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Epson enters wearable market, debuts GPS running watch, golf-swing analyzer

The printing company will attempt to tackle a new market with the launch of a series of running watches and a golf-swing analyzer.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

LAS VEGAS -- Epson has thrown its hat into the wearable market. With the help of celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson, Olympic silver medalist Meb Keflezighi and top golf instructor David Leadbetter, the company unveiled its "Epson Active" portfolio at the International CES trade show. Joining the Epson Pulsense activity tracker, which was announced last November, are a series of GPS running watches and a golf-swing analyzer.


The first product category Epson announced was the Pulsense activity trackers. The company debuted two trackers last November: the Pulsense P-100 and more expensive Pulsense P-500. Both devices can track your steps, calories burned, distance, sleep and heart rate. There is also a 5-point LED light system on the front that is used to indicate your heart rate zone. The only difference between the two devices is that the P-500 has an LCD display to view real-time data.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The Pulsense can be synced with an Android or iOS device. As for battery life, a company spokesperson said that it's around a day (at least for the P-100, it isn't clear if this is the same for the P-500). I initially thought I misheard him because one day of battery life is dreadful. The representative tried to explain that turning off Bluetooth would result in longer usage, but that's unacceptable. I was also rather unimpressed with the build quality of the P-100. As you can see in the photos above, it is easily scratched and smudged.

Both devices are available now. The Pulsense P-100 costs $130 in the US and £130 in the UK, while the P-500 can be had for $200 and £170. Pricing was available for Australia, but US pricing converts to AU$160 and $AU245.


Epson's running watches will be known as Runsense. The company will offer three different models: the SF-510, SF-710 and SF-810. All three of the models are waterproof up to 50 meters and include GPS to track your pace and distance, a smart stride sensor to calibrate stride length in the event the GPS signal is lost and a finish time estimator. The SF-710 model adds vibration, while the SF-810 features a built-in optical heart-rate monitor.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Battery life for the SF-510 and SF-710 is said to be 30 hours with a continuous GPS signal, which is a lot longer than many other running watches. The SF-810 will last about 20 hours with the heart-rate sensor enabled and a continuous GPS signal.

Runsense watches will begin shipping in the second quarter of this year. Prices for the SF-510, SF-710 and SF-810 range from $250 to $350, which converts to £165 to £230 in the UK and AU$310 to AU$430 in Australia.


The third product in the portfolio is the M-Tracer MT500GII Golf Swing Analyzer. The Bluetooth-enabled device attaches to the top of a golf club (towards the bottom of the grip) and can capture and send data to an iOS or Android smartphone in real-time. The M-Tracer can track and record the swing path of the club, club-head speed, club-head path, face angle at the time of impact and swing tempo, among other things.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The smartphone app allows users to view their full swing path in 3D and compare their swings to those of professionals. The app will also provide graphical analysis of the impact zone, shaft rotation, club speed and swing tempo, which the company hope will allow golfers to improve their swing and overall game. The M-Tracer's internal storage can hold up to 200 swings, and its battery is said to last for up to four hours with continuous swing recording.

The M-Tracer MT500GII Golf Swing Analyzer will be available in March for $300. That price converts to £195 for the UK and AU$370 for Australia.