Magellan's Echo Smart Sports Watch Uses Nordic Semiconductor Chip to Stream Smartphone App Data for up to 11 Months
Named a 'CES Innovations 2014 Design & Engineering Award Honoree' -- Echo Utilizes the Nordic uBlue™ nRF8001 Bluetooth Low Energy Connectivity IC
– Oslo, Norway – Ultra low power (ULP) RF specialist Nordic Semiconductor ASA (OSLO: NOD) today announces that Magellan, a leading developer of smart watches, cloud services, and GPS devices, for vehicles, sports, outdoor and mobile navigation, has selected a Nordic µBlue™ nRF8001 Bluetooth low energy Connectivity IC ('Integrated circuit' or 'chip') to provide the Bluetooth Smart connectivity in its Echo sports watch. Echo can stream and display smartphone sports app data for up to 11 months under typical usage.
The ultra low power operating characteristics of the Nordic nRF8001 help enable the Magellan Echo to be powered by a single CR2032 coin cell ('watch') battery. This supports a traditional light-weight (44g) sports watch form-factor while leveraging Bluetooth Smart wireless technology to connect to the latest smartphone sports apps and GPS functionality.
"Echo is the real sporting smart watch," comments Clark Weber, Senior Director of Fitness & Wearable Products at Magellan. "It was designed by athletes who use these kinds of products daily, and as a result has all the light-weight, small form-factor, and extended battery life benefits of a traditional sports watch while supporting the latest smartphone sporting app functionality."
The Echo from Magellan puts the power of the users' favorite smartphone apps right on their wrist, including the ability to remotely control common smartphone functions such as music replay, all built into a product with a sleek design that can also function as an everyday watch. Magellan has also added additional specialized app support on the Echo for golf, skiing, hiking, running, and other outdoor activities.
"The Echo provides both professional and weekend athletes with a new tool that improves not only their performance during their activity, but also creates a personalized data set that can be analyzed over time," adds Weber. "In contrast, many competing 'smart watch' products available today suffer from enormous power drains and so typically have to be re-charged every two or three days, which is very inconvenient for end users."
"Until only a few years ago the digital watch market looked to be in terminal decline with people tending to use their smartphones instead," comments Geir Langeland, Nordic Semiconductor's director of sales and marketing. "But Bluetooth Smart has gone a long way towards making digital watches relevant again because the wrist is still the ideal place to access at-a-glance information while pursuing an activity, particularly when it leverages the advanced capabilities of modern smartphone sports and fitness apps."
The Magellan Echo is available globally and has a suggested retail price in the US of $149.99 USD (or $199.99 USD with an optional Bluetooth Smart heart rate monitor) and is available from major retail outlets.
Editor Note - Mobile World Congress
The Magellan Echo will be on display at the ShowStoppers Mobile World Congress press event on February 23, 2014 and the Nordic Semiconductor Booth (Norwegian Pavilion hosted by Innovation Norway, Booth # 6H20 in Hall 6).
Headquartered in Santa Clara, CA, MiTAC Digital Corporation, manufacturer of the Magellan (www.magellangps.com) brand of portable GPS navigation devices, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of MiTAC International Corporation. Magellan, the industry leader for innovative GPS navigation devices since 1986, globally markets award-winning products in multiple categories including auto, RV, commercial, outdoor, fitness and mobile. Continuing its spirit of innovation, Magellan is developing new cloud-based technologies, wearables, OEM and B-to-B solutions to meet the changing needs of today’s consumers.