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Week in Review–February 23rd, 2014

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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 past week.

Saturday: Week in Review–February 15th, 2014
Monday:
Barcelona Half-Marathon Race Report
Monday:
Garmin adds ANT+ power meter support to VIRB action camera
Wednesday:
5 Random Things I Did This Past Weekend
Thursday:
First Look at Garmin’s new Fenix2 Multisport & Triathlon Watch
Friday:
MWC 2014 –Mobile World Congress–Got stuff you want to see?

Sports Technology Hot Deals:

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Garmin Fenix (original) – for $100 off, down to $299: Clever Training has put the original Garmin Fenix on sale for $299, a fairly massive drop in price (and the HR bundle on sale as well).  What’s really interesting here is for folks that don’t much care about swimming or cycling power meter support, as almost every other feature is included on the original Fenix as the Fenix2.  For example, Live Tracking and mobile workout upload are now available with the iOS app and shortly with the Android app.  Indoor pace/distance mode on a treadmill without the footpod, etc… – all included.

Thus, I’d suggest if you were in the market for that ultra-running/hiking/navigation type unit, it’s a solid deal.  Garmin has confirmed that all features currently in the original Fenix1 beta (see firmware update section below) will get final production release status here in the future.  Note that while my full in-depth review of the unit is here, they’ve made so many updates since I’ve initially published, I’d recommend reading my December post on all the new features.

Finally, because the price is considered clearance, you don’t get the usual 10% DCR discount on all items they sell.  However, you do still get the free US shipping…and, it does still support the site.

Suunto Ambit 2s price drop by $50: If products from the Finish company Suunto are more your style, they’ve also dropped the prices here as well, down by $50, from $400 to $350 (and the HR bundle on sale as well).  The DCR 10% coupon is valid here (DCR10WHP), dropping the price quite a bit further, and there’s still free shipping.  The Ambit 2s is the triathlete model that most closely competes with the Garmin FR910XT.  You can see my full in-depth review of it 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) FitBit recalls FitBit Force wristband activity trackers: After all the skin related issues with the unit that have swept across the web, it’s a wonder it’s taken this long.  By the same token, should have published my review last week…grr.

2) What a few weeks of training look like for half-marathon world record holder: A fascinating day by day blow of the training schedule, with exact splits and distances. (via Aaron Hersh/Triathlete Tech)

3) People answering hard/intimate questions mid-run: Somewhat addicting video that seems to have won a number of awards where people are asked a slew of questions mid-run on camera, without notice.

4) Paris streets are made for biking: Cool look at my home city from a cycling standpoint.  Everything they point out…so true! So easy to bike here. (Thanks Ray W!)

5) Robotic air hockey project: Seriously, if you watch one video today, just watch this crazy thing.

6) How to build your own bike stand: Here’s one way to spend less to get a bike stand without all the crazy expensive pre-built options.

7) 16 Signs you’ve become a fully fledged cyclist: A nice quick picture-filled read…almost all of which I simply nod yes to.

8) New GPS chip for smart watches that don’t kill battery: Interesting little chip that’s making the news rounds and should be available in March.  Will have to chat with some folks in Barcelona next week and see what the real story is here. (Via Chris W.)

9) Activity Tracker Gamification of Sex via Spreadsheets: Funny little video, for those that might be tied to their data-driven metrics (cough, the triathlete crowd). (via Eli)

10) A follow-up to last week’s Color Run Photographer debacle: Looks like the photographer and the company behind the Color Run came to an agreement.  Read through the updates for all the details. (via Adam Bussey)

Crowd Funded Projects of Athletic Note:

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.  And finally, me simply mentioning them below is definitely not an endorsement, it’s just me mentioning they exist.

Glowfaster Smart Jacket with heart rate glowing – A Bluetooth Smart connected jacket. I’m pretty sure that’s a first. (Thanks for the heads up Andre)

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:

Garmin Fenix/Tactix/D2 Beta 4.12 Update: Adds Bluetooth Garmin Connect Mobile supported, more ski mode, and fixes a few other things.

Garmin Edge 510 Firmware Update: Looks like largely bug fixes, with one tiny add around recording settings to the activity file.

Garmin Edge 810 Firmware Update: Same as Edge 510.

Garmin VIRB Elite Update: Added the power meter capability that I talked about on Monday in the full post.

Garmin Express Released: This is now the ‘new’ Garmin ANT Agent + Garmin FIT Express combined.  The initial version of this earlier this week did not save the files locally on your computer (critical for most 3rd party apps).  Garmin has since corrected it today and now released a new version.  Details on file locations here.

CycleOps Virtual Training (Desktop): The platform got some updates that make the user interface easier to use, among other items.

iPhone Apps:

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iPad Apps:

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Android Apps:

Screenshot_2014-02-22-19-25-40 Screenshot_2014-02-22-19-27-12

Screenshot_2014-02-22-19-27-26 Screenshot_2014-02-23-02-32-51

Windows Phone Apps:

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Thanks for reading all!

23 Comments

  1. Remco Verdoold

    Not sure about the that type of smart jacket. The guy is barely visible in the dark!! And the light is not for visibility but for self indication. A good gps watch can do probably more just on your wrist, while wearing a highly visible running jacket.

    Reply
  2. Jan

    I guess the Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 was just too late to get into the "Week in review". Interesting to see Samsung bringing out a watch with optical heart rate monitor and accelerometer/gyrometer. It it did just have a GPS, it would have it all - it really looks like everything is converging to one product here, with Garmin also going in the smart watch direction with BT4 notifications .... My feeling is that Garmin is going to get it tough here ... And that Garmin needs to get an optical heart rate monitor going soon.

    link to theguardian.com

    Reply
  3. frank d

    Saw some pictures of the Gear 2 as well and spotted that heart rate sensor on the inside of the watch.

    Very exciting to hear about this low power GPS chip. Might we see this in sports watches later this year? Of certain brands? Or do they all pretty much use broadcom?

    ,,,

    In researching these watches - love doing that on your site Ray! but it sometimes makes my head spin ;) - anyway.

    Some of the things I'd like to avoid is having to charge the watch all the time, as well as plugging it into a laptop/desktop to download data and upload it to the web and being stuck in just one environment or having to export / import manually all the time.

    I'm wishing for more true multi-sport activity watches. Going beyond the essential three. It tracks your day and then you can be out snowshoeing, cross country skiing, hiking, kayaking, paddleboarding, windsurfing, kite surfing ... It is not that these activities are a race, but they can be a good workout if you put a little effort in, they get your heart going and you never know how fast you are going.

    So, it would be nice to be able to glance at your wrist and see your current speed, heart rate, distance traveled and current time. All on one single screen without having to use your other hand to flip through one or two screens. Because you're either wearing (winter) gloves and can't operate the watch buttons or you need your hands on the bar so you can't press buttons at all.

    So I guess I'm waiting for my holy grail multi-sport watch:
    - pretty darn waterproof and a bit rugged, not some flimsy wrist band situation that will disintegrate with the first impact of a branch, boom, ... (spoiled by Casio G-shock)
    - daily activity tracking - if these functions are in cheap activity trackers, why not have them in sports watches as well ?
    - support for more than one custom apps / custom sports
    - data screen customizable with 4 fields (hr, speed, distance, time)
    - low power gps
    - long battery life of several weeks with minimized gps use
    - bluetooth 4
    - ant+
    - untethered smartphone / tablet app data collection
    - 3rd party app support

    Reply
  4. Tyler

    Bike stand link doesn't seem to work.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Looking at the error message, it's staying there are too many concurrent connections to his server. Opps, my bad.

      Reply
    • champ replied

      Sorry about that, the server had some issues. Should be all fixed now :D

      Reply
  5. David

    Loving the 3rd on your internet trawl - the Banyak film with runners answering questions mid-run. Surprisingly addictive by the end.

    Reply
  6. Christopher Kapraun

    As for software updates, it was at first frustrating Friday PM setting up the new version of Garmin connect on my iPhone just to have the app crash every time I tried starting a livetrack on my Forerunner 220. But then I grabbed my s3 to see what they did on Android and was pleasantly surprised that first quarter of 2014 is "NOW" for people waiting for the Android version of connect to work with Forerunners. Good blog. And is my wrist starting to itch under my Force?

    Reply
    • Luke replied

      My connect also crashed when I started a livetrack for my 620.
      Just reinstalled it and it seems to be working fine...

      Reply
  7. Paul L

    Hey Ray, is there such a thing as a "season" for announcements?

    I'd like to know if there's a time where I can be reasonably sure that all the new stuff has been announced, so I can make an informed purchase decision. Or is it all just kind of a scattershot type of deal?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Roughly speaking:

      First week of January - CES announcements
      Feb-April, usually ending around the Boston Marathon: Spring/Summer Fitness announcements
      (Last call is 1st week of May)
      End of Aug/Mid-September - Eurobike for Cycling announcements
      September-October - Running-related projects running late for the holidays

      That's roughly the schedules. In general, if you don't hear of something by the first week of May, the next 'stop' on the announcements train is really mid-August ahead of Eurobike and the fall running season. And if you don't hear of an announcement by Halloween, it's too late for the holidays, and won't happen till CES in January.

      Of course, there are random conferences/conventions that sometimes companies get suckered into going to, and then they use that to announce a product. For example, Polar with ISPO and the V650 back a few weeks ago. Companies like to announce products at expo's because executives believe it gets them widespread press. In reality though, the more I talk with folks in the industry, the more they'll note that actually that hurts more than helps - especially tech products. There's just too many products to cover that most get half-ass coverage. Versus just launching on a random March Tuesday, the (tech press) world's your oyster.

      Here's the rough major fitness focused events each year:

      Early January: CES - Consumer Electronics Show (Vegas)
      Late January: ISPO - European Heath and Fitness Show (Munich)
      Late January: Outdoor Retailer Winter - Very few announcements there (Salt Lake City)
      Mid February: MWC - Mobile World Congress, mobile and some health (Barcelona)
      Early August: Outdoor Retailer Summer - Very few announcements, tons of NDA stuff (Salt Lake City)
      Late August: Eurobike - Cycling show (Town I can't spell in Germany)
      Mid September: Interbike - Cycling show (Las Vegas)

      There's also a few other events like the IHRSA and what-not, but most of the sports tech companies don't announce there, they just go and show old stuff.

      Reply
    • Paul in Kirkland replied

      Wow, thanks a lot for the detailed response. Really appreciate it!

      Reply
  8. Lieven(.be)

    For those in Europe interested in the Garmin Fenix, Amazon.co.uk also dropped its price to £250 (from £348 last week). Use the link in the right sidebar to use DC as referrer :-)

    Reply
  9. Peter

    Have you had problems uploading your garmin data to garmin connect via wahoo fitness (on your iPad) since garmin updated to garmin express? I can't get my data to load to my garmin connect profile anymore. :(

    Reply
    • Mark replied

      Yes, when attempting to upload an activity from the Wahoo Fitness app on iPhone to Garmin Connect, there is the following error message:
      A server error occurred while uploading workout data.
      The workaround of emailing yourself the TCX or GPX file from the Wahoo app, then manually uploading that to Garmin Connect also does not work:
      An error occurred with your upload. Please try again.

      Reply
    • Domagoj K replied

      I can confirm this.
      Just had another spin on my Kurt Kinetic Road Machine and when I tried to upload it (from KK app on my iPhone) to Garmin Connect it fails.
      "An error occurred with your upload. Please try again."
      Is the message I get.
      And this happened couple of times in row now.

      Any news about this?

      Hope they will fix it soon.

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Yeah, Wahoo and pretty much everyone else broke on Thursday. Garmin changed a few things, which in turn broke most programmers. I've been playing a fair bit of shuttle diplomacy over the past few days, and I think the majority of app-devs that broke are on the bus to getting access to the new API (hopefully tomorrow). They had to agree to what looked like a fairly standard API terms agreement first.

      Once they get access to the API, then they'll need to update their own apps, then publish to the various app stores, which, could take some time.

      Garmin states it was unintentional, though, I'm honestly not sold on that one. Testing just one single app would have told them it broke everyone (which it did). Sigh.

      Reply
    • Andre replied

      Yeah, I'm working on a cycling website and it broke my code also. It's pretty obvious garmin knew it was going to break everyone's integration.

      Looking at the new garmin connect login page, it looks like they will have a garmin auth api?

      Reply
    • Ted Howe replied

      It is good to hear that the app devs should be getting access pretty quickly.

      I have a feeling this may be a bit of intentionally "unintentional" - and a way to shake out the traffic from unsupported apps. If developers are still maintaining their apps, they will quickly sort it out.

      It is a real pain right now to have to manually upload my runs from iSmoothRun... and I have no good way to get data into ConnectStats on my iPad. I had gotten used to being PC free for the sync/analysis of my data.

      Reply
  10. Tomas Kazragis

    Regarding Garmin Express, looks like I can't upload weight data from Forerunner 910XT anymore. I can collect it from Tanita, but can't upload... Rolled back to Ant agent and I still can upload data. The question - for how long?

    @DC Rainmaker, I saw you already have modern Garmin Connect view. Is Fitness section still there? Or there's no point to stick to Ant agent as Garmin planning to remove it? Thanks.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I'm still on the old Garmin Connect, at least until tomorrow.

      Reply
    • Ricardo Sequeira replied

      When modern garmin connect will be available for garmin fenix 2 users? thanks

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      The current plan is once all the kinks get worked out. Right now, honestly, it's kinda broken most of the times. And I usually end up back in classic edition to get anything done.

      Reply

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