Saturday August 23, 2003

The Forerunner 201 is an integrated personal fitness tool that uses a GPS sensor to provide users with a range of precise data including speed, distance, jogging pace and calories burned.

The GPS sensor provides latitude, longitude and altitude data so as well as the speed and distance travelled, users can measure how steep the slope is on a particular run. Calories burned can be calculated by entering body weight details into the device and data like lap time, lap distance and average pace is automatically archived and statistically calculated to provide an accurate performance record over a period of up to two years.

The compact, waterproof Forerunner 201 features an ergonomic wristband and a large (100 x 64 pixels), easy-to-read display designed for use by serious athletes or just those interested in personal fitness. Other notable features include AutoLap, which automatically records lap data at pre-configured distance intervals and a "Virtual Partner" function that allows you to program in the pace and workout distance for an imaginary training partner - the readout then lets you know how you are travelling in relation to your partner and encourages you to keep pace throughout the session.

GPS navigation capabilities also enable athletes to mark specific locations that can be recalled and plotted on the Forerunner 201 display. You can then navigate using these points and retrace your steps to a designated starting point.

The Forerunner is a self-contained training system and data is processed on board, but Garmin will provide software for those who want to keep exact records of their fitness regime over time on the PC at the www.garmin.com site.

The Forerunner 201 is due for US release in November 2003 at an expected price of US$160.70. It ships standard with a charger stand that also connects to the serial port on most PCs for uploading/downloading GPS data and the rechargeable internal lithium ion battery provides up to 15 hours of typical use.

Stay tuned to www.Gizmo.com.au for updates on Australian availability see