GPS Developer TomTom Set to Deliver Two Sports Watches


TomTom has delivered a pair of GPS-based sports watches, one that is focused primarily on runners while the other is designed for a more multi sports approach that should appeal to a much broader range of athletes.

The company had two design goals win mind when they built the TomTom Runner and the TomTom Multi-Sport GPS sport watches. It believes that most existing watches in this field are too bulky and cumbersome and so sought to shrink the size and make it a slim, easily worn device. At the same time it was seeking to use a large display to show the graphical training tools. It believes that it reached both of these goals as well as simplifying the use of the watch with its one button control.

The watches are both built on TomTom’s Graphical Training Partner, a program that allows users to track vital statics in real time. It has three basic modes: Race, Goal and Zone. Race allows you to vie against a recently set time or your personal best. Goal allows you to set a number of parameters such as time, distance or calorie and then track how you are doing against your goals. Zone has users set targets such as pace or heart rate and then allows you to track your progress during a workout. A heart monitor for this is an option.

Among the watches other features are an indoor tracker to so that a user can track activity on devices such as a treadmill; QuickGPSFix uses GPS and GLONASS satellite technology to quickly find users’ precise location.

Since many runners and other athletes already often use other apps to track and share progress the watches have the multi-platform compatability and can sync with a variety of alterative platforms including the TomTom MySports website, MapMyFitness, RunKeeper, TrainingPeaks and MyFitnessPal

All of these and other features are standard in both watches while the TomTom Multi-Sport also allows multi-sport athletes to track their distance, time, speed and other key metrics when they cycle or swim and includes a built-in altimeter and a bike mount.

Last year TomTom teamed with Nike for a GPS watch and it ran Nike Fuel but it is not clear if this one will also support Nike’s platform.

The TomTom Runner and TomTom Multi-Sport will be available in Summer 2013. The market for sports watches is a fairly crowded one, and one that will get even more packed if all of the rumored hybrid smartwatches that have been reported from the likes of Apple, Samsung, Nokia, Microsoft and others actually do come to market. I expect that including all of the ones that have appeared on Kickstarter their will be a glut on the market of these types of devices and users should spend some time considering how and when they plan to use such devices to see what will best fit their needs.

Webscorer Debuts Timing Apps to Save Plenty of Time at Races

Sports fans, coaches, event organizers, timing companies, publishers and even proud parents can now easily track sporting event results with a new a comprehensive platform that automates much of more complicated manual timing formats.

Webscorer Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., has introduced a platform that includes three integrated components, also usable separately: a race registration tool, a manual race timing app that runs on the iPad and iPhone, and a website that supports race results posting from the Webscorer timing app and other sources via an open interface.

Webscorer PRO is available as an in-app subscription from Webscorer FAN at the following rates on the iPhone and iPad versions for $9.99 for one week and $49.99 for one year. Webscorer Online Race Registration Service Webscorer has varying costs. Webscorer .TXT Results Posting Service is free.

“As a racer myself, I witnessed the difficulty race organizers were having in timing races and providing timely results to racers,” said Vesa Suomalainen, CEO of Webscorer. “With the emergence of the mobile Internet, we saw an opportunity to help modernize the pen & paper method still widely used in recreational racing today.”

Founded in July 2009, Webscorer began with a mission to make race timing easier, more affordable and to improve the quality & speed to get the results to racers.

The full Webscorer platform is available worldwide. Webscorer has identified 36 timing-sports that can benefit from its products.

For more information, visit as well as the company’s Facebook, YouTube  pages and Twitter account (@webscorer).

Marathon Monday: Where to Watch the Boston Marathon Online

In case you’re at your desk Monday doing a virtual marathon of meetings and emails instead of running 26.2 miles, you can share the agony and ecstasy by running your browser over to the Universal Sports website, where the Boston Marathon will be shown live for free.

According to a couple other stories we have read the race may also be shown online via a link at the Boston Athletic Association’s site as well as at the local CBS outlet if you are in the Boston area. Take your pick. You can also watch live on TV. The race starts around 9 a.m. Eastern time for the mobility impaired participants, followed by the different flavors of wheelchairs at 9:17 and 9:22, elite women at 9:32 and elite men at 10 a.m.

One interesting side note is that the race is trying to convince people they may not want to run, since temperatures are expected to be “wicked hot” as they say in Boston at race time. But my guess is that anyone who’s gone through the trouble to qualify for Boston is going to run Boston. So maybe you walk a mile or two. Just don’t overheat, runners.

Nike Expands Presence in Fitness Tracking Space with Nike + FuelBand

Nike has entered the fitness tracking and measurement space with a user wearable wristband that tracks a user’s daily activity and uses a Nike-developed metric called NikeFuel to analyze your overall activity and oxygen burned.

There is a growing market for connected activity tracking product, including Motorola Mobility’s MotoActv and Jawbone Up as the most direct competition for this, but also varied other products including those using Ant WirelessAnt + such as the range of tools from Garmin and products that are platform specific like iBike.

The Nike+ FuelBand, slated to be released by the end of next month with a $150 price tag, includes a bracelet that the user wears. It features a three axis accelerometer that measures activity, primarily information such as the number of steps a user has taken, the time and distance.

The band has an option of four different metrics to chart: Time, Calories, Steps and NikeFuel. NikeFuel is a newly developed fitness metric from the company that is designed to convert the results based on the motion and the estimated oxygen burned a user can see what their daily activity totals and instead of giving a calorie count that might have large variables according to the persons’ size, sex and shape NikeFuel is a normalized score that awards equal points for the same activity regardless of physical makeup.

The wrist band has a set of 20 built-in LEDs that range from red to green and provide a user with an instant update as to where they are in relationship to their daily goal. This goal is set by the user and they can set it for either total activity of how much NikeFuel they wish to achieve. Each day’s activity is reset at midnight back to zero.

The company has been developing feedback products for some time in the runner category with Nike Plus but this time it is expanding out from that field with a platform that is designed for any type of activity. In addition the NikeFuel feature is a step up for the data that athletes had been able to gather in the past with Nike products. The company will provide NikeFuel feedback for its existing Nike Plus products at some point n the future.