Last month, Mike and I had the opportunity to attend the inaugural Garmin Developer Summit on their central campus in Olathe, KS.

The conference was focused on allowing developers to learn and network with the founders and team that supports the Garmin Connect IQ ecosystem. The Garmin Developer Summit was a great opportunity to explore the Connect IQ ecosystem and meet with the team behind the platform’s vision and creation. It’s clear that Garmin is investing in the infrastructure that will allow us and other developers to create compelling experiences for athletes. Garmin’s hospitality at the Connect IQ Summit reflects this. Today, there are nearly 5 million Connect IQ capable devices and over 1,000 developers. These apps have been downloaded over 30 million times.

The event kicked off with an introduction by Garmin CEO Cliff Pemble. He shared the company’s strategic vision and commitment to growing the wearable technology division of the company.

“the convenience of wearability has created the revival of wearable timekeepers” – Cliff Pemble, CEO of Garmin

Garmin has shipped over 178 million devices and over 24 million wearable’s. It seems their commitment in the wearable fitness technology space will only grow as the Garmin Connect IQ platform develops.

Ray Maker – one of the most influential content producers in endurance sports, delivered the keynote address. Ray’s site dcrainmaker averages over 4 million views per month and you can checkout the video of his presentation below.

His state of the industry indicated a big push towards convergence. He states “convergence is king – the major players will no longer be able to do just one thing”. Highlighting deeper experiences and a smarter application of athlete’s data to drive value in real time!

Garmin announced several big product updates (IQ 2.3 Beta) that are significant for the Connect IQ platform. These are five major new features for Connect IQ 2 compatible devices:

1) Always Active Watch Faces

Other smart watches turn off their screens to save power and still only get a day of battery life. On the new Fenix 5 family and Forerunner 935, your custom watch faces are always on and update every second while still having industry leading battery life.

2) Action Intelligence

25 Hz/3-axis accelerometer access, Finite Impulse Response (FIR) and Infinite Impulse Response (IIR) filters allow developers to create new active lifestyle metrics and use cases.

3) Background Services

Connect IQ apps can now start background services that can do periodic background processing, including communicating with web services, making your smart watch smarter than ever.

4) SDK Improvements

New Connect IQ debugger, Unit test framework integration with Eclipse, and new additions to the Monkey C language make Connect IQ easier to develop for. Also – SDK for Ubuntu!

5) Trial Apps – Coming Soon!

Customers download a locked version of your app, and come to you for the key. Bring Garmin customers to your services using Connect IQ. Contact our developer program for details.

Garmin Connect IQ products were nominated for awards and the following are the winners and nominees.

Best Watch Face: Actiface by Petr Koula

With over 600K downloads, Actiface is by far the most popular app on the Connect IQ store. Customers appreciate its ability to get at a glance the time and a highly configurable dashboard summarizing their health.

Best Wearable Smart App: dwMap by Marcus Needham

dwMap allows Garmin users to create routes on the dynamic.watch mobile-friendly website as well as import their routes from Strava, MapMyRun, Garmin Connect, Ride with GPS, Bikemap.net, GPX and more. You can then sync your routes to your Connect IQ compatible devices, and navigate them using the map. dwMap runs across most Connect IQ devices and at 300K downloads is very popular with Garmin users.

Best Wearable Workout App: Workout Genius by Robinson Milani

Is there a workout not represented on your Garmin device? Workout Genius has you covered. Workout Genius provides lots of data fields that are not available in most of the devices. It allows to set up a great variety of screen layouts, has a virtual partner with variable speed, enables to configure the lap size, sounds, vibrations, alerts, and more. And last but not least, it has a multisport mode that supports triathlon, duathlon, swim-run, and aquathlon. All of this is configurable on your device from the Genius Wrist website.

Best Edge App: Xert by Baron Biosystems

The Xert Workout Player plays Xert’s unique Smart Workouts. Using Garmin Connect Mobile, the Xert Player logs in to Xert Online, obtains your latest Fitness Signature, downloads your selected workout, configures the exact workout interval intensities and durations specific to you and then plays the workout using your power meter and/or smart trainer. With your smart trainer, it will do trainer control. If you have both a power meter and smart trainer, it will automatically do powermatch and trainer calibration on-the-fly. Playing Smart Intervals, it will auto-adjust interval power and duration, reducing/increasing intensity and slowing/accelerating the timer depending on how an interval is executed in real-time. Easily adjust target power or trainer resistance with swipes / up-down clicks. It will learn your cadence preferences and provide indication of when you’re pedaling too fast or too slow. The app also sends telemetry back to Xert Online so you can view your data online via the Xert Remote Player and follow your workout progress.

Best ANT Enabled App: Stryd by Stryd

Stryd, a foot-mounted power meter, measures your running efficiency, pinpoints your performance bottleneck, and guides you through personalized cardiovascular and strength training, as well as form improvements, so you can improve your efficiency and run faster. Stryd also provides the power-based training intensity control and race-day pacing you have grown to expect.

The inaugural Garmin Developer Summit was a great opportunity to explore the Connect IQ ecosystem and meet with the team behind the platform’s vision and creation. It’s clear that Garmin is investing in the infrastructure that will allow us and other developers to create compelling experiences for athletes. Garmin’s hospitality at the Connect IQ Summit reflects this. It’s an exciting time for MySwimPro, and we’re excited to share what’s next!

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