New ANT+ Digital Interface Links Fitness Equipment with Watches and Body Worn Sensors for First-Ever Unification of Indoor and Outdoor Activity

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New ANT+ FIT1e interface enables the first-ever two way digital link between fitness equipment and ANT+ compatible watches and sensors.

ANT™ Wireless, a division of Dynastream Innovations Inc. (http://www.thisisant.com), today announced the new ANT+ FIT1e interface that enables the first-ever two way digital link between fitness equipment and ANT+ compatible watches and sensors. This key unification of indoor and outdoor fitness data management launches a new era in two way personal area communications and wellness management.

Optimized for active fitness environments such as the cardio floor or indoor cycling studio, the FIT1e interface facilitates communication between fitness equipment and ANT+ devices such as watches, heart rate monitors (HRMs), bicycle power meters, etc. This new digital standard is designed to pair efficiently and eliminate interference while managing more than 80 devices in proximity. The FIT1e technology is both forward compatible with the new and emerging ANT+ devices as well as backward compatible with legacy analog heart rate monitors.

The FIT1e is currently in development with an ANT+ working group of leading fitness brands who are integrating the FIT1e module into their gym equipment. Garmin's FR60 watch is the first ANT+ fitness watch providing an interface with fitness equipment, and details were announced March 17, 2009, at the 2009 International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA). The watch captures data transmitted from the fitness equipment for web upload and review afterward.

"The integration of the FIT1e module is a critical step in the advancement of fitness equipment and digital personal area network (PAN) communications," said Jim Rooney, President, Dynastream Innovations Inc. "This is the only off-the-shelf solution that incorporates the reliability and simplicity of ANT+ digital interoperability with the advanced functionality of exercise equipment.

An ANT+ 'LINK HERE' logo identifies fitness equipment with the integrated FIT1e interface and also highlights the pairing zone. The interoperable device features are then enabled simply by linking a watch and/or HRM to the equipment. This allows all exercise activity, whether indoors or out, to be collected for complete fitness tracking. Club owners also gain new opportunities for the development of new device-based programs, retail product sales and member recruitment.

"This simplified transfer of activity and wellness information to internet programs is of great value to fitness enthusiasts and everyone interested in independent health management," added Rooney. "The FIT1e provides an integral link in the gathering, interpreting and sharing of this data for optimized personal health."    

The ANT+ fitness initiative further expands the already-established ANT+ ecosystem. Over 120 companies are now members of the open ANT+ Alliance which leads the fitness and wellness industries in innovative solutions for data communication, storage and display.

About ANT™ / ANT+

ANT+ facilitates interoperability between manufacturer's devices and the collection, automatic transfer and tracking of sensor data for monitoring information anywhere, anytime. The key advantage of this unique managed network is device specific interoperability which enables wireless communication with other ANT+ products. Applicable in sport, wellness management and home health monitoring, ANT+ (built on the base ANT protocol) defines device profiles that specify data formats, channel parameters and network key. The ANT+ Alliance is an open special interest group of companies who have adopted the ANT+ promise of interoperability. The Alliance ensures standardized communications through optimized brand value and partnerships with other top tier products. As of Mar 12, 2009 there are 120 members in the ANT+ Alliance.

ANT is a proven protocol and silicon solution for ultra-low power (ULP) practical wireless networking applications. Designed for 2.4 GHz operation, ANT is perfectly suited for any kind of low data rate sensor network topologies in personal area networks (PANs) and practical wireless sensor networks (WSN). ANT has been intentionally engineered to simplify wireless network development and maximize network efficiency. ANT-powered nodes can operate for years on a coin cell battery compared to months for other technologies. Rich in capabilities, ANT provides reliable data communications, flexible and adaptive network operation and cross-talk immunity. http://www.thisisant.com

The company behind ANT Wireless is Dynastream Innovations Inc. Dynastream was established in 1998 and became a wholly owned subsidiary of Garmin International, Inc. in December 2006. Dynastream is based in Cochrane, Alberta, Canada, and is a world innovator in the research and development of inertial and wireless technology. http://www.dynastream.com

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Catherine Gardiner Aylesworth
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