Garmin's period tracking feature was developed by an all-female team, from engineers to marketing. "In this way, we could ensure we were authentically addressing a women's actual wants and needs," said Susan Lyman, Garmin's vice president of global consumer marketing in a press release.
Technology has a dubious track record in addressing women's "actual wants and needs" when it comes to their bodies. Fitness trackers have been late to the game in adopting features specifically designed for women's health. While separate apps aimed at women's menstrual cycles are almost as old as smartphones, they vary highly in quality and ease of use. Women who sought a comprehensive picture of their health all in one place -- from their menstrual cycle, sleep and calories burned -- didn't have that many options until recently. Following complaints, Apple announced it would be adding a period tracking feature in 2015; an entire year after it debuted their HealthKit. Fitbit only launched a period tracking feature back in July, and its features are pretty lacking.
One notable perk of Garmin's period tracker is that it will allow women to customize their cycles based on whether they're regular, irregular or nearing menopause. Period apps are easily thrown off by irregular or short periods, but hopefully Garmin's new period tracking feature will better accommodate this.