Garmin Philippines recently announced the availability of its new e-sports-oriented rugged GPS smartwatch – the Instinct E-sports Edition. Back in January, Garmin struck a partnership with French e-sports organization Team Vitality to equip the its players with the new product.
In the country, the smartwatch maker will be collaborating with e-sports talent agency Tier One Entertainment to feature the Instinct at play in Valorant matches that will be streamed live on AMPLFY’s Facebook page.
While the smartwatch market is usually dominated by trekkers, trainers, and multitaskers, the new smartwatch is specifically targeting the gaming industry – even using a dedicated e-sports activity function to track and analyze heart rate and stress during play, as well as offer long-term trend analysis.
According to research firm IDC, for the third quarter of 2020 alone, the global wearables market grew by 35.1% year over year. This renewed interest is driven by continuous launches from tech giants like Apple and Samsung. Consumer spending on electronics also rose with the decline of travel and dining spending.
During the extensive lockdown restrictions at the onset of the pandemic, one area unaffected by these stricter conditions is the gaming industry. In fact, there have been numerous reports from gaming developers and companies on significantly higher traffic and spending from their respective player bases.
Garmin plans to tap this market with the gamer-oriented Instinct, even adding a dedicated PC streaming tool called ‘STR3AMUP!’ that uploads the real-time biometric of streamers to their audience. The brand also highlights a three-day battery life for the ‘esports mode.’
“Elite athletes around the world depend on Garmin products to monitor and improve their performance. With the Instinct Esports Edition, esports athletes can tap into that same technology to track and examine how their body responds to intense competition,” said Scoppen Lin, director of Garmin Asia.
Similar to the setup with Team Vitality, the smartwatch will be used to track the biometric data of Tier One’s players and displayed for the livestreaming audiences, highlighting the changes in the player’s biometric especially during clutch plays.
“Players can also use Instinct’s data to make adjustments in their daily lives, whether it be altering sleep patterns or activity levels, which can result in increased cognitive and physical performance during play,” Lin said.
Apart from the dedicated gaming mode, the Instinct Esports Edition will also feature standard smartwatch functionality – 14 days of battery life in smartwatch mode, rugged design and high-contrast display, smartphone pairing and notification alerts, heart rate monitoring, stress tracking, and sleep data.
The new Instinct Esports Edition is already with a suggested retail price of P16,995 in all Garmin Brand Stores and official Garmin online stores — Lazada, Shopee, Zalora, Kinetic.com.ph and Garmin PH Viber Community.