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Garmin, Strava Pair Up on Fitness Watch Safety Feature

Runners, cyclists and other outdoor exercisers who pass through dimly lit parks or not-so-safe neighborhoods can assure themselves and their loved ones a little more peace of mind thanks to a new feature on select Garmin smartwatches.

Garmin has added fitness social network Strava's Beacon feature to let Strava users share their data in real time by sending contacts a URL that leads to a map showing the runner's location. The link will also display the battery life remaining on the runner's smartphone. While those who want to track you don't need to have a Strava account themselves, in order to use this feature, the runner or cyclist must be a paid Strava subscriber, which costs  $6 per month or $59 per year.

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Credit: Strava

(Image credit: Strava)


The feature is limited to certain devices (Edge 520, 820, 1000, Edge Explore 820, Forerunner 230, 235, 630, 735XT and the Fenix 3). Users will also need the Strava and Garmin Connect apps installed on their on their Android or iOS smartphones, which they'll still have to take with them.

Whether it's your spouse, loved one, friend or coach, up to three three people can track your location, according to Strava. The company does add an obvious caveat: If the person being tracked enters an area with poor GPS or mobile coverage, data could be inaccurate or delayed, the company says on its website. Still, this feature could still make athletes and their families a little less worried during those long runs.