TomTom Launch Runner and Multisport Watches

tomtom-gps-watch

As previewed by Latest Gadgets in April, TomTom have finally launched their exciting Runner and Multi-Sport wrist-pieces. Boasting a GPS pedigree that’s second to none, and a tried and tested track record (literally) powering Nike’s Sportswatches, TomTom have clearly done plenty of legwork and timed their debut sole entrance into an already healthy market very well indeed.

From the basic/borderline budget models (Timex’s Marathon or Soleus’s GPS 1.0 Running Watch) to the big ticket professional sports mates (anything in Garmin’s extensive range) the running community are blessed with a bounty of wrist-bound tracking options. But whether you’re spending £50 or £300, one thing remains consistent: bulkiness.

So far the chunky size of sports watches has largely regarded as ‘par for the course’. Even by today’s standards watch technology that tracks your distance, your route, your heart rate, your speed and your calories while offering you ghost running buddies AND tells you the time simply must be on the chubby side, right?

Not any more… Both TomTom’s Runner and Multisport are 11.5mm thick, making them some of the skinniest running watches in town. And don’t worry; there are no concessions for functionality, either. In fact they’re both teaming with exciting functions for runners in all conditions outdoor and indoor as TomTom have included highly accurate sensors to allow complete indoor track mapping for treadmill running (just in case you think the treadmill’s own distance data function is fibbing!)

Other benefits shared across the two models include a distinctive, bold data display, multi-platform functionality with all running-based social media sites and, most interestingly, TomTom’s QuickGPSFix. Another bug-bear of all sportswatch users (even the really pricey ones) is waiting for the GPS to identify your location.

Sure, that time is best invested in stretching and warming up, but on a rainy day when you’re finding it hard to drum up the intestinal fortitude to get out there in the first place, waiting for your watch to find your location can be rather irksome. TomTom reckon their GLONASS technology will bid this mild running annoyance adieu.

Enjoy more than running? Then the TomTom Multi-Sport is for you. An ideal solution for any triathletes, its design lends itself to both cycling (outdoor and track) and swimming thanks to a cadence sensor, an altimeter and motion sensor. Go for the top of the range and you’ll even enable a SWOLF score that details your swimming efficiency.

Sounds great, right? Well, here’s the best bit… There’s only one button to access all of these functions. No fiddly touchscreen techniques, no multi-button combos like you’re back on Street Fighter on the SNES, TomTom have ensured a very simple way of reaching the information and data you need to enhance, record and share your sporting successes. Both weatherproof, waterproof and home to a 10 hour battery in GPS mode and sitting pretty at the middle of the market with a price tag between £149.99-£179.99, TomTom’s arrival in the sports watch world appears to be very impressive indeed.

Top 5 Running Gadgets

Scosche-Rthm

It’s that time of year again. The sun is beginning to shine, the days are getting longer and everyone is proudly plastering social media channels with details on precisely how many miles they’ve run. But wait; there’s plenty more potential to running gadgets than showing off the distance you’ve wheezed your way around the local park. Plenty more. Latest Gadgets rounds up five of the best…

Scosche Rhythm

From: Scosche

Like to keep your finger on the pulse? Enjoy running? Then look no further… Scosche have just launched their simple Rhythm strap which, with the help of your smart phone, can provide all your essential pulse data, and plenty more.

Designed with simplicity in mind, the three button gadget straps onto your forearm and communicates to your smart device via Bluetooth. Not only does it record your pulse via integrated dual LED sensors, allowing you to closely monitor just how hard you’re pushing yourself, Rhythm also provides complete control of your music collection as well as generating other essential stats such as distance covered and calories burned.

It’s also compatible with myriad existing running apps such as iPower, Spinning, RunDouble C25K and many more. And yes, thanks to its social network flexibility, you can join the masses and tell the world just how good a runner you truly are.

Yours for $99.99

Running World: Zone Dome

From: Running World

For those who can’t rely on reasonable seasonable climes, Running World’s somewhat aspirational Zone Dome can whisk you away to a variety of desirable running locations in the world and you don’t even have to leave your home. As featured on Latest Gadgets in March, the 1.5 metre screen is compatible with most treadmills and offers the choice of 20 or 40 minute runs at speeds between 9-12 km/h.

With a choice of five lavish scenery settings, you can take your pick from Route 66 to Area 51 without a fear of rain, traffic, pollution or runner-hating neer-do-wells lurking around any corner. Providing you have your own treadmill and can honour the £3,940 price tag, the Zone Dome is ideal for running regardless of the unpredictable weather. File under luxury: there’s no surprise Zone Dome’s manufacturers are targeting the gym chains with this cinematic running gadget.

Yours for £3490

Misfit-Shine

Misfit Shine

Misfit Wearables

Looking like some sexy pendant or broach from the future, Misfit’s Shine is similar to Scosche’s Rhythm (and indeed a whole host of competing wrist-based running gadgets such as the Nike FuelBand, The Runalyser and the Fitbit One). What the Shine does that most other arm-based running gadgets do is look very cool.

Looking further afield than the standard rubber or plastic models, Shine is manufactured using hard-wearing but super-lightweight aluminium. With a smooth spherical finish and minimal controls (in fact none: Bluetooth all the way, baby) the Shine will be just at home hanging from your neck or sitting sweetly in your pocket.

Okay, so it looks great. What else does it do? Well it tracks every move you make and the ground you cover ensuring favour from all forms of exercise fans from runners to cyclists. Soon-to-be-launched over the States at $99, Shine has potential to impact the ever-growing exercise market.

Yours for $99

Swimming-Sports-Watch

TomTom GPS Sports Watches

From: TomTom

Satnav kings TomTom are no strangers to the running world, having worked closely with Nike on their sports watch ranges. Now sprinting into the market with their own unit, TomTom are taking things next level.

With a clear, simple-to-read high contrast display, one-button functionality, a whole range of training programs and built-in stride sensors, few activities can go un-checked by the TomTom Sports Watch. Naturally, GPS comes as standard and allows for upwards of 10 hours battery life. Impressed? Jog on over to Latest Gadget’s full review.

MileStone-Pod

Milestone Pod

From: Milestone

It’s all good and well knowing how far you’ve run, what your pulse is saying, how many calories you’ve burnt and just how many people you can tell about your achievements. But let’s not forget the most important ingredient in running… Your feet!

Appropriate footwear is essential for running. But once you’ve made that investment, how much lifespan do they have? The most common rule of thumb is approximately 400 miles. But unless you’re tracking that via some of the other gadgets in this list, how do you know when your trainers need a reboot? Change them too soon and you’ll waste valuable tread. Change them too late and you’ve got a one-way ticket to Injury Town.

Enter the Milestone Pod, a thumb-sized pedometer that attaches to your laces and records how much life is left in your faithful daps. What’s more, you can also save easily accessible essential personal data such as medical history and emergency contact details in case you suffer from an accident while out training. Launched as a Kickstarter project earlier this year, they failed to hit their target of $60,000 but they’re continuing their product roll-out with determination. See their website for details.

TomTom GPS Sports Watches: Exercise and Technology – the Perfect Fit?

TomTom-GPS-Sports-Watch

I’m more active that you might expect for someone who edits a gadget website and spends all day and I love any chance I get to combine exercise and technology. I’ve tried many a pedometer the FitBit One being a current favourite) and I love my Withings wireless scales. But one of the coolest fitness I’ve used was the Nike Sportswatch powered by TomTom. So I was interested to hear that TomTom was coming out with a new product that “completely re-designs the GPS Sport Watch.”

TomTom-Running-Man

The new, ultra-slim (11.5 mm) TomTom Runner and TomTom Multi-Sport GPS sport watches feature an extra-large,high-resolution and high-contrast display, full-screen graphical training tools and the headline feature one-button control so it’s easy to access information without slowing down.

Swimming-Sports-Watch

“We know that most GPS watches on the market are too bulky and complicated to use while training. Runners and multi-sport athletes can now view their performance information at-a-glance, making it easier to achieve their fitness goals.”
Corinne Vigreux, managing director, TomTom Consumer.

GPS-Woman-Running

The new watches feature TomTom’s Graphical Training Partner – basically easy-to-read full-screen graphics so you can optimise your workouts with access to relevant information. There are graphical training modes: Run, Goal and Zone. The one button controls are great for navigating key stats (and also just for controlling your watch), especially when running, swimming or cycling (I hate fiddling with buttons in the rain or through cycling gloves). TomTom claim you can use the battery for up to 10 hours in GPS mode which is more than fine for my stamina levels.

TomTom-Cycling

Another great feature is the ability to accurately track indoor runs using built-in sensors to count strides, so your treadmill runs aren’t “lost”. Rather than locking your data down to a proprietary platform you can sync, analyse and share stats on popular running sites and community platforms, including the TomTom MySports website, MapMyFitness, RunKeeper, TrainingPeaks and MyFitnessPal. Long-lasting battery: Up to 10-hour battery life (GPS Mode)

The TomTom Runner and TomTom Multi-Sport will be available in Summer 2013. For more information head to TomTom.

Road test: TomTom Via 135 voice controlled sat-nav

After years of being told what to do by our sat-navs, it’s time to talk back. The new TomTom Via 135 comes with ‘Speak & Go’ functionality. This enables you to control the device with your voice and also the ability for hands-free calling via a Bluetooth connected phone. The Speak & Go system is capable of recognising over 1,000 commands and their synonyms, which means (in theory) that you can give it commands and addresses without having to talk like a robot.

We took the Via 135, which has a 5″ screen compared to the otherwise identical 4.3″ Via 130, out for some road tests. Sat on the driveway, with the radio off and the windows closed, we were immediately impressed by the device’s ability to correctly establish our sometimes garbled addresses. If the Via isn’t sure of an address, it gives you a list of close matches and you simply say the number (1, 2, 3 etc.) corresponding to the right one.

Once you’ve confirmed the correct address, the Via then reverts back to the tried and tested TomTom functionality – i.e. beautifully designed maps and well timed instructions. These new Via devices also come with free access to daily map changes from the TomTom community, which includes information on road changes, road closures and temporary speed limits.

Our main gripe at this stage is that you can’t leave the route overview screen and start the turn by turn navigation without pressing the ‘Done’ button – surely this should also be voice controlled. Likewise, if you change your mind, then you also have to physically press the “change route” button rather than simply say it out loud.

Having started towards our test address, we then decided to make a diversion. To re-enable voice control you have to press the relatively small microphone button on the screen. This then presented another problem: the sat-nav continues to give turn by turn instructions at the same time you’re attempting to say a new address. This caused confusion for both the driver and for the timing of the Via’s voice prompts.

For the next test, we tried saying a postcode. It’s at this point we discovered, frustratingly, that Speak & Go doesn’t support postcodes. In response, TomTom have told us they are aware of this [lack of postcode recognition] and are looking to add it to the functionality in due course.

The Via performed well at understanding addresses read out by our passenger which we felt was a useful capability. It also handled, i.e. ignored, a small amount of background noise. The same can’t be said when we opened the windows. Even at a relatively low speed, 20-30mph, it appeared that the wind noise was enough to prevent the Via from hearing our instructions. We encountered this problem regardless of whether the device was mounted to the left or right of the steering wheel.

With the smartphone becoming ever more central in our lives and with a slew of good sat-nav apps (including TomTom’s highly rated one), we can understand the need to try and come up with something ‘new’ to entice people back towards standalone devices. However, with a lack of postcode support, non-complete voice control (it doesn’t allow for ‘change route’ or ‘done’) and patchy voice recognition when outside noise is introduced, we’re not sure the Via 135 (RRP £149) is going to be the device that will reverse this trend.

For further info on the TomTom Via 130/135 head to www.tomtom.com

Tom Tom and Renault launch electric car navigation

At last someone has seen the light and for once produced something entirely useful for the electric car; and that someone is Tom Tom. Not content with dominating the navigation market the navigation superhero has turned its attention to the electric car in a way that is so beneficial to electic car owners you have to ask yourself why has it taken so long?

TomTom-Dash

Thankfully Renault has seen the light and designed space in its Fluence Z.E.electic car for an in dash navigation system developed by Tom Tom which not only obviously navigates, using Tom Tom’s tried and tested GPS software, but also allows drivers to navigate to the nearest recharge station. Thus solving one of the major worries for electric car owners. Genius.

The Carminat TomTom Z.E LIVE, receives direct information from the battery about its charge state and then taking the current planned route into consideration, calculates whether a recharge will be necessary. If it is, it’ll display just where the nearest charging points are located along the route.

While it’s at it, it will also provide the most energy efficient route in the first place, eking out those extra precious miles from every available cell.

The Carminat TomTom Z.E LIVE also carries many of Tom Tom’s now standard features such ad HD traffic, local Search with TomTom Places and Google, safety camera alerts and IQ Routes.

Giles Shrimpton, Managing Director of TomTom Automotive points out “This is the first navigation system TomTom is launching in the area of electric vehicles and it represents a great milestone for us as a company in this exciting new market”. Renault has clearly scored a bit of a coup with this, and providing Tom Tom expands this to the other electric car manufacturers, it will be one less thing in the minus box for electric car owners.

TomTom Start 20: TomTom goes easy on first time users

No one can accuse any reader of latest gadgets to be anything other than comfortable with new technology. But there are, believe it or not, people out there who get sweaty just thinking about it. The mere whisper of wireless free or Bluetooth is enough to send certain individuals diving for cover.

TomTom-Start20

It’s no wonder then, that the undisputed heavyweight champion of Sat Nav, has spotted an opportunity in the market and devised a cunning plan. TomTom, with the release of its new Start series is championing first timers to have a go and see what all the fuss is about without having to cope with any blood pressure rises. The Start 20 series is all about simplicity. Big screens, easy control and sight access from all areas.

So, let’s look at that for a moment. The new look screen sizes range from 4.3’’ for the Start 20 up to 5’’ for the slightly larger Start 25 and all of them come with touch screen technology to make planning a route as simple as ABC. TomTom has added something in the region of 2 million kilometres of new roads into its entry level maps and at the same time enhanced the graphics to show built up areas, water features and forests in greater detail. And just to make first timers even more relaxed, the smart lane exit guidance system available on the more expensive models has been integrated into this range too. This displays a 3D representation of the correct lane to take when approaching junctions on busy roads and motorways so drivers don’t miss a turn off.

Street names are now available within the spoken instructions and Tom Tom guarantees that devices will be able to update to the latest maps free of charge within 90 days of first use.

It’s all good news for first timers, and now there’s no excuse to hang on to that dog eared A-Z.

TomTom Start 20 from £129.99

Nike+ SportWatch GPS Powered by TomTom review

For the second time this year, a PR company contacted me and said “fancy loosing some weight? Try this out!” I’d be outraged but both times there was a doughnut to my immediate left, waiting to be eaten. The first was the Philips DirectLife Monitor – an odd pedometer thing that tracks your movement throughout the day and then chastises you for sitting in a chair all day typing. The second is the Nike TomTom GPS sports watch, which demands even more effort from you – you actually have to run.

For a sports product the Nike watch is incredibly cool looking. I’d happily wear it just as a regular cool looking retro watch. The funky black and neon green design, large font display and big chunky buttons are hip enough to walk around the hippest parts of East London without ostracism and the Nike Swoosh is tastefully downplayed. For someone who’s spent ages staring at this timepiece with longing, it’s a lovely piece of kit. I know it’s a functional item, but a watch is something you spend a good deal of time wearing so it’s important that it

But what about running? The watch works with GPS and a Nike+ shoe sensor to record distance, pace, elapsed time, BPM (if you buy the heart rate monitor), and calories burned while running. You simply hit the green button and get going. Well if you have a Nike+ shoe sensor. If you try GPS only it seems to take a little longer to connect. On occasion it took minutes to link to the satellite, which was a little frustrating but as Louis CK says “it’s going to space! Give it a second!” As you run, you can use the scroll button to toggle through your distance, pace, elapsed time, calories or time of day. You can slap the screen – either to illuminate the watch or to log laps/intervals. At the end of the run you get an “Attaboy” encouraging remark and if you haven’t run for a while the watch will remind you – both of which are pretty cute.

To set the watch up you’ll need to download some special Nike+ software, that thankfully runs on Macs and PCs. I had to do a bit of Googling to get the right version of the Mac software but accord to forums this is a “known issue” and should be rectified soon. The USB connector is built into the end of the watch strap – which is relentlessly badass – and the software allows you to update the watch settings – leaving the onboard interface as simple as possible. When I first heard of a TomTom GPS enables watch I assumed it would have some sort of map built in on the screen. However this is not the case – the watch knows where I am, it just refuses to tell me (what a jackass!) unless I log into the Nike running community which allows me to explore routes and compare with other runners in my area.

At £176 this is far from cheap and certainly is no toy. And you can get lots of these features built into any smartphone capable of using RunKeeper. However, it is an excellent watch, with a cool design, innovative functionality and incredibly simple to use. If you’re serious about your running I’d definitely give it some careful consideration.

Tom Tom takes multi tasking to a faster level

Not content with taking the sat nav world by the scruff of the neck and shaking it until all the completion falls away, Tom Tom is seemingly making itself almost indispensible to other hardware manufacturers too. Tom Tom has long led the in car sat navigation market with its wide range of driver friendly, intuitively easy to use devices that have got me out of hopelessly lost causes, pointing the way home from the middle of nowhere on more than one occasion.

TomTomCharger

With the launch of the new high speed multi charger, Tom Tom is taking its driver responsibilities to even higher levels. Now we can not only ensure our saintly sat nav is fully charging, but also while we’re at it, charge a few other peripherals too. Why not hook up an iPhone, an iPad, and a juice hungry DVD at the same time at four times the speed of normal rechargers?

The new high speed multi charger can charge up to three devices simultaneously without any reduction of power unlike other chargers where power is split between ports. There are two USB ports, one at 1.2 amps for standard mobile phones or mp3 players and another at 2.1 amps for more power heavy iPhones and iPads plus a dedicated 12 volt port too for larger devices such as DVD players.

Corinne Vigreux, Managing Director at TomTom delivers the final  knock out punch: “Sleek, small and boasting TomTom’s award-winning design, this is is the first TomTom accessory that enables users to charge their sat nav device and other mobile devices at the same time – it’s a neat in-car, in-truck, or in-caravan charger”.

The new high speed  multi charger will be available  online and at most major electrical retailers for £19.99