Garmin announced today that they are launching the new Connect IQ, the first open platform that will allow third-party developers to create apps for Garmin wearable products. I suspect this is an effort to compete with the recent launch of several different smartwatches, nearly all of which boast GPS capabilities.
With Connect IQ, developers will be able to create colorful always-on watch faces and translate rich sensor data into new relevant metrics utilizing fully customizable data screens so you can make your Garmin look however you like. In addition, Garmin devices will now be able to support widgets and apps. Developers can create widgets to add to the main screen loop, like the score of the big game or when the user needs to hydrate during a long run, ride or hike. These apps can be tailored to the individual lifestyle of the user, no matter what they’re using the device for, which will greatly improve the value of Garmin wearables.
Developers can pick up a software development kit on the Developer website now and begin programming. According to the release, Connect IQ will be available on “select Garmin wearables” in 2015. I assume a full list of the compatible wearables will be released later in the year.