CES - Timex revamps Data Link wristwatch

Timex Corp. showed at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas an upgrade to its Ironman Data Link watch, the original PDA on your wrist. Called the Data Link USB, it uses a USB cable to synchronize information with your PC.

The device can synchronize names, phone numbers, schedules, notes, and more with Microsoft's Outlook. Synchronizing the original model, shown at last year's CES, entailed holding it up to a PC monitor. USB support gives the new model faster, two-way data transfers.

According to Timex, the Data Link USB can store hundreds of contacts and appointments, and up to 256 separate schedules. For sports, users can also download custom time intervals, or send timed events back to a PC. The Data Link USB is scheduled for sale in the spring with an estimated price of US$90.

The Data Link USB has a silver steel case, surprisingly thin for a data watch, and a rotating crown that makes it faster to scroll through a list of contacts. Timex will bundle a software utility that lets users designate which categories of information to sync--names and phone numbers, but no addresses, for example. They can also change the order of the categories as they are displayed on the watch.

Athlete's Options

For the truly hard-core athlete, Timex is also showing a sport performance measuring and timing package.

The Timex Bodylink System includes a Performance Monitor watch, separate data recorder, heart rate monitor, and GPS receiver. During training, the system constantly records an athlete's heart rate and running speed, as measured by the GPS. Distance and time intervals are also recorded. When uploaded to a PC, the data gathered by these components can graph the athlete's heart rate against speed or pace.

The watch is scheduled for a US release in June for an estimated price of US$85. A data recorder for monitoring use will cost another US$75. Already available are a heart rate monitor priced around US$100 and a GPS tracking component, at US$200.

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Tracey Capen

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