GPS device maker Garmin has been offering GPS watches for runners for a while, but now the company is jumping on the wearable fitness tracker bandwagon. The company’s new Vivofit straps to your wrist and monitors and displays your activity stats including how many steps you take in a day and how much sleep you get.
It’s a waterproof device that you can wear in the pool or in a shower. And you don’t even have to take it off to charge it once a week the way you do with many other activity trackers. The Vivofit uses a standard watch battery and Garmin says it can run for up to a year before you need to replace the battery.
The Garmin Vivofit has an always-on display, so you don’t have to press a button to see the screen. You can even use it as a watch since it’ll show the time, among other things. The device can sync data with a smartphone using Bluetooth low energy.
One thing the activity tracker doesn’t have is GPS. It won’t track your location in any way, it’ll just tell you how far you’ve traveled and how much more you need to do to meet your activity goals.
That goal setting and tracking is another area where the Vivofit differs from some other devices on the market. Instead of setting an arbitrary goal like 10,000 steps per day, the Vivofit learns from your existing behavior and sets appropriate (and hopefully achievable) challenges for you. It’ll also tell you if you’ve been inactive for a while, which could prompt you to get out of your chair for a while and go for a walk.
Garmin plans to launch the Vivofit in the first quarter of 2014 for about $130. A bundle will also be available for $170 which includes a heart rate monitor that syncs with the Vivofit via Bluetooth.