New Smartwatches for the New Year


The smartwatch was one of the most talked-about products during 2013, and 2014 looks to build on this trend. A number of companies released smartwatches last year, and they come in a variety of styles and are designed for a number of purposes.

While some smartwatches are meant to function as all-around devices that work for a wide variety of applications, others are geared toward a specific purpose. Sports smartwatches are perhaps the most popular of the latter category. Magellan,, offers its Echo smartwatch as a product designed for sports, and for 2014 the company is announcing new functionality.

Magellan will add new sporting applications to the device, which will be on display during CES 2014 in Las Vegas. Newly supported sports include golf, skiing, hiking, and other outdoor activities. New colors will also be available.

Echo is designed as an open platform that can work with multiple apps from third-party vendors. The device uses Bluetooth Smart to connect to a user’s smartphone and the watch device. Information streams from the smartphone to the Echo smartwatch in realtime. For instance, a user could view data on running pace or maximum speed on a ski run. Currently, Echo is compatible with the iPhone 4S, 5, 5C, and 5S, and the company says Android support will be available in early 2014.

With Echo, Magellan says users don’t have to worry about constantly taking out a phone to check information or perform commands. Users can control the apps and music selection right from the watch. The device also functions as a regular watch, providing time information via multiple watch-face options.

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