Over the past few weeks as I’ve been talking to folks in the industry a point that keeps coming up is whether or not folks care that Bluetooth Sensors (i.e. HR straps, cycling Speed/Cadence sensors, etc…) can’t be concurrently paired with two devices at the same time. This is contrasted today with ANT+ (or even Polar W.I.N.D. or analog devices) that can be paired to as many watches or head units that you want, at once, at the same time.
To simplify: Today with ANT+ (and similar) you can wear a watch displaying your heart rate as your bike computer can also concurrently display the same information.
Who would care about this? Primarily triathletes and/or other multisport athletes. Especially during the few minutes when you come into/out of transition.
Today in the Bluetooth Smart world, a single device “owns” the sensor connection and once established that sensor can’t be shared with other display devices. So for folks that may use one device for cycling and another for running, this could cause issues if both devices tried to connect to the heart rate strap at the same time. This is a limitation that won’t change overnight with a software update, and will require a hardware change.
Here’s my super-over-simplification drawing of this concept:
The debate amongst many is whether or not the loss of this functionality actually matters. While it’s most common amongst triathletes – it’s actually used quite a bit in gyms and by pro teams/coaches. For example, in talking with SRM they walked through how TdF teams are using this functionality today in training sessions, and how they plan to leverage it further next season with their PC8 platform. Similarly, we see gyms like Lifetime Fitness doing this in scale in spinning and other group sessions, as well as to things like treadmills and other gym equipment. Additionally, applications like TrainerRoad and others are in the same boat. And then of course there’s fools like me who use this daily in product testing five things at once.
But, I want to focus just on you with a super-simple survey. Thus, here’s what I’m looking for in the embedded survey:
A) I have different devices for running and cycling, and do use them at the same time (or dual display at the gym).
B) I have different devices for running and cycling, but don’t ever use them at the same time.
C) I have a single device only, and thus, life is simple and grand.
If you don’t have any devices, then you can go ahead and skip right ahead to your weekend. Do not collect $200.
Here’s the survey embedded below (or, you can use this link to a separate page):
Feel free to drop additional/expanded information and/or related scenarios below that I may not have considered, or, that you may think various industry peeps would be interested in.
Have a great weekend, and thanks for reading!