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Spotlight: GPS Technology Is Readied For Runners

By | August 18, 2003

      Olathe, Kan.-based Garmin International, a unit of Garmin [Nasdaq: GRMN], is planning to introduce an integrated personal training system that will use Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to aid runners and others in their outdoor workouts.

      The device, called Forerunner 201, would use a display, ergonomic wristband and GPS sensor to provide users with precise data on speed, distance and pace for a variety of athletic applications. A lightweight, compact, waterproof design is aimed at letting the Forerunner 201 become a practical tool for serious athletes, as well as those simply interested in personal fitness, company officials said.

      “The Forerunner 201 provides athletes with user-configurable features and built-in performance tracking that will help take them to the next level in their personal training,” said Gary Kelley, Garmin’s director of marketing.

      The Forerunner 201 uses a GPS sensor to measure training time, pace, distance, lap time, lap pace, lap distance and calories burned. Because the GPS sensor provides latitude, longitude and altitude data, the product can determine how far and how fast athletes have traveled, as well as how steep of a slope they climbed on a run.

      The 2.75-ounce product will be available for commercial sale in November at a suggested retail price of $160.70. A battery charger would be included that could connect the serial port on most PCs for uploading/downloading GPS data.

      –Paul Dykewicz

      (Ted Gartner, Garmin, 913/397-8200)

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