How Garmin Offers Developers Nearly Limitless Possibilities for Lifestyle Quantification

What device does a runner reach for when they have their eyes set on a personal record or when they are just learning and need a guide they can trust? What device does a cyclist reach for when they are tracking every piece of data they can get about their body and their bike? What device does an adventurer reach for when they want to explore places they have never been before, or swim in salty water?
They reach for their Garmin device.

Why Garmin?

These people ranging from elite to beginner athletes and millions more around the world have been reaching for their Garmin for over 25 years. They reach for their Garmin because they know they can trust it to deliver exactly what they need whenever and wherever they need it.
The reason they can trust their Garmin device is because every aspect of a device is designed for a specific purpose. This is called purpose built design. The battery life, the sensor accuracy, the features, the data, the sunlight visibility are all critical components to this design. It is this experience that Garmin users have grown to love and expect from each product.
Building an app platform for Garmin watches was always going to be a huge undertaking. A platform had to be built that would not sacrifice the Garmin device experience, yet would unlock the powerful tools and capabilities on Garmin devices for 3rd party developers. The result of that project became Connect IQ, Garmin’s first 3rd party app platform for its wide range of purpose built devices.
It has now been 2 years since the launch of this app platform, and Garmin is excited to share the free tools and powerful capabilities built upon it with the ProgrammableWeb community.   

Before diving into Connect IQ, it is key to understand its context within Garmin’s broader strategy towards building tools to enable 3rd party integrations and innovations with the Garmin ecosystem of products, data and experiences.
To Garmin, enabling active lifestyles is not just about the device, it is about the data, the sensors, the community, personal motivation and many other things. At Garmin, these are stitched together into what is called the Full Circle Experience. Garmin has provided various tools to developers so they can integrate with us in multiple ways around the circle. Giving developers endless possibilities to extend their solution and reach new users in new ways.

Full Circle Experience

Visit the Garmin developer site to learn more about these as well as other options for integrating with the Garmin ecosystem. The remainder of this post will be a deeper look into Connect IQ, why you, the developer should care and what you can do with it.

Why Should you Care?

There are many different options for a developer when deciding what platform on which to create an app. There are three main questions that you should be asking when selecting a platform

  • What can I do with the technology?
  • How big is the platform?
  • How do I make money?

From a technology perspective, Connect IQ opens the world class Garmin devices and puts a very unique and powerful set of tools into your hands.

1)   Sensors - GPS, altimeters, barometers, compasses, accelerometers
2)   Performance Metrics - speed, distance, cadence, heart rate, and more
3)   Connectivity – ANT devices, Web API, phone app
4)   Platforms - iOS and Android
5)   Device Features - sunlight visibility, battery life, functionality, and more

For more on the technology available through Connect IQ, take a look at the programmers guide.

Connect IQ is big and growing. Since launching just 2 years ago the Connect IQ platform already has over 2.5 Million devices around the world. It works on 20 different devices each built for a specific purpose. There have been over 15 Million downloads of Connect IQ apps, a true testament to the value that users are getting from the customization options available through the 3rd party network of Connect IQ apps.

Be sure to read the next Fitness article: How Connect IQ Brings the Stryd Training App to Garmin Devices


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