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Week in Review–February 17th, 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–February 9th, 2013
Monday: A flooded run and some brotherly love with new incoming gear
Wednesday: Mio Alpha Optical Heart Rate Monitor In-Depth Review (Bluetooth Smart/ANT+)
Friday: An epic week skiing in the French Alps

Paris Blog Posts:

Here’s all the Parisian fun we’ve been having on our Paris sub-blog.  And yup, they’re back in the main RSS feed these days!

Friday: Paris Blog: Friday night date night…at the restaurant supply store

To see all previous Paris Blog posts, simply click here.

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) $250,000 worth of Team Garmin bikes stolen: If you follow pro cycling, this is probably old news to ya.  But for everyone else, pretty astounding story earlier this week causing the team to pull out of the Tour de Mediterranean.  In unrelated news, Team Garmin orders 16 GTU10’s to mount under seats for future events…

2) Behind the scenes on the Verizon Strava Valentines commercial: Kinda a neat look at how they made last years commercial to create a cycling GPS track using Strava for a Valentines day message.

3) What it’s like to shoot (photography) the Olympics: A pretty cool behind the scenes post of all sorts of things you never thought about from a pro sports photographer.

4) A lot of people ask about Google Glass (the glasses): Here’s a not-so-detailed update from them.  In my opinion, ignoring the massive price tag for the units, I don’t see it breaking into the sports side of things for a few years.  But, like any big company – once they do break into that portion of the market, it’ll dramatically change things.  Sorta like…

5) In the DC area? Want to donate old sports medals to a good cause?  This non-profit group aims to recycle the medals for use at Children’s Hospitals.  There are also other chapters of the same organization nationwide.  Hit up the link and see how you can help.

6) A look at the new Under Armor tracking body tracking system: Some cool stuff coming from UA.  But also a bit of smoke and mirrors too.  On one hand you have a company that definitely measuring interesting things and sending those interesting metrics to their iOS app.  But on the other hand, despite lots of talk about doing it down the line in an open way (and bashing others for being closed), it’s all closed today.  We know this for two reasons – namely that #1: There actually isn’t a standard yet to transmit any of the data types they talk about (except HR), and #2: They won’t specify a timeline for any open access to the data they’ve collected about you.  Just callin’ it like it is…

7) In Toronto, they race bikes on ice skating rinks: Anytime an ice rink is involved, I can almost guarantee Canadians are at the forefront of it. (via Bikehugger)

8) ANT+ Updates Power Meter Profile for new PM’s: This new update helps products like the recently released Rotor PM have additional ANT+ metrics (Torque Effectiveness and Pedal Smoothness).  Though, at the time there are no ANT+ head units to take advantage of them.  Also of note is a few thoughts about it from the guy building his own power meter.

9) Cooking an omelet while cycling on rollers: The of the ladies from the HiTec cycling team shows us all how it’s done. (via Bikehugger)

10) Picking a triathlon distance: Here’s a relatively straight forward (but helpful for new folks) article on deciding which triathlon distance you should pick for your race.

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?

Fitbit adds Android App Beta: If you’ve got the little bit of Fit, and certain Android phones with Bluetooth Smart, then you’re in business.

Garmin Swim adds large pool support: If you’re one of those lucky ducks with access to the massive 100m+ long pool outside of Vancouver, then you’re in luck!  Garmin has updated the Garmin Swim firmware with a bunch of new items, including support for your digs.  See list for remainder of items.

Magellan releases 1.6 version of Active site: It’s cool to see them continue to add new features.  Slow and steady wins the race?

Magellan releases 1.5 version of developer API’s: And, for the 3rd party developers out there, you get treats too.

Magellan releases Switch/Switch Up firmware update: This is aimed at fixing many of the pace issues that the unit previously suffered from. Would LOVE to hear from folks on how this works out for them.

Garmin adds weather stats to Garmin Connect: At some point over the last couple weeks, Garmin added weather stats to GC.  So now you get historical data for your activities (even from years ago).  Kinda neat actually.  They’ve added a bunch of other items, but I’m covering those in an upcoming post. (via Nathan)

Strava adds additional early access Android features: Head on over and sign-up, if you’re of the Android persuasion and want some updated goods.

Peripedal adds additional data fields: If you haven’t heard of Peripedal, it’s a software app that utilizes ANT+ sensors to display your indoor trainer information, as well as estimate power based on known power curves (and then broadcast this back out as a power meter over ANT+).  Cool stuff.

Spot adds additional site feature: If you’ve got a Spot Tracker and use their site (likely), swing on over to see what’s new.

iPhone App Updates this week:

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5 Comments

  1. Myria

    I'm at something of a loss as to what could possibly make the UA system worth anything like what they want for it. As best I can determine, and they are coy with the smoke-an-mirrors, it's an HRM and accelerometer -- not exactly a comprehensive sensor suite -- with some memory for storage. Other than the memory, not exactly new and original -- ignoring the "willpower" silliness (the only thing worse than a meaningless pseudo-metric is a proprietary meaningless pseudo-metric).

    $150 for the strap and $200 for the watch? Ouch. I think I paid about $200 for my Motoactv (yeah, I know, MotoGoogle isn't exactly supporting it these days, but I've never had problems with mine) and around $40 for an HRM/strap (and thirty-something each for two footpods), getting all the UA system does (minus silly pseudo-metrics) plus GPS, MP3 player, and a whole lot more.

    Just not seeing where the UA system is the big breakthrough they're trying to sell it as, nor how it's worth anything like what they want for it.

    Reply
  2. Eli

    For UA isn't most of what they do good marketing above all else with good ties to the pro market (NFL and the like) to make them seem great? Seems like the openness is they promise to support Android after the release of it.

    Willpower I don't think is complete crap, I'm guessing it uses heart rate variability like Firstbeat ATHLETE (link to firstbeat.fi) that is the source of training effects used by Garmin's 610 and 910xt.

    Reply
  3. Kris

    Magellan update really helped the distance accuracy on my Switch Up. I have a 10.3 mile (wheel measured) trail loop I run. Before the update, 2 loops would register 22 miles. Now, it's right at 20.6. Significantly better than before.

    Reply
  4. I just added support for the new ANT+ Bike Power profile 3.0 version features to my Android app IpBike. You can add the left and right Torque Effectiveness and Pedal smoothness fields to the customisable display. Average stats are also displayable and gathered for the bike, ride and lap. No logging support yet I am waiting on an updated FIT api which should be out soon.

    Reply
    • Eli replied

      I thought the android sdk didn't support FIT

      Reply

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