iFitness: the Next New Thing?

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Date: Friday, June 24th, 2005, 10:22
Category: Archive

New miniature multi-sport fitness and training devices such as the Garmin Forerunner 301 combine wireless heart rate monitoring with GPS to record 10,000 points of position (lat, long, elevation), speed and heart rate. When these data are downloaded to PC- (Garmin Training Center) or web-based (Motion Based, Training Peaks) diary/archival, analytical and map-correlation services, the goal-oriented fitness afficianado or athlete has amazing new tools with which real improvements in performance can be achieved. Furthermore, flexible HRM-indexed time/pace training plans can be developed from coaches, books or on-line sources and uploaded to the device for autonomous real-time work-out guidance.
The problem: Garmin supports only Windows. Read More…

While Virtual PC can host analysis software, Garmin USB device drivers exist only for Windows and hence a PC must be in the data download loop. Garmin parrots the “2% Mac market” excuse not to support device and analysis software on Macs. What they so far fail to recognize is that MANY of their high-end device sales and fitness market niche exist in Mac consumer space. I dare say that Garmin mapping products would have widespread penetration in Mac land as well.
Clearly Apple has an enormous opportunity to capitalize on the frustration of their fitness-oriented users and introduce… iFitness, with the same seamless device integration of iPod with iTunes which has had such incredible market acceptance.
I grant you that fitness consumers MAY be a slightly smaller market than music, video, games and iLife, but they are passionate, demanding, and spend freely to pursue their goals. I think the business model is a no-brainer.
Come on Apple!

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