Have you ever stood in your driveway waiting for your GPS to find satellites whereas your phone was set a few minutes earlier? I have done it many times, as has pretty much anyone who has both a GPS watch and smartphone! The realities of power, cost and space make it hard for GPS watch makers to have the same capabilities as a smartphone. To deal with this, Magellan introduces the Echo – let’s take a look!
The Echo isn’t like other GPS watches – because it isn’t a GPS! Instead, it is a specialized Bluetooth receiver that works with your smartphone to display GPS data in a way that runners are used to. And there is more I will get to in a minute!
Magellan has already been working on pairing devices with smartphones, and I am currently reviewing the SmartGPS car GPS system that works with your computer and smartphone to integrate everything together. And the ability to grab your phone, find a location and just ‘send to SmartGPS’ is awesome.
The Echo takes things even further – the Echo is essentially a conduit for displaying information from your phone. So no more waiting for your watch to find signal, and worrying about recharging your battery – or having a dead watch in your suitcase as the button got pushed in transit. The watch uses a standard replaceable watch battery – which is all it needs for low-power BlueTooth communications with the phone.
But you can display more than just GPS info:
For the first time on a running watch, Magellan Echo consumers can simultaneously see fitness data, notifications and achievements that display on their smartphone. Using Bluetooth Smart* to wirelessly connect with a smartphone, Echo shows users the elapsed time, distance and other fitness metrics at a glance. Echo gives users control over a variety of smartphone functions including start, stop or lap on your fitness app, and next song, play and pause on your music playlist.
Because the Echo uses Wahoo Fitness’ API, it will work with fitness apps, including Strava, MapMyRun, Runtastic, and RunKeeper. This means that if you have already been using one of these you now can integrate a running watch into your workouts without switching away from your favorite apps!
The Echo is on display at Magellan’s booth #22009 at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in Salt Lake City, July 31-August 3, and will be available later in 2013. Echo will sell for $149.99 or $199.99 with a Bluetooth Smart Heart Rate Monitor. The Echo will come in colors including Black, Cool Blue or Warm Red.