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Garmin lleva mucho tiempo en el mercado de los «wearables», «tecnología ponible», «tecnología vestible» o como quieras llamarlo. A pesar de esto, no es que se hayan mostrado nunca muy prolíficos a la hora de permitir la funcionalidad con dispositivos que no fuesen específicos de deporte.
Con la presentación de Connect IQ, Garmin abrió el desarrollo a otras empresas para interactuar con los dispositivos de la marca. Es decir, empresas del sector (o de otro sector no relacionado específicamente con el deporte) podrán ahora desarrollar aplicaciones que permitan no sólo mostrar información de otros dispositivos ANT+, sino también poder interactuar con ellos. No sólo serán aplicaciones, también habrá otras «chuches». Vamos a conocerlas:
- Applications: Aplicaciones completas. Con su propio menú interno, capaces de guardar datos o mostrar información específica de otros dispositivos. Es lo que más se puede acercar a las «apps» que conocemos en el terreno de la telefonía móvil.
- Widgets: Quick information thanks to additional screens that will be placed in the main screen carousel (where we can find the clock, activity monitor or notification screens).
- Customized fields: Data fields to add to the screens configured for each sports profile.
- Clock dials: New screens to show the time, analog or digital.
La plataforma está aún en desarrollo y no todo ha colgado el cartel de «abierto» todavía. Por el momento podemos instalar pantallas de reloj y campos personalizados, los widgets y las aplicaciones deberían estar plenamente disponibles antes de acabar el primer trimestre de 2015Today, March 6, Garmin officially launched the applications and widgets, making Garmin Connect IQ fully operational for everyone.
I'm going to explain in a little more detail what each of these options is.
It is the easiest to understand, as it allows you to replace the main time display with a different one, with more or less information. Here each developer is free to include the information and graphics he prefers, such as the time next to his triathlon team logo. Or show the information in a different way, like this analog display that adds two smaller clocks, also analog, with battery information and activity monitor.
Or show screens similar to the one Garmin offers as standard, but by changing the type of font or the placement of the different fields.
These screens can be in square or round format, depending on the clock they are going to be used for. Given its simplicity, it is quite likely that in a very short time this section will be filled with different proposals.
Each activity profile allows you to configure your own data screens, so in the race profile you will normally set your pace, average pace, last lap heart rate and similar running-related data. Similarly, for cycling you will want to set your speed and you can also set total ascent, maximum speed or average speed.
To all this data that comes by default, we'll be able to add new fields through Connect IQ. And it can be from simple and funny things like how many beers you've burned during the workout you're doing (you'll drink twice as many as it says, and you know it.) or much more convoluted things with complex algorithms, like this pulse meter.
Or something already seen in the Polar M400Thanks to this field you can check what your final time will be with your average pace, the pace at which you are running and the remaining distance.
Adding it is very simple, you just have to go to the configuration of some activity and replace or add any of the fields by one you have downloaded.
But it has limitations. You can download several data changes (with the memory limit of the device).
But when adding fields to a profile, two are the maximum you can select.
The final use of this data depends on the developers, but at the moment it is not possible to give it the most interesting use, to allow manufacturers to develop accessories with ANT+ connectivity to display information on the watch screen. I can think of for example StrydIn order to access sensors that are not supported by the clock at source (as is the case with Stryd), they must be accessed through an application, and not through a data field, which would be ideal. I will detail this later in the limitations section.
Los widgets son las pantallas que aparecen en el «carrusel» cuando estás fuera de una actividad. En la pantalla principal del reloj, si te desplazas hacia abajo, podrás encontrar diferentes pantallas de información por defecto. Por ejemplo en el caso del 920xt tienes los datos del monitor de actividad y a continuación las notificaciones del teléfono móvil. Los widgets irían aquí y permitirán obtener información externa desde internet a través de la conexión de datos de tu móvil,
In these rendered images you can see how they work. AccuWeather for example is developing a widget with weather data. You don't have to worry about battery consumption as they work in low power mode.
Tempo works on a widget that will show you your calendar data, and even let your contact know that you are not going to arrive on time.
Many of the applications will be accompanied by their corresponding widgets, as is the case with these two examples (Tempo and AccuWeather).
Finally we have the applications. This is the most complete and important option for all the possibilities it offers. You must think of them as the applications you can find for your mobile phone (saving the distances in terms of memory and processing power).
To give you an idea of the complexity they represent, the Garmin Vivoactive presents all its training functions as one application, instead of different training modes. You can have the running application, the cycling application, or a golf application. That is, you open an application, not a sports profile. And just like the sports applications, you can complement the watch with other functions.
iSki prepares an app with which you can have information about the weather along with data about the state of the snow, the situation of the ski lifts and information about the slope.
Moxy is an oxygen sensor. Through the application it is preparing it monitors the oxygenation of certain muscles while you are training. Obviously this type of accessory would previously need an additional screen to display the information, as it would be a closed communication between the Moxy device and the display. Now thanks to Connect IQ that data can reach the display of the watch with all the necessary information.
Komoot es una aplicación de navegación que facilita direcciones del tipo «giro a giro». En lugar de mostrar una ruta predefinida sobre la que vas navegando, te mostraría cuándo tienes que tomar un desvío y cuánta distancia queda para hacerlo. Actualmente Komoot ya dispone de una aplicación para teléfonos móviles con miles de rutas para correr o caminar.
The functionality of these applications will not depend on the clock where they are installed, regardless of the size or shape of your screen (square or round). That is, the applications will work the same in the Vivoactive, a midrange clock, or an Epix, which will be the maximum exponent within the Garmin range.
At the moment there are four devices that support the Connect IQ function, three of which are about to come on the market.
- Garmin Forerunner 920xt
- Garmin Vivoactive (available April 2015)
- Garmin Fenix 3 (available March-April 2015)
- Garmin Epix (available April-May 2015)
Here we are at an important point, both for you and for the developers. Obviously, without money in between no one will create applications, or at least with a minimum of quality. There are three ways in which a developer can earn money thanks to Connect IQ, but what you should be clear about is that everything you find in the application store can be downloaded for free. How will developers benefit? In one of these three ways:
- HardwareThe company sells a new accessory, and accompanies it with its corresponding application in order to synchronize it with the clock. This is the clear example of the Moxy sensor I spoke about earlier.
- Purchasing within the applicationThe application will be free, but you will have to pay for those maps that you install.
- SubscriptionsSubscription to information services, such as iSki station data
Installing Connect IQ elements
Installing the applications, data fields, widgets or clock screens is very simple, and can be done from the computer or, most conveniently, from the phone.
Installation from the phone
Simplemente entras en la aplicación de Connect y, si has emparejado un reloj que soporte la función, en el menú se habilitará la opción de Tienda Connect IQ. Aquí podrás navegar por las diferentes categorías y ver qué es lo que puedes instalar en tu reloj. Una vez hayas encontrado lo que quieres, basta con que presiones en «Enviar a dispositivo» y se transferirá a tu reloj.
Installation from the computer
Desde tu ordenador el proceso es muy similar. Encontrarás en Garmin Express una nueva sección de aplicaciones. En esta pantalla podrás ver lo que ya tienes instalado, y puedes buscar nuevos elementos al presionar sobre «Obtener más».
Just like on your phone, the Connect IQ App Store will open, where you can browse through the different options on offer.
A la hora de instalar un elemento, de nuevo es igual que en la aplicación del teléfono. «Enviar a dispositivo», y cuando sincronices el reloj, recibirás el campo o aplicación que hayas decidido descargar.
It's time to talk about limitations. We still can't do everything we'd like with Connect IQ. Clearly, it's something that still needs to improve and evolve, and probably over time these limitations will be resolved, if not all, then the vast majority. At least, if Garmin listens to the developers, who are the ones who will ultimately provide the feedback on what they need to create quality applications.
- The most important limitation is that there is no support for sensors that are not supported from the beginning, such as a data field. And to support it, you would have to create an application with support for that sensor, replicating everything that the sport profile would do (whether it is running or cycling...). That is, the Garmin 920xt does not support the Tempe temperature accessory. Ideally, through a data field, we could show the value directly on the screen. But instead Garmin (or the developer who has some free time) should create the support for the accessory and, in additionIt is a huge barrier for companies like BSX Insight or StrydGarmin says they are working on a solution, but there is no specific date. I hope they will put all their efforts into improving it, because it is one of the main reasons why Connect IQ can succeed.
- It is only possible to add two data fields per activity, so you have to select which fields you want to display, but you can install more than two and change them according to your interest in one or the other.
- There is no such thing as multitasking as we know it from phones and computers, so every application you create has to be complete - things as simple as configuring autolap, calorie consumption data, scheduled workouts, etc. Everything has to be created again (and that's not an easy task, Garmin has years The application will be a sport mode, not an add-on to one. You can't just think about going out for a run and activating your running profile, and then launching Komoot to point the way. Instead, you can simply launch the Komoot application, and all training data, the recording of the activity FIT file, or the type of ANT+ sensors supported will be determined by this application, not the sport profile.
So much for this entry, which has gone on longer than I had originally planned, which was a quick look at Connect IQ and has ended up being over 2,200 words long. If you want to learn more about Connect IQ or you are a developer and are interested in the platform, I recommend that you visit the Garmin subforum where you will find more developers like you. As for the SDK, you can download it from here.