Garmin navigates its way in health, fitness wearables market


For those of us who are directionally challenged, Garmin has become an indispensable tool to navigate from one place to another.

But Garmin isn't stopping there. It has launched a health and fitness wearable device called vivofit, which tracks steps taken, distance traveled and calories burned. It also includes a heart rate monitor for an additional fee.

Vivofit tracks activity, assigns daily goals to the user, and adjusts those goals as the user meets milestones. The wearable even monitors the user's sleep.

This is not Garmin first venture into the wearables market. It has supplied wearable navigation devices for years, but this is the first time it is competing in the highly competitive activity-tracking wearables market, according to a report by CIO.

"Garmin has been in the business of wearables for about 10 years now. This is our first venture into full-day activity tracking," Amy Johnson, Garmin spokesperson, tells CIO.

Market research firm expects 19 million wearables to ship this year, with that number soaring to 111.9 million by 2018, our sister publication FierceCIO reports.

Forrester Research analyst J.P. Gownder believes the use case for wearables might be easier to make in the enterprise than in the consumer market.

"Wearables will be seen as professional tools, as accepted as the UPS driver's brown uniform, the surgeon's scrubs and the engineer's clipboard… Specialized devices will empower professionals as diverse as surgeons, warehouse workers, police officers, technical field workers and product designers," Gownder writes in a Computerworld article.

For more:
- see the vivofit
- read the CIO article
- check out Gownder's column

Related Articles:
Wearable devices need clearer use cases for mainstream adoption, says Strategy Analytics
Apple pulls experts from medical field to reportedly work on iWatch
Wearable technology--what's right for your workplace?