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Week in Review–May 19th, 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–May 12th, 2013
Monday: Versailles Triathlon 2013 Race Report
Tuesday: Hitcase Pro iPhone Underwater/Bike/Sports Case Review
Wednesday: Testing out the Pebble watch with new RunKeeper app integration
Thursday Morning: A look at Wahoo KICKR support on Windows via ANT, and what the rest of the industry is doing
Thursday Evening: A London Runaround
Friday: Incredible deals: Garmin FR910XT for $299, FR310XT for $169, Edge 800 for $229, Ambit for $349

Woot, check it out!

I was highlighted this week in The Guardian – which is one of the major UK news organizations.  Here’s the full link to all their thoughts.

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) 5,000 runners told they didn’t run marathon, after directional error: Mid-way through a race all but a single person incorrectly ran the race – effectively meaning everyone else was short about 260 meters. (Via EverymanTri)

2) Recon Heads Up Display for Triathletes (and others) announced: Really cool to see this come to fruition, looking forward to getting some hands on time shortly.

3) A look at the 1924 Paris Olympics…in 2013:  A neat look at one of the Olympic stadiums nearly 90 years later.  And here’s some more recent photos of various Olympic venues rotting away. (Thanks to Woody for sending in!)

4) Think you travel a lot or know places well? Try out this highly addicting Google Earth game where you try and pin-point the location just purely based on Streetview.  You get five rounds to increase your score. Incredibly addicting.

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5) Quantified Self Europe Conference Round-up: Here’s all the presentations (videos) from the European Quantified Self conference that recently occurred.

6) A series: 8 Weeks of Simulated Altitude Training: An interesting look at a facility that can simulate not just recovery at altitude, but the actual training at 10,000ft.

7) Specialized opens up in-house wind tunnel:  Interesting stuff.  Though, I view this more as a marketing/PR benefit than one that’s purely technical (obviously there’s still benefits there too).  It allows for arguments such as “We’re the only company to have an in-house wind tunnel”.  That said, would love to get some testing time in there.  Another article with other photos here.

8) The bat-mo-bike?  Well, something like that.  Worth the read through.

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9) Wanna go run in North Korea?  Well, here’s apparently your chance. Or rather, was your chance.  Fat Cyclist had a fun post recently about their bike tours too.

10) How they take photos of waterproof cell phones underwater: This behind the scenes post reminds me quite a bit of when I took photos of the Xperia Active ANT+ enabled & waterproof cell phone back a while ago.  Or, how I take underwater photos for all my reviews.

11) Washington DC Bans Water Bottles on Pool Decks: All assortment of entertainment here in this post.  Goes completely full circle. Worth the read through.

12) Android affirms support for Bluetooth 4.0 sensors: While some may see this as a good thing – in reality, this announcement is actually bad.  And it’s not bad because of the announcement itself, but because they’re basically saying it’s going to be months until it happens.  Right now the only way apps and devices get Bluetooth 4.0 (Bluetooth Smart) support on Android is when a given app developer puts/cobbles together a custom solution for it.  Nothing standardized.  The hope was back at CES (January) that they’d announce operability and integration into the OS within weeks.  Now they’re saying months to ‘later this year’ depending on who you ask.  Really a big bummer – and a huge disappointment for those hoping to see support for things like the Wahoo KICKR, heart rate/power/speed/cadence/etc sensors and others via Bluetooth Smart on Android.  I bet we don’t see anything now until September at best. :(

Crowd Funded Projects of Athletic Note:

This is a bit of a new section. 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. Note that as always with crowd funded projects, assume the project will be late and will under-deliver on features. Thus far, on the numerous products I’ve helped ‘fund’ (except a leather bike handle), that’s been the case.

Pocket-integrated sports bras: These sports bras include an integrated front pocket which allows storage of all sorts of things from phones to keys to iPods.  Or just a pile of gels. Their product is out there already, their goal with the Kickstarter campaign is to bring manufacturing to the US.

Plume – Recoiling Mudguard: Plume is a recoiling mudguard for your bike. It’s designed to extend when in use, and then recoil back up when not in use.

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 is even better) 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?

Site/Firmware Updates:

FitBit adds Samsung S4 Support: More Android phones added to their Bluetooth Smart sync list.

4iiii’s sending out updated Viiiiva’s: I don’t have a link for this, but all registered users were sent an e-mail. If you didn’t receive one, hit up 4iiii’s support to see if a new strap needs to be sent out (free).

Trainer Road Adds Wahoo KICKR ANT+ support (TR 2.1.0):  I covered this fairly well earlier in the week.

PerfPro gets single-USB stick for KICKR: Also covered earlier in the week in detail in my Thursday post.

Bluetooth SIG adds location and navigation device profile: They’ve been on a bit of a run lately with new profiles. Good to see. (via Niclas G.)

iPhone/iPad App updates this week:

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Ok, so my iPad found these two iPad apps were updated from the week before:

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IMG_0158

 

 

Android App Updates this week:

Screenshot_2013-05-18-23-34-28Screenshot_2013-05-18-23-31-54

Screenshot_2013-05-18-23-32-19Screenshot_2013-05-18-23-33-18

Screenshot_2013-05-18-23-33-41Screenshot_2013-05-18-23-34-10

 

Windows Phone App updates this week:

(There were no Windows Phone updates for sports apps that I have this week)

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Thanks for reading!

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13 Comments

  1. Nick Williams

    Hey Ray, I started reading your site a couple of weeks ago and I’m really enjoying it, especially the race reports.

    Before I started using your site I got an Ultrasport Navrun 500 to use as my first GPS watch. I can’t seem to find a review of it on your site or in the Guardian article you linked. Is it a company that you’ve had much contact with, and am I loseing out on anything by using it as opposed to a similarly priced (£80~$120) gps watch?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Hi Nick!

      Thanks for the note!

      I haven’t talked with them yet. In general I try and review products that are globally available (or working out global distribution), and I think the Ultrasport is primarily UK based. Looking at the specs, it looks like it’s roughly in the camp of something like the Garmin FR10. If you’re happy with it, I’d see no reason to change honestly. In most cases accuracy tends to be pretty good across a broad range of units in the market today, and for most people the how far/fast/long pieces is most critical – all the bells and whistles come later.

      Good luck!

      Reply
    • Nick Williams replied

      Thanks for the reply, I didn’t realise it wasn’t available more widely. It seems to be a little short on distance compared to a friend’s nike+ app but does the job for me.

      Keep up the awesome work, I have no idea how you manage to post everyday

      Reply
  2. Thor R

    Seeing the Polar Beat update reminded me to check if it’s available in the New Zealand App Store yet… alas, still no.

    However, I did note that Polar has released a Bluetooth Stride Sensor (US & Canada only at this stage). Looks like they may be glacially moving to open (as opposed to private) standards?

    Time again to go annoy the Polar twitter, e-mail, etc. folks about that release to NZ App Store!

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Indeed, it’s their plan to move towards BLE. They’re making good progress on that in the app world. I’ll have an update/review on the stride sensor in late May.

      In the meantime, I’ll poke them on why the app isn’t available there.

      Reply
    • Chris @ Polar replied

      We naturally would like to get it all over the globe but have to be patient with Apple’s app store accepting the app to their selection everywhere.

      We update the countries at the link as we get it out there. I personally am not aware of the reasons why the app is not yet available there but am hopeful that we’ll get it there eventually.
      link to polar.com

      Reply
    • Thor R replied

      Thanks for taking the time to reply here Chris.
      I’ll keep an eye on the provided link.

      Reply
  3. Eli

    Not sure what I think of this one:
    link to kickstarter.com
    Looks like its a fitness tracker and uses heart rate variablity(hrv) as the thing it measures with an emphsis on your breathing. (hrv data can show the breathing rate of a person as your heart rate changesa bit depending on if you just breathed out or just breathed in) But not sure how much analysizing they are really doing and if how they intepret the data means anything.

    Reply
    • Eli replied

      This just came out:
      link to kickstarter.com

      Seems cool from the tech side but I hate the shape the currently are. The shape of the drop bar version as my normal position on the hoods of my brakes when on my road bike wouldn’t work with the hard right angle there. The bullhorn shape seems like it wouldn’t work on a mountain bike based commuter as there is no place to put the shifters and brakes (looks cone shaped near the stem and flattened at the handles) Guess they are aiming at single speed bikes.

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      The braclet: Hmm, interesting. I’m not sure what to think of it either. I like the industrial design, but agree with you on the data aspects being potentially questionable as far as analytics go.

      The bars: Really cool integration – love the internals of it. But solid bummer that they don’t have more shapes and for non SS bikes.

      Reply
    • Eli replied

      Going by the comment section it seems like the founders all use single speeds so that why thats all they are showing in the pics, but they aren’t quite the final shapes

      Reply
  4. Eli

    Is it me or is the plume a giant slap bracelet so if you hit a bump like a pothole it could roll up on its own.

    For those interested in visabilioty there is:
    link to kickstarter.com
    But not sure how durable the reflective material is as it seems like the exposed style that wears very quickly. And for caring about being scene a camo pattern is the wrong approch as that would make your body shape stick out less causing you to be a bit harder to see.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Holy brightness batman.

      Thanks for the link though!

      Reply

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