UPDATE: Read my hands on review of the Garmin fenix.
I don’t know how I missed this little tidbit in yesterday’s Garmin fenix announcement:
A Basecamp mobile app allows users to transfer waypoints and tracklogs to view them on a more detailed map and larger screen of select smartphones.
Thanks to a sharp-eyed reader for pointing it out. So this is big news, eh? I’m not sure how soon we’ll see it; even though the fenix is slated to hit the market by late August, Garmin seems to think the app might not be ready by then, since they left this little out in a footnote:
The availability of Garmin’s Basecamp app might differ from the market availability of fēnix.
I’m assuming that, unlike Forerunners (which typically use ANT+), the fenix will use Bluetooth technology to transfer data to and from your smartphone. For one thing, the “In the box” section of the fenix page doesn’t mention an ANT+ USB stick in the package. Using Bluetooth would also mean you don’t need an ANT+ adapter for your phone.
So what are the implications of this? If I’m correct on it using Bluetooth for data transfer rather than ANT+, expect to see new Garmin handhelds with Bluetooth (and that in itself should open up some interesting possibilities). I also wonder if we’ll see a Garmin Connect app that will allow you to wirelessly download tracks to Garmin handhelds. A Garmin handheld/mobile ecosystem may well be on the horizon.
What do you think about all this? What kind of things would you like to be able to do with a Garmin handheld that can communicate with your smartphone?