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Week in Review–January 26th, 2013

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The Week in Review is a collection of both all the goodness I’ve written during the past week around the internet, as well as a small pile of links I found interesting – generally endurance sports related. I’ve often wondered what to do with all of the coolness that people write, and while I share a lot of it on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, this is a better forum for sending it on to y’all. Most times these different streams don’t overlap, so be on the lookout at all these places for good stuff!

So with that, let’s get into the action!

DCRainmaker.com posts this past week:

Here’s all the goodness that ended up on the main page of DCRainmaker.com this week.

Sunday: Week in Review–January 19th, 2013
Monday: A Snowy Parisian Run (and Sledding Into The Water)
Tuesday: Power2Max Power Meter In-Depth Review
Wednesday: The Great DC Rainmaker 2013 Survey!
Thursday: Wahoo Fitness KICKR now (sorta) available for pre-order
Friday: Because it’s cold: Garmin FR910XT Giveaway

Stuff that I found interesting around the interwebs:

Here’s a not-so-small smattering of all the random things that I stumbled on while doing my civic duty to find the end of the Internet:

1) Coming to France to cycle?  Related to this, I read just this morning that it’s a 40 billion euro a year business (how they calculate that exactly is a wee bit questionable).  And yes, that was with a ‘B’, like Bazinga.  In any case, that first link has some good stuff on options.

2) Going running in the cold?  Here’s a quick primer that reminds you that you won’t die if you do.  And, some general tips on running in the cold.  It’s not too bad of a post from a tech site, likely because they consulted the guru of run training (Dr. Jack Daniels – the guy behind the Daniels Running formula)

3) The dangers of riding in tight pants (for guys): A funny but serious look at giving your goods a bit of breathing room.

4)Survivorman Les Stroud talks about how he shoots all his own stuff:  This will be pretty cool.  Chase Jarvis is a well known photographer, primarily focusing on endurance/extreme sports (like backcountry skiing).  He’s going to interview Les Stroud live about some of the behind the scenes stuff and the whole thing will be streamed online.  I’ve watched some of his other interviews and always been entertained/impressed.  This upcoming Wednesday.

5) The Reviewer Card: Seriously, go read this piece from the LA times on the crazy idea that people should carry a plastic card around and drop it on the table of places they go to let them know they’re about to be reviewed.  Fear not, no reviewer card for me.  Thankfully, gadgets are fairly straight forward most of the time and don’t vary depending on whether or not the server likes you (no, that the web server!).

6) Quarq announces new power meters: Quarq has launched a couple of new power meters this past week.  These mostly take the electronics pod we saw in the SRAM RED Quarq unit, and port them down to cheaper units – starting at about $1,500 including cranks.  I don’t at the moment plan to do a review, since it’s effectively the same technologically as what I reviewed back in June.  That said, cool stuff – especially for those that frequently change chainrings.

7) Want to get bike directions via good vibrations?  Well, here’s your opportunity…or rather, gadget.  This device plans to ‘nudge’ you to the correct turns on your route via vibrations.  Interesting idea. (Thanks to Ron for sending in).

8) BMW designs the US Olympic Team Bobsled: Probably the coolest looking Bobsled around, even if only due to the paint scheme.  I had tweeted that I’d love to see a BMW bike.  Then a slew of folks reminded me BMW makes bikes…and how ugly they are.  I want the Bobsled instead.

9) Can you run faster than the subway?  Very cool video time-trial put together literally just a few blocks away from me here in Paris where a guy with a GoPro gets off the train at one stop, and attempts to beat it (via running) to the next stop.  Crazy to watch.

10) Controlling your GoPro from Leikr?  Well, not today.  But I was surfing around and didn’t realize that GoPro opened up the API to allow you to write your own apps to control the cameras.  What you see at the link there is an example of a Windows Phone app doing so.  Given that logic, Leikr has WiFi and could potentially be extended to control your GoPro right from your handlebars.  Of course, this is just me thinking outside the box – not committing them to anything.

11) Fitness Tracker App…without the Fitness Tracker: This app claims to be able to track your day to day fitness (even cycling) in the same way as other accelerometer based physical devices.  All you have to do is run the app in the background.  I haven’t tried it out yet, but I think this sort of thing is the future of this space. (H/T to Hunter)

12) Top 50 Triathlon Shops in the US:  Unlike most ‘Top 50’ type lists, there’s actually a lot of interesting data as to how they came to this formulation.  Worth the read.

13) The Tour Down Under – The Bikes: Here’s a gallery of what I believe to be all of the team bikes that are in the TdU this year.  Good stuff.

14)  Spirit of Triathlon Photo Contest: This is from one of the pro triathlon photographers I follow, they’re doing a contest (complete with various categories like AG rankings) for the best tri photo.  The winners gets featured in Triathlete.com and a photo gear bag.

Crowd funded projects of athletic note:

This is a bit of a new section that I’ve been toying with adding.  Most of this content used to be found within the main section, but I figured I’d just call it out up here and make it easy to find.  I regularly sift through Kickstarter and Indiegogo (plus a few others on occasion) looking for sports projects. 

Here’s the projects of note that are new:

Integrated Seat Post Bike Lock:  This is an interesting idea that replaces your seat post with a cable lock system.  The lock doesn’t just secure your seat post, but then wraps through your frame to the object of your choices.  Interesting idea.  I likely won’t jump in on this one, as I don’t personally have a need for it.  But some of you might. Close to hitting funding goals too.

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Amiigo: This is another health and fitness tracker, sorta like the Nike Fuelband or the Jawbone Up.  Except the core difference is they measure more stuff (like skin temperature, heart rate, and blood oxygen levels), and they’ve got an open-SDK, so developers to do whatever they want to do with the unit.  They’ve already screamed through their funding requirements, and are currently in the ‘collecting gravy’ phase until their funding phase ends in 35 days.  They’re sending me a test unit to try out shortly, so I may have some feedback here before the end of their funding phase.

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Projects still ‘open’:

These are projects I’m tracking, but haven’t closed the funding period yet.

Orp: Goal not yet reached.  They need to get on the horn, no pun intended, and get the word out. The have an incredibly cool idea, but just need more publicity.

Bike Tire Pressure Sensor: Goal not yet reached.  Like Orp, they need to get out the word, STAT!  They’ve actually got more applications than just cycling, as there are a number of motorsport applications that can use it.

Leikr GPS watch: Goal not yet reached.  Same boat as the others.  They have about 6 days left, and really need to ramp up communications to hit their funding goals.  The goal is actually still quiet doable, but only if they wake up.

In general, I feel like many Kickstarter projects don’t really get how to rally up support for their projects.  The BTPS one got off to a good start – has $56K in funding, but way overestimated at $120K for full funding.  That won’t hit the goals.  There’s been no comments from them for 10 days – which is an eternity in the Kickstarter world during the funding phase.  In short, you generally want to bombard folks to get out the word.  I always point to the Bia folks as a prime example of how to do this correctly – potentially to the point of annoyance.  But they managed to come back and hit some incredible funding goals at literally the last minute.  If you’re reading this, and own one of the above projects, really, go look at the ‘Updates’ section of the Bia project from back at the very beginning.  It’s really the way to do it.

Notable Sports Technology Deals:

This may evolve into a ‘Deal of the week’ section, or it might not.  These were on my radar before I wrote the survey question this week asking about it.  I’ll be talking with Clever Training about how we can structure a ‘Deal of the week’, as they return from Outdoor Retailer this past week.

Garmin FR70 – $109: Garmin put up a bit of a sale on this, and Clever Training matched it.  And, the DCR10AKG discount (10%) is still valid on all items in your basket. The core difference between the FR60 and the FR70 is simply the band was upgraded to reduce issues with it.  The price is good for both men’s and women’s color variant.

Again, I’ll sort what I want this section to look like in the coming weeks – but a lot of you showed interest in it.

Sports Technology Software/Firmware Updates This Week:

Each week I quickly highlight some of the new firmware, app, software and website service updates that I see go out. If you’re a sports technology company and release an update – shoot me a quick note (just one liners is perfect, or Tweet it at me) and I’ll make mention of it here. If I don’t know about it, I won’t be able to post about it. Sound good?

Nike+ Fuelband gets updated firmware: Trying to find a bit of detail on what exactly was updated.  But I have found a small smattering of folks on Twitter whose Fuelband’s died post-firmware.

Basis Watch gets updated firmware as well: Looks like mostly bug fixes, along with some changes to step metrics.

iPhone App Updates this week:

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Ok, that’s all folks!

Thanks for reading!

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15 Comments

  1. Dan

    I like the added “Crowd Funded” & “Deals” sections of W-I-R. Thanks!

    Reply
  2. ekutter

    Tried the “Move” app. Pretty interesting. Installed it this morning. A bit later I went for an easy two mile run (according to my FR910). After the run, I checked the app. Says I ran 2.2 mi in 18 minutes. Time was within 15 seconds of actual run time. Note, I didn’t have to tell it I was running, or when I was done. It just figured this out! This is in addition to the 334 steps of walking. Pretty intriguing. I’m impressed. Definitely seems like the sort of thing that would be great to track the typical persons day and get a realistic idea of their activity

    Reply
  3. Myria

    “I like the added “Crowd Funded” & “Deals” sections of W-I-R. Thanks!”

    Seconded!

    I’m kind of surprised the Leikr is doing that poorly, I know it was featured on several major tech blogs and that alone usually gets the word out pretty widely. I wonder if it’s the cost that is keeping people away?

    Whatever the case, it doesn’t seem very likely they’ll hit their funding goal.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I think it’s overpriced at the current funding levels. They’re in a pickle now in that they can’t add more slots – because people who paid more would get upset (right so).

      I think paying that much for a unit that hasn’t proven itself is tough, especially when you compare it to units in the same price category.

      Reply
  4. John S

    FYI–I clicked the link for the BTPS Kickstarter page and the creators have cancelled the Kickstarter campaign.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Indeed, they sent out a notification to backers about three hours ago. Bummer. Not sure why they cancelled versus just letting it go unfunded.

      Reply
  5. Oldrich

    Hello Ray, Moves app looks pretty interesting. Just installed it on my iPhone. They recommend to let the app on whole day (and I read their story regarding the battery life). I plan to test and see myself. What I’m not clear though is how it handles everyday routines – e.g. you walk, than you hop on the bus, train, you drive a car) and you walk again. Does it detect the movement based on the speed? My use case would be walking only (for sport activities I plan to keep on using dedicated devices). But I’m interested to know how much I walk throughout the day (and I’m not keen on additional hardware on my body. iPhone is with me all the time).

    Reply
  6. Tom

    I gave the Moves app a go too, but found that rather than having issues with battery life, it significantly slowed down the response time of my iPhone 4, even when it was just running in the background.

    Maybe that’s just because the iPhone 4 is now getting on a bit, but as you can imagine, it’s a pain!

    Reply
  7. The Moves app is intriguing…especially coming from someone who’s a die hard FitBit user. If this would replace it…wow! Still vague on how the company plans to make any money, though…I would hate to see location-based ads rear their ugly head…

    Reply
  8. Chris

    I tried the Move App as well. Works as described, except for battery time. Something else may be draining my iPhone 5 battery, but I usually make it 16 hours before having to worry about a recharge, today I only made it 8 hours. Now I am at 16% and wishing I would of brought my cable to work. Good in theory, not in practice.

    Reply
  9. Eli

    Looks like Leikr made it :)

    Reply
    • Myria replied

      Yeah, I sure guessed wrong on that one.

      Still pretty badly overpriced for what it is, IMHO — $450 is their retail target price, seriously? — but I’ll hold out a tiny grain of hope that they’ll improve and broaden the feature list, turning it into a better — and, hopefully, supported — version of the Motoactv.

      Reply
    • Mans replied

      I am not 100% sure they really made it…Some mysterious 10K pledges (and not even the visit leikr option selected). One paranoid guess of mine, it was the leikr team itself and they will withdraw one of those pledges the moment they have enough to keep the pledge level above 250K

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I’ve seen ‘investor’ type pledges in other projects. Whether these are simply team members contributing, or backers of another type – they do tend to be someone close to the project.

      That said, I’m not aware that you can undo a pledge once it’s there.

      Reply
    • Mans replied

      @ray, its not that hard, go to manage pledge and scroll down for cancel.
      But I hope enough pledges will be made so even some bailing out backers will not be a problem

      Reply

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