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Week in Review: March 2nd, 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.

Sunday: Week in Review–February 23rd, 2014
Monday: 5 Random Things I Did This Past Weekend
Monday:
Hands on with Samsung’s new waterproof S5, activity tracker and Gear watches–with built-in heart rate sensors
Tuesday:
MWC 2014 Roundup Part 1: Fitbit Force tidbits, Sony Core activity tracker and new Sony waterproof ANT+ phones, update on Mio Link
Wednesday:
MWC 2014 Roundup Part 2: 4iiii’s updates, ANT+ updates, the Huawei TalkBand Activity Tracker, LG Lifeband, and the SanDisk ring camera
Thursday:
MWC 2014 Roundup Part 3: A look at Kyocera fitness concepts, updates from TwoNav bike computers, standalone cellular GPS trackers, Omate smart watch
Friday:
MWC 2014 Roundup Part 4: Intel Smart earbuds, Ford automated bike-avoiding car, Behind the Scenes at MWC

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) Unreal backstory on fake couple’s ski team in Olympics: Really interesting read – fairly detailed and well worth it.

2) Incredible helicopter avalanche control work video from Stevens Pass: This is one of the ski areas I grew up skiing at out in Seattle.  Definitely make it to about the half-way mark on the video when the charges go off and start taking out trees, unreal shots. (via, My Dad)

3) Mobile phone CEO demo’s dunking his phone in water…kills it: Ahh yes, the old phone in a glass water jar trick gone bad. (via GPS Tracklog)

4) Sports photographer? This link talks through how to light indoor sports – interesting stuff.

5) Pictures leak of the Motorola-made Google smartwatch that might have been: Interesting to see the Motoactv user interface elements in there.

6) Pretty entertaining Pepsi punked ad: This is spots-related in that it’s sorta car racing. Sorta. In any case, read the article for the backstory first, then watch the video.

7) Biohacker Implants Smartphone-Sized Sensor Into His Arm:  Umm…ok then.  I suppose that’s one way to get live-tracking on your runs.  (via Paul N.)

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8) Don’t leave your GoPro near monkey’s: If you do leave a GoPro near a monkey or two, this is what happens.

9) Xenon: the Next Big Thing in ‘legal’ doping?  Unless you’re a bit of a chemistry geek, you’ve probably never heard of xenon. That’s about to change as the gas is being reported as the Next Big Thing in (possibly) legal performance enhancement. (Via Toby Castle)

10) Follow-up to Tennessee cycling harassment incident: You may have remembered a bit back the story where some teens harassed a cyclist quite a bit, then the local police decided to pretend the whole thing didn’t exist.  Things are changing now. (via David Fusfeld)

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.

Moov Activity/Cardio Tracker/Random Sensor: Lots of you asked about the Moov this week.  The unit acts as an activity tracker, but can also be attached to your bike crank and be a cadence sensor, or your running shoe and provide detail there as well.  It’s interesting stuff for sure. However, I’m generally skeptical of units that you can’t find hands-on time from any major media outlets (or any media outlets).  Further, I dislike that they’re running the crowd-funding on their own, rather than leveraging Kickstarter or similar.  The last company that did that – Earl – has basically been the poster child for how not to run a crowd funding campaign from an update standpoint.

MyTennisCam: Now all tennis players can enjoy all these features like a pro.

Flyfit – First Ankle Tracker For Fitness, Cycling & Swimming

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:

Withings rolls out support for IFTTT: Cool to see Withings now supporting the IFTTT service. (via Janyne)

Garmin Tactix/Fenix1 Beta Firmware Update: A bunch of minor improvements.

iPhone Apps:

20140226_122552000_iOS 20140226_141450000_iOS

20140302_174610000_iOS 20140302_174618000_iOS

iPad Apps:

(No sports related apps for me this week)

Android Apps:

Screenshot_2014-03-02-19-16-11 Screenshot_2014-03-02-19-16-21

Screenshot_2014-03-02-19-16-41

Windows Phone Apps:

(No updates this week on apps on my phone)

Thanks for reading!

18 Comments

  1. scott buchanan

    Related in a tenuous sort of way are you doing a review of the 'new' Garmin Connect interface? It appears some people have already got it (the other side of the pond?) but not here in Blighty. Is Garmin waiting till VivoFit is available before releasing it here?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      It's something I'll talk about later this week. For the moment, be happy you don't yet have it.

      Reply
    • Kevin Wagoner replied

      DOH, I'm not feeling lucky. I imagine they will clean the new site up soon, I hope.

      Reply
    • Scott replied

      I'm really hoping the merge the traditional training and tracking features of the old Connect with the new version. It's missing some key items like calendar, training plans, workouts, etc

      Reply
    • scott buchanan replied

      Ever since Garmin released the Android Garmin Connect App life has been sweet.... my activities (FR620 & Edge810) just auto-upload direct from my Galaxy S4. I only use my desktop 27" iMac to view the activities and for the odd Garmin Swim upload (got any "go swim" motivation?). Fenix spends most of its life in a draw too big too bulky too 'unfinished' (in my view).

      Reply
  2. Remco Verdoold

    I moved from Garmin Ant agent to Garmin Express, and took a long search to find my FIT files being hidden somewhere completely different then expected. Did anyone else tried the Express software.
    I miss the counter of garmin connect, but I think it was 'just' a Counter not an 'actual' counter.

    Reply
    • Claudio replied

      Hi Remco, same thing here for Garmin Express. Fortunately there's a link to the file locations on last week's "week in review".
      And I've also had mixed results with Express... one day it kept telling me "it seems no ANT stick is connected", so i restarted ANT Agent, and it downloaded all the data without any problem. I actually have a pretty funny screenshot with Garmin Express in the background saying there's no stick and ANT Agent in the foreground downloading the data...
      Today however Garmin Express worked flawlessly... but I still don't understand why they had to change the downloaded FIT file location.

      Reply
  3. Tobias

    Garmin asks to use the Ant+ Agent again at the moment. Express is really worst.... lots of postings concering this topic on the Garmin Connect fb page.

    Reply
  4. Kenn

    Did anyone else notice that Garmin removed the Backup option out of Garmin Express?

    Reply
  5. David

    Garmin Express appears to be completely borked. I just uninstalled it for the second time, and will continue to use the Ant+ agent until they disable it. When Garmin software can't pull my race file off my Garmin watch, They lose all credibility with me.

    Reply
  6. Dick Morris

    I like the idea behind the FlyFit working on all activities, to INCLUDE cycling...
    That makes it a more useful device.
    It raises two questions:-
    How accurate will it be...
    Anyone tried attaching a Vivofit to their ankle and gone cycling..??

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      I think FlyFit will probably make it accurate for cycling.

      As for Vivofit, it wouldn't be, simply because it doesn't understand it. It'll obviously show some sort of step-count, but nothing useful for either step distance nor calories.

      Reply
  7. Shawn Faucher

    Any updates on the Garmin Connect third party API fiasco? Nobody but tapiirik seems to be able to upload still, and it sounds like his works because he figured out the new login API himself?

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      No, it's still mostly a fiasco.

      In short, the deal is that 3rd parties either have to hack a workaround (some have done), or have to apply to the developer program (some have done). If they apply to the developer program to get access to the updated API and get approved, it's a $5,000 fee. So that's fine for the big companies of the world, but less awesome for the smaller devs. I've argued a tiered pricing structure (with perhaps a free tier) would make sense. Garmin disagrees.

      Reply
    • Chris replied

      Do you think Polar will take advantage of Garmin's new restrictions on 3rd parties, so that they could do exactly the opposite, thus be much more competitive on that front?

      Frankly, this new Garmin "restrictive" attitude makes me rethink as to whether I should be buying a V800, instead.

      Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      It's hard to say. I reached out to Polar for comment/update on their API plans.

      I'd say it's not quite as black and white though as it might appear. For example, Garmin makes the .FIT file easily accessible on all devices, directly from a computer. Whereas Polar/Suunto don't make the file locally available (has to go to website).

      On the flip side, Garmin is choosing to make the API side of their site more locked-in. From the developers I've talked to, none have been denied on the application front (that's good), it's just that none of the smaller ones want to pay $5K (which, I agree with).

      I'm looking at two ways I'll probably cover it. One is a bit of an Annual Open Data Report Card that I've been poking away at, covering a lot of different companies (Device + Device Company Platforms + 3rd Party Analysis/Log Platforms). It's just a lot of tedious working ensuring it's all correct.

      The second is a piece covering the Garmin changes. There's some stuff coming down the pipe a bit that presents a slightly more holistic picture there. Right now, it's all very transitory. Thus it sucks today for the 3rd party developers (and thus, consumers). But, if we fast forward say 2-6 weeks, it'll be a completely different story. It'll still stuck for smaller 3rd party companies, but, on the consumer front I think that the vast majority of consumers will be happy with the changes/partnerships planned. I'd like to show both sides of that coin.

      Reply
    • Chris replied

      I'm pretty bummed that my "Weight Logger" app stopped being able to upload my daily body fat%, vixceral fat, bone mass, etc into GC.

      Copymysports is no longer simultaneously uploading to Strava and Runkeeper.

      I don't see how companies cannot seem to comprehend that these additional functions ADD to the user experience and makes you enjoy their product more, not less!

      The more they take away from the added enjoyment is what makes us want to look at other competing products, like I'm now beginning to think of the V800, which was not a consideration beforehand, until my "added enjoyment" was suddenly yanked off. Is this so hard to grasp?

      Reply
  8. Chris

    Ray, I really admire your objectivity on all this. I like your strategy on your "Annual Open Data Report Card" and looking forward to your piece on covering Garmin changes, as it i'll help me decide whether to stick with Garmin or switch over to Polar.

    BTW, you've slowly turned me from a weekly reader to a daily reader. There's nothing like it in the Internet, not even close. Keep up the great job, and many thks!

    Reply

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