Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Tough Garmin smartwatch checks heart rate and wellness

Steve Rogerson
October 16, 2018



Swiss company Garmin has introduced a military-spec smartwatch that includes heart rate sensors, sports apps and wellness data. Called Instinct, the GPS watch has built-in three-axis compass and barometric altimeter plus GPS, Glonass and Galileo support, and smart connectivity.
 
“We are thrilled to add Instinct to our adventure watch line-up, an approachable smartwatch that is rugged and reliable,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of global consumer sales. “Instinct is perfect for those who spend their time outdoors and demand a device built tough to stand up in the elements.”
 
The watch is made to military standards (MIL810G) for thermal, shock and water resistance rated to 100 metres with a fibre reinforced polymer case. It’s built with a chemically strengthened and scratch-resistant display that’s easy to read, even in direct sunlight. Plus, the vented silicone bands include two independent, removable keeper loops to ensure a secure fit.
 
With built-in wrist based heart rate checker, users can monitor daily activity, stress, sleep and other wellness data. Whether camping, on a training run or going through day-to-day activities, Instinct keeps track of heart rate, steps taken, distance travelled, calories burned and more. Hiking, running, biking, swimming, kayaking and skiing are some of the activities supported on the device.
 
Through heart rate variability, the Instinct can track stress levels, allowing the user to be more aware of when physical or emotional sources may cause stress levels to rise.
 
Instinct is compatible with Garmin Connect, an online fitness community where users can track workouts, sleep patterns such as how much time spent in light, deep and REM cycles, and even compete in virtual fitness challenges.
 
While in the field, wearers can feel confident exploring off the beaten path thanks to the multiple GNSS satellite networks to help track location in more challenging environments than with just GPS. Before venturing out, the Garmin Explore app will help plan the trip in advance and, when it’s time to head back to camp, the TracBack feature on the watch can navigate the same route back to the original starting point.
 
When paired with a compatible smartphone, users can leave their phone packed away and protected while they receive smart notifications such as texts, emails and other alerts on the wrist.
 
It will also be compatible with other Garmin devices including InReach Mini, Virb Action cameras and dog tracking devices. Users can send and receive InReach Mini satellite communications messages, declare an SOS, control the Virb start and stop function, and get dog status updates and alerts for viewing at a glance on the watch.
 
Battery life is up to 14 days in smartwatch mode, up to 16 hours in GPS mode, and up to 40 hours in UltraTrac battery saver mode. It is available in Graphite, Tundra and Flame Red for a suggested retail price of $300.