August 29, 2007 -- Garmin has today announced the launch of Garmin Connect — a community website for customers to store, view and share activities/locations recorded by Garmin fitness and recreational devices. Garmin Connect (found online at connect.garmin.com) is the evolution of the MotionBased website. It maintains many of the same features and the entire customer and activity database but with a more powerful technology infrastructure and streamlined user interface.
“We are thrilled with this opportunity to enhance our relationships with Garmin Connect users,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin’s vice president of worldwide sales. “As we continue to develop ways to use GPS technology and other Garmin products for personal betterment, our focus on fitness helps people make strides toward a healthier lifestyle.”
The first version of Garmin Connect is scheduled to launch in October 2007 to exclusively support the recently announced Forerunner 50, Garmin’s new fitness watch, through automatic wireless downloads. The second release of Garmin Connect is scheduled to launch in December 2007 adding GPS support for use with other Garmin products and will inherit the MotionBased customer and activity database, which currently stores more than 1.5 million public activities and is growing at a rate of 3,500 per day.
“The Garmin Connect team is excited to foster the community that is home to thousands of activities each day, and we embrace the opportunity to further integrate with Garmin’s growing family of innovative products and passionate people,” said Aaron Roller, co-founder and CTO of MotionBased.
In addition to improvements in performance and the user interface, the transition to Garmin Connect will introduce more features and a new subscription model. Garmin Connect will now be FREE for all customers who wish to store and access all of their activities uploaded to the site. Garmin Connect will still maintain a paid-subscription service, Garmin Connect Plus, to access advanced features. Existing MotionBased customers with annual paid subscriptions will be grandfathered into Garmin Connect Plus.
Garmin Connect will support a variety of operating systems (Windows 2000/XP/Vista; Mac OS X by the end of 2007) and browsers (Internet Explorer 6+; Firefox 2+; Safari 2+).
Garmin Connect’s Web-based subscription service complements Garmin’s fitness and outdoor devices, including products in the Forerunner, Edge and eTrex lines. Following an activity, Garmin users upload the data and can personalise and categorise each activity. Garmin Connect calculates measurements such as time, distance, speed, elevation and heart rate. Now more compatible across operating systems and Web browsers, Garmin Connect displays this information through charts, illustrations, reports and a variety of map representations including street, photo, topographic, and elevation maps as well as the popular Google Earth application to visualise their activity. Users can replay their workout using media controls as they watch themselves move along the mapped route coupled with an elevation profile.
Each activity stored in a personal online digest and marked as public may be accessed by anyone visiting the Garmin Connect site. Visitors have access to all of the activities at no cost, and they may search activities by keyword and location to find popular routes while travelling, or to engage in “virtual races” with other Garmin Connect members.