Epson shows off world's thinnest GPS watch
Runner's training aid gets slim, light and waterproof
Epson has announced plans to enter the electronic training aids market with the design of what it claims is the world's lightest sports watch with built-in GPS capabilities.
Despite what Epson claims is the lightest and thinnest design available on the market, the as-yet unnamed watch features the longest battery life too: featuring a compact high-accuracy GPS module that draws significantly less power than equivalent devices used in rival watches, Epson claims its design can run in full sensor mode for up to 12 hours per charge.
Weighing just 50g and a scant 13mm thick, Epson's concept design is certainly a far cry from the bulky GPS-enabled sports watches currently on the market. The company claims a rich feature set, too: the device tracks distance, pace, speed and location while the casing includes water resistance of up to 50m depth.
To put some of Epson's claims into perspective: the low power nature of the GPS receiver in the watch means that a runner who trains for five hours a week could log full GPS data for each run and not need to recharge the watch for two full weeks, while its waterproof capabilities mean it's even suited for use while swimming - although we wouldn't recommend it for divers.
The watch marks Epson's first foray into the world of sports training accessories, with the company somewhat better known for its imaging products including scanners and printers as well as a range of business-oriented projects. Should the commercial version prove as efficient as the prototype, however, the company could well find itself stealing market share from industry incumbents such as Polar and Garmin.
Epson has confirmed that a commercial version of the watch will be released in Japan later this year, but is so far silent on an international launch. It has, however, declared its intention to produce other, similar products for the sporting goods and healthcare markets.