Garmin Forerunner 50
Garmin today announced a new fitness product, the Garmin Forerunner 50 watch. For us, the most remarkable feature of the Forerunner 50 is that…. ready for this?… it doesn’t have a GPS! Instead, the device works with a “foot pod” which will track your movements by sensing the impact of your footsteps while walking or running. The watch also comes in a form factor which looks much more like a traditional watch– not nearly as bulky as the Forerunner 200/300 series devices.
The Forerunner 50 will be sold in a few different combinations, some with the foot pod, some with a heart rate monitor, and all will come with a wireless USB stick so that information can be downloaded wirelessly from the watch to the USB stick and then into your computer.
Perhaps one of the most exciting things about this product is the price. When the Forerunner 50 becomes available in August it will retail for $99. Bundles with the foot pod and heart rate monitor are expected to sell for about $199.
These new watches will also work with Garmin Connect, Garmin’s online training site, so that owners can log their workouts and share that information (if they choose) with friends, family, or coaches.
Garmin faces stiff competition in this market with lots of other devices such as the Nike/iPod combination product, a few other GPS watches, and lots of other pedometer products. It will be interesting to see how well they stack up with this non-GPS product.