t completely mesh with the idea of the incoming companion devices, since it has been designed mostly for fitness based applications.
As such, the Echo relies on a Bluetooth link to synchronise directly with a smartphone, retrieving details such as exercise time, distance, elevation, and pace, with buttons on the device also being used to control your music playback.
Currently, the Echo is compatible only with the iPhone 4S and higher (including the new 5C and 5S), as well as a variety of apps used on the iPhone, including MapMyRun, Runtastic, iSmoothRun, and more or less anything else with “run” in the title.
“The popularity of apps as a fitness tool is hard to deny: RunKeeper has 17 million downloads, MapMyFitness has 18 million downloads, Endomondo and has 12 million app download and Strava Run has 4 million worldwide,” said Paris Basson, Magellan’s Brand Manager for Australia and New Zealand.
“Australian app downloads are yet to be quantified but we’ve no doubt that in our fitness-aware country, we’re following a similar trend. So we’re very excited to introduce this new wave of Smart fitness watches to the Australian market.”
The Echo has some neat technology in it, too, with an accelerometer that works with the high contrast screen to change pages, essentially monitoring the movement when you tap the screen to flip to the next information screen. Ruggedisation is also present, making it shower and drop proof, with a replaceable battery too.
Compatibility for Android isn’t yet in the Echo, however, the team at Magellan are working to fix this, with an expected solution some time in the new year (2014).
If you’re on iPhone, this won’t worry you, and you’ll be able to find the Echo in black, tangerine, and blue for $149, with an extra $50 affording you support for tracking your heart rate.