Garmin unveils two activity tracking devices with auto-activity detection

By Aditi Pai
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Garmin has unveiled two new activity tracking devices, a smartwatch called vivoactive HR as well as a new version of its vivofit device, called vivofit 3.

Vivoactive HR is a GPS smartwatch that allows consumers to track activity, steps, floors climbed, intensity minutes, heart rate, and sleep. The device offers built in apps to track specific sports including walking, running, biking, swimming, rowing, skiing, and snowboarding. Vivoactive HR is also able to automatically detect certain activities like walking, running, biking, swimming, and elliptical training. 

“The vívoactive HR builds on the incredible versatility and multi-functionality of its predecessor by adding wrist-based heart rate and a barometric altimeter – allowing it to track even more data essential to workouts and day-to-day activity,” Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of worldwide sales, said in a statement. “All your efforts to stay active are accounted for from taking the stairs at the office to going on a run or ride.”

Garmin expects the device to ship in the second quarter of 2016 for $249.99.

The company’s other device, vivofit 3, offers many of the same features as previous vivofit offerings, like tracking the user’s activity, steps, calories, and distance. But vivofit 3 also automatically tracks certain activities like walking, running, biking, swimming, and elliptical training.

This device is also expected to ship in the second quarter of 2016. It will retail for $99.99. For an additional sum, users are also able to purchase different styles of bands. For one of its band collections, Garmin partnered with home goods store Jonathan Adler to design and develop the offerings.

Towards the end of 2015, Garmin unveiled its first smart scale, called Index Smart Scale, to help its users track weight and related metrics. Garmin was notably late to the smart scale market. Other consumer-focused companies, like Withings, have offered smartphone-connected weight scales since 2009.

In June 2015, Kantar Media reported that Garmin spent $18.7 million on advertising its devices in 2014. Garmin was just behind Fitbit, which spent $21.6 million on advertising that year.