Mar. 16
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In the Queue: The 4iiii’s Viiiiva ANT+ to Bluetooth HR Strap Bridge

Phew, that’s a long title.  I’ve had this for a few weeks now, and will be testing it for at least a number more weeks before I publish a review on it.  I’m pending some updated firmware which will enable many of the scenarios that I believe are most beneficial to fulfilling the complete ANT+ to BLE bridge aspects.  But I’ve had some really good discussions with them, and things are getting sorted out.  In the meantime, a few photos.  Note the image of the cadence sensor is an ANT+ cadence sensor paired over BLE to the Wahoo BLE test app.  Cool stuff.

Update: Full In-Depth Review now posted!

March 16. 2013QueueComments (45)
Mar. 16
IMG_1416_thumb.jpg

In the Queue: The 4iiii’s Viiiiva ANT+ to Bluetooth HR Strap Bridge

Phew, that’s a long title.  I’ve had this for a few weeks now, and will be testing it for at least a number more weeks before I publish a review on it.  I’m pending some updated firmware which will enable many of the scenarios that I believe are most beneficial to fulfilling the complete ANT+ to BLE bridge aspects.  But I’ve had some really good discussions with them, and things are getting sorted out.  In the meantime, a few photos.  Note the image of the cadence sensor is an ANT+ cadence sensor paired over BLE to the Wahoo BLE test app.  Cool stuff.

Update: Full In-Depth Review now posted!

March 16. 2013QueueComments (45)
Mar. 16
IMG_1462_thumb.jpg

In the Queue: The 4iiii’s Viiiiva ANT+ to Bluetooth HR Strap Bridge

Phew, that’s a long title.  I’ve had this for a few weeks now, and will be testing it for at least a number more weeks before I publish a review on it.  I’m pending some updated firmware which will enable many of the scenarios that I believe are most beneficial to fulfilling the complete ANT+ to BLE bridge aspects.  But I’ve had some really good discussions with them, and things are getting sorted out.  In the meantime, a few photos.  Note the image of the cadence sensor is an ANT+ cadence sensor paired over BLE to the Wahoo BLE test app.  Cool stuff.

Update: Full In-Depth Review now posted!

March 16. 2013QueueComments (45)
Mar. 16
IMG_1401_thumb.jpg

In the Queue: The 4iiii’s Viiiiva ANT+ to Bluetooth HR Strap Bridge

Phew, that’s a long title.  I’ve had this for a few weeks now, and will be testing it for at least a number more weeks before I publish a review on it.  I’m pending some updated firmware which will enable many of the scenarios that I believe are most beneficial to fulfilling the complete ANT+ to BLE bridge aspects.  But I’ve had some really good discussions with them, and things are getting sorted out.  In the meantime, a few photos.  Note the image of the cadence sensor is an ANT+ cadence sensor paired over BLE to the Wahoo BLE test app.  Cool stuff.

Update: Full In-Depth Review now posted!

March 16. 2013QueueComments (45)
Mar. 16
IMG_1403_thumb.jpg

In the Queue: The 4iiii’s Viiiiva ANT+ to Bluetooth HR Strap Bridge

Phew, that’s a long title.  I’ve had this for a few weeks now, and will be testing it for at least a number more weeks before I publish a review on it.  I’m pending some updated firmware which will enable many of the scenarios that I believe are most beneficial to fulfilling the complete ANT+ to BLE bridge aspects.  But I’ve had some really good discussions with them, and things are getting sorted out.  In the meantime, a few photos.  Note the image of the cadence sensor is an ANT+ cadence sensor paired over BLE to the Wahoo BLE test app.  Cool stuff.

Update: Full In-Depth Review now posted!

March 16. 2013QueueComments (45)
Mar. 16
IMG_1406_thumb.jpg

In the Queue: The 4iiii’s Viiiiva ANT+ to Bluetooth HR Strap Bridge

Phew, that’s a long title.  I’ve had this for a few weeks now, and will be testing it for at least a number more weeks before I publish a review on it.  I’m pending some updated firmware which will enable many of the scenarios that I believe are most beneficial to fulfilling the complete ANT+ to BLE bridge aspects.  But I’ve had some really good discussions with them, and things are getting sorted out.  In the meantime, a few photos.  Note the image of the cadence sensor is an ANT+ cadence sensor paired over BLE to the Wahoo BLE test app.  Cool stuff.

Update: Full In-Depth Review now posted!

March 16. 2013QueueComments (45)
Mar. 16
IMG_1410_thumb.jpg

In the Queue: The 4iiii’s Viiiiva ANT+ to Bluetooth HR Strap Bridge

Phew, that’s a long title.  I’ve had this for a few weeks now, and will be testing it for at least a number more weeks before I publish a review on it.  I’m pending some updated firmware which will enable many of the scenarios that I believe are most beneficial to fulfilling the complete ANT+ to BLE bridge aspects.  But I’ve had some really good discussions with them, and things are getting sorted out.  In the meantime, a few photos.  Note the image of the cadence sensor is an ANT+ cadence sensor paired over BLE to the Wahoo BLE test app.  Cool stuff.

Update: Full In-Depth Review now posted!

March 16. 2013QueueComments (45)
Mar. 16
IMG_9709_thumb.png

In the Queue: The 4iiii’s Viiiiva ANT+ to Bluetooth HR Strap Bridge

Phew, that’s a long title.  I’ve had this for a few weeks now, and will be testing it for at least a number more weeks before I publish a review on it.  I’m pending some updated firmware which will enable many of the scenarios that I believe are most beneficial to fulfilling the complete ANT+ to BLE bridge aspects.  But I’ve had some really good discussions with them, and things are getting sorted out.  In the meantime, a few photos.  Note the image of the cadence sensor is an ANT+ cadence sensor paired over BLE to the Wahoo BLE test app.  Cool stuff.

Update: Full In-Depth Review now posted!

March 16. 2013QueueComments (45)
Mar. 16
IMG_9714.png

In the Queue: The 4iiii’s Viiiiva ANT+ to Bluetooth HR Strap Bridge

Phew, that’s a long title.  I’ve had this for a few weeks now, and will be testing it for at least a number more weeks before I publish a review on it.  I’m pending some updated firmware which will enable many of the scenarios that I believe are most beneficial to fulfilling the complete ANT+ to BLE bridge aspects.  But I’ve had some really good discussions with them, and things are getting sorted out.  In the meantime, a few photos.  Note the image of the cadence sensor is an ANT+ cadence sensor paired over BLE to the Wahoo BLE test app.  Cool stuff.

Update: Full In-Depth Review now posted!

March 16. 2013QueueComments (45)
Mar. 16
IMG_9705_thumb.png

In the Queue: The 4iiii’s Viiiiva ANT+ to Bluetooth HR Strap Bridge

Phew, that’s a long title.  I’ve had this for a few weeks now, and will be testing it for at least a number more weeks before I publish a review on it.  I’m pending some updated firmware which will enable many of the scenarios that I believe are most beneficial to fulfilling the complete ANT+ to BLE bridge aspects.  But I’ve had some really good discussions with them, and things are getting sorted out.  In the meantime, a few photos.  Note the image of the cadence sensor is an ANT+ cadence sensor paired over BLE to the Wahoo BLE test app.  Cool stuff.

Update: Full In-Depth Review now posted!

March 16. 2013QueueComments (45)
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45 Comments

  1. Lars

    Hi!
    I’m looking forward to your complete review! But if I understand you right, it’s “just” Ant+ to BTLE and not the other way (as suggested in your Interbike 2012 post)? That would be… disappointing…
    But I’ll guess it’ll be all wrapped up in your review! ;-)
    Lars

  2. Eli

    Can you check if they support the optional RR interval part of the BLE spec for heart rate data? link to developer.bluetooth.org

    I’m assuming this isn’t meant as a way to send an Ant+ packet to device with only a BLE radio (so would still need special software to use the data), but fully converts the data from an Ant+ profile to the BLE profile equivalent. (so the software only has to know about BLE profiles)

    Thanks.

  3. Drawtender

    I got mine already. I had some issues setting it up to work with an iPhone app. The company could not have been more responsive to my needs, nor faster in their response. Now it takes my ant+ garmin output and sends it over BLE to my phone without any dongles or devices in between. I love it.

  4. Juan M-R

    Been running with mine for a little over two weeks. One thing I’ve noticed is that the heart rate displayed on my FR610 seems to change in 3-4 bpm increments. It’ll display 153, 156, 160, 163, etc. But nothing in between those values. I don’t recall my Wahoo ANT+ strap doing that. Of course, I’ve really only started training to HR since the new strap. So who knows.

    • Rainmaker replied

      Yeah, the blocky HR is something they’re looking to address in an upcoming firmware update (basically, where it looks like lego blocks and not smooth HR).

  5. Michael Poulsen

    Hi Ray
    Have you tried to get the power reading of the tacx IGenius or dó you know If it’s possible?

    • Rainmaker replied

      No, not possible. Tacx doesn’t broadcast in the clear ANT+, they do a private ANT implementation (essentially encrypted). It’s actually something I talked with them about yesterday, but it doesn’t sound like it’s on the radar.

  6. Manfred Rotgers

    any change it will work with android devices??

    • Rainmaker replied

      Not at the moment. Two reasons, one, lack of an app to configure it. But even if you found a friend with an iOS device to get it cooking, you’d still be up a creek. Android today doesn’t support any of the standard health/fitness device profiles for BLE data. :-/

  7. Ryan B

    Don’t the existing bluetooth heart rate sensors (polar h7, zephyr, 60beat) already work with android applications?
    e.g., link to amazon.com
    link to amazon.com

    • Rainmaker replied

      You’re mixing up different BT types (which is really important). Bluetooth Smart sensors do NOT work with Android apps today. Bluetooth legacy ones do however. But, Bluetooth Legacy means battery life is a concern.

    • Ryan B replied

      Yet, I do see people that are getting smart sensors like the polar h7 heart rate strap to work in Android with apps that are available (e.g., Razr, which has bluetooth 4.0, see: link to amazon.com).

      More specifically, I am awaiting the development of an android HRV app from sweetwater health (link to sweetwaterhrv.com). Perhaps I an inferring incorrectly, but my droid razr supports bluetooth 4.0 and it should pair with a bluetooth smart sensor heart rate strap noted on that page. I contacted sweetwater and they told me that the viiii device is not accurate enough for HRV, but apparently viiii will be making a version that will support that level of detail.

    • Rainmaker replied

      So I toyed around with this today a bit on my Android phone (Samsung S3). In short, doesn’t work. Despite what may have been a shim last summer, it’s gone now. On MapMyAnything (Ride/Run/etc…), they’ve disabled all sensor support.

      In fact, if you go into the FAQ it says (as of Feb 21): “Bluetooth heart rate monitors and other sensor connections have been disabled on Android devices until Google updates the Android platform with the ability to include drivers for multiple sensors to improve compatibility pairing and functioning.”

      Sorry!

      Not sure why Sweetwater is saying that Viiiiva doesn’t support RR, since I asked the dev team directly and they say that they do (on both ANT+ and BLE).

      As noted above though, the bigger challenge is simply that BT4.0 devices aren’t really compatible with BT4.0 phones unless the underlying software API is there…and at the moment, for standard devices like these – it’s not yet on Android. :(

    • Ryan B replied

      Thanks for such a great and thorough reply! I guess we will keep waiting.

    • Eli replied

      HRV on BLE is an optional thing a BLE device can implement (not all BLE devices have it, like Wahoo) but all BLE devices that have it send the raw r-r measurements as a number accurate to 1/1024th a second so there wouldn’t seem to be any room for a strap that does HRV to not be accurate. At least that is my understanding. But as mentioned above HR from the strap is blocky, while I think this could be just from the strap trying to do some smoothing of the data or something maybe its something else that impacts HRV too. (You could do heart rate based on the previous r-r measurement from the last heart beat but that number would probably jump around too much)

    • Rainmaker replied

      They had made a firmware decision to go with more smoothing rather than less. They’re planning on changing that in a firmware update to make the data less blocky.

  8. Cindy C

    I’ve used the HR strap for a few weeks. Waiting for other iPhone apps to allow more than one sensor over BTLE. Viiiiva app calories are >500% overstated. Viiiiva is aiming for a fix in an upcoming release.

  9. Sam

    I’m using the HR strap with an Iphone 5 and found out that it couldn’t pair with my powertap hub. As soon as the 4iiii update came along it paired just fine. The only issue now is I’m not getting any power data through my Strava app. It actually shows in the biometric sensors that it’s paired but no data! Have you experienced this?

  10. Hey Ray – I am really looking forward to your review on this one. I have been using the Viiiiva since it’s public release with pretty good results so far. I use the bridge functionality to transmit HR data to my ANT+ computer, while pulling cadence from my on-bike ANT+ sensor into Strava directly. I actually bypass the 4iiii app altogether and have all data (minus power) available at the end of the ride.

    Have you tried using a similar setup with any other app? Strava is working for me, but I want to test Wahoo again.

    Here is my complete, albeit brief review: link to tubelessready.blogspot.com

    Looking forward to your review when it’s ready.

    • Rainmaker replied

      I havent’ yet tried with other apps. But, an updated version of the unit arrived on my doorstep yesterday, so as soon as I get past a few reviews due this week I’ll be layering this in. I have to be somewhat careful in using it in that I need to ensure that when looking at data quality issues in testing other devices (i.e. PM’s or head units), that this doesn’t impact those devices (i.e. if narrowing down a data issue I need to minimize the potential problem children). Hence waiting a bit.

    • Paul Haskell replied

      Sounds good, thanks for the update. Is the updated unit just updated with a new firmware, or new hardware altogether?

    • Rainmaker replied

      Sorta both. The retail units that everyone has are newer that my previous almost-retail unit. So they had to send out new hardware in order to give the newer firmware updates. Hope that makes sense.

  11. Conor

    Looking forward to this review. Have a rough eta for us? :)

  12. CurtisH

    Ray – thanks for the info as always. Any idea if this will pare with the wahoo app for the KICkR?

  13. hennesee

    any news about android yet? with runkeeper nor digifit it doesnt work on my galaxy s4. digifit has smart bluetooth now but does not find the viiiiva.

    • Rainmaker replied

      Android is still stuck due to Bluetooth Smart issues upstream at the Android level. Rumors keep saying “just a few weeks away”. But have been saying that since January.

  14. KenZ

    Regarding HRV: The originally released Viiiiva did NOT support R-R intervals; it wasn’t until the units that started shipping about three weeks ago (April 2013) that it did. I can confirm from both Sweetwater (Sweetbeat app on iPhone) and my new unit that it does work for HRV… or at least it gives you HRV data; whether or not it’s ACCURATE HRV data is another thing. But anyway, it seems to work, and that’s the good news.

    The bad news is it’s the buggiest Ant+ strap I’ve ever used. It’s kinda like when your old plastic Garmin strap starts to fail after roughly a year… except that it’s a new strap. Even if I soak the strap and myself prior to a run, which does help initially with strange data spikes/dropouts, etc, it is still buggy throughout the run, even an hour or two into a run when I’m soaked with sweat. Trail running downhill hard (sub 7 min miles) makes it go totally wonky, with full-on shut offs for a period of time with ZERO data coming out (the Garmin watch has two dashes instead of any HR). Other straps don’t seem to have the same issues.

    I have not tried it with the polar strap, which my GF has, so maybe that’ll fix it???? Either way, I’m a bit disappointed as I LOVE the HRV capability, but was hoping I could get HRV and a training strap in one. So far this isn’t it; I wouldn’t trust it to give me reliable data on a run. Will be curious to see what you find.

    • Rainmaker replied

      Interesting that you’re seeing that on the ANT+ side. I could see the Bluetooth side in certain circumstances because of the way (again, in certain situations) that they handle the data switching. But the ANT+ side is odd since that’s a separate channel. Have you contacted 4iiii’s support?

  15. Hennesee

    Thanks Rainmaker,
    heard rumors that google plans to fix it with the new android 4.3 or 5 however they will call it. Maybe coming straight after the Google conference coming week. Probably coming to my S4 quite soon also as Samsung plans to update it very soon after next android release.

  16. KenZ

    Hey Ray,

    Yeah, I did contact their support (which is, by the way, very responsive and helpful). They’re about to release some sort of update to allow them to datalog some particular bits of something or other to try to help troubleshoot. They actually also suggested trying the polar strap (seriously?) but I suppose it does show they’re trying to get to the bottom of the issue.

    I think for anyone who just bikes, or maybe runs slow and easy for 30 min, it might not be an issue.

    As a company I give them 5/5 stars. But for my trail race this last weekend, I put on the old Garmin strap….

  17. James

    Hi DC Rainmaker great reviews. I ordered a minoura live ride turbo mag trainer and the speed/ cadence sensor and after delivery realised it is ANT and not Blue tooth 4.0 thus not compatible with an iphone 5. Is there any product on the market that can link this or any ANT devices HR etc to an iPhone 5 or is my only option to buy a Wahoo key and get a lighting adaptor with will be a clunky set up.

    Your advice would be appreciated. Also if you have a chance to look at the live ride app your thoughts would be appreciated.

    Regards James

    • Rainmaker replied

      Be double-sure on the Minoura that it’s ANT+, and not private-ANT (I haven’t checked myself on that item). That said, the only two options today are the 4iiii’s and Wahoo.

    • James replied

      Thanks DCRainmaker for your advice. The Minoura speed and cadence sensors are ANT+ , I intend to also buy a Suunto Ambit 2 with HR. Given this what would be your advice which product should I buy the Wahoo or the Viiiiva ? The live ride app has a mathematical power meter based on the constant resistance of the minoura mag trainer so I definitely want this functionality on my iphone 5.

    • James replied

      Hi DC Rainmaker

      I have held of making a purchase pending your review and I’m keen to get my system functional. If this review is going to take a while, what would be your advice about which product should I buy the Wahoo or the Viiiiva to interface the Minoura liveried to iphone 5 ? Thanks for the good work.

      Regards James

    • Rainmaker replied

      I’ve got just about everything collected data-wise, just need to put it all together into a cohesive post.

      Here’s where things stand though:

      1) Native data transfer from an ANT+ PM into the 4iiii’s app is really solid. I’m not seeing any issues there, and I’ve talked to them and they passed all but one of the Quarq open-source ‘Head unit data collection accuracy’ tests. The one they didn’t yet pass they were going to knock out this week.

      2) For power meter data collection to 3rd party apps that aren’t yet updated to support the multichannel aspects (i.e. the Wahoo app), it’s pretty rough. Really rough. Not usable for PM data rough. I’ve got another test I want to do in this area, but in looking at it during my latest ride, it wasn’t usable. Hopefully though, more apps will update for multi-channeling. Given there’s other products coming onto the market by others that need this, I think it’ll happen.

      3) For footpod use I’m not seeing any issues with the default app.

  18. Nik

    Since u have this. Couple questions

    1) can u link the viiiiva to more than one iPhone app? (I use strava + runtastic bike + cyclemeter at the SAME time)

    2) with #1 above, can it still be connected to the ANT+ computer (simultaneouly) ? (I have a garmin)

    3) not sure if u have any other BTLE sensors (I have the wahoo speed/cadence sensor and the HR sensor). Can it be connected?

    4) how do we know the version of the straps? I’m considering getting one but since shipping is $ to overseas, do not wish to have to pay twice for shipping.

    5) really looking forward to the review. DCRAINMAKER style

    • Jeff Chrisope replied

      I have just started playing with the Viiiiva – I mostly want it to talk to my kayak sensor (http://www.vaaka.co.nz) while still having my iPhone in its lovely LifeProof case – and I’m seeing issues when I’m running multiple apps … as in: it doesn’t seem to work with multiple apps. Their instructions seem to hint at that, but I hoped it was just that their 4iiii app took some kind of exclusive lock on the connection. Even with that app totally killed, however, I haven’t yet seen my main simul-apps (Endomondo, Strava, and Wahoo Fitness) working properly just talking to the HRM as a BT sensor. I contacted customer support and they said that BT “didn’t support multiple apps,” but my understanding is that the limitation is BT doesn’t support multiple DEVICES, so this should work – and indeed does work fine with my Wahoo Bluetooth HRM.

      Maybe I’m missing something, however? Or having drop-outs of some kind? I confess I gave up getting multiple apps to work when I couldn’t get good simultaneous credible read-outs at the beginning of my run … maybe my conections was crappy? I switched over to the Wahoo sensor and everything was fine, however. :(

  19. Nik

    That really is sucky. My wahoo pairs fine with multiple apps running in the background. (Strava / runtastic road bike / cyclemeter) and all of them takes in the wahoo blue HRM data without issues.

    What I do know from their twitter acc is that viiiiva handles the ANT+ connection point differently from what the apps expect. It sends a concatenated single long string of data to the head units vs multiple strings as expected from mutilple ant+ or BLE devices.

    They said apps need to be updated to understand that. But since u are not doing that and just using the viiiiva SOLELY as a BLE sensor, it should theoretically work the same as the wahoo.

    Oh well.. That sucks if its true. My viiiva is in the mail and I’m waiting for its arrival.

    Ps: y multiple apps? Upload the GPX data separately to the websites. Saves phone batt

  20. V

    Very nice tool!!!!

  21. Hi All-

    The Full In-Depth review is now posted here: link to dcrainmaker.com

    I’m going to go ahead and close comments here and have folks comment on that post if there’s any questions.

    Thanks!