My 2011 ANT+ Symposium Presentation

This Wednesday I presented to over 150 ANT+ Alliance members as part of the annual ANT+ Symposium.  Like last year, my speech is primarily aimed at taking all of your feedback and delivering it back to them.  The folks at the conference represent the key engineers and company leaders for every major and minor ANT+ members out there.  This means the message is getting directly to the right people, near-instantly.


But since all of you couldn’t be there, I had the presentation recorded (about 40 minutes long) and then got it all posted.  Sorry for the slight delay here, I had some major airplane issues coming back that kept me somewhat hamstrung for almost 24 hours.  But Canada finally released its grasp of me and I was able to get it uploaded! So sorry about the lack of posts!

The presentation was titled “Feedback from Millions: What Athletes Really Want”.  My goal was to take the feedback I receive on a daily basis from you (the over 3 million views from last year) and consolidate that into a presentation that touched on the different categories of athletes, as well as where I see significant opportunities for the future.  I crunched through hundreds and thousands of comments, primarily from the sports survey I did last year, the recent post asking for your feedback from last week, and then the over 5,000 post comments in the last year (non-giveaway).

So without further ado, I’ll let you watch my talk.  Rumor is folks enjoyed it, and nobody left the room mid-way through (and no, I didn’t lock the doors).

My 2011 Talk

And the great news is that I’ve already heard of a number of concrete examples where folks have made product design or interest decisions based on the presentation – just within hours of it.  Really cool stuff, and thrilled to be able to make an impact on your behalf.

If you’d like to download this year’s presentation (PDF), you can do so below.  Additionally, I’ve also linked to the 2010 presentation.

DCRainmaker 2011 ANT+ Symposium Presentation
DCRainmaker 2010 ANT+ Symposium Presentation

You can look forward to some more in depth posts around some of the things I saw and talked about in this presentation this week, showing up next week.

Have a great weekend all, and thanks for reading!


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  1. I really appreciate you doing this! All too often, it seems like manufacturers don’t understand their customer’s wants and needs. Shame on them for not having a better voice-of-customer collection process. Thanks to you for helping us all out – both manufacturers and customers.

  2. Can you post the ppt presentation, so i can view it quickly?

  3. Hi Tom-

    I placed links to the PDF’s at the bottom (simply exported from PPT). I exported them since they are so large at PPT’s due to a number of photos, etc… in them.


  4. Thanks for putting the presentation up for us all to watch.

    One of the bits you mentioned about real time updating etc is something that I find very interesting as everytime I go out for a run or cycle, my wife likes the idea of seeing where i am, just incase something happens. As you know, a lot of ground can be covered on a bike in a couple of hours.

    So allthough she can now follow me with some live tracking via an app on my phone, I still have to take my forerunner etc to collect all the data that I like to see.

    Its not until you are actually trying to combine these two functions that you realise quite how hard it is. So its nice to see reviews on things like the Sony Xperia Active that does it all….mind you trying to find an official release date and price for it in here the uk is hard work.

    So thanks again and keep up the good work,
    a loyal uk reader :-)

  5. Thanks so much for posting your talk. I really enjoyed it.

  6. Ray great presentation! I work as a manufacturer of medical equipment, and we are always searching for the “voice of the customer”. How does the customer feel, what do they need our products to do, where are we doing things right/wrong, etc. I am sure your presentation was better than a truckload of gold for those people in the room.

  7. Great presentation Ray. Thanks for representing us all out there

  8. Pedro

    Great presentation Ray. Great to see someone speaking the consumer voice.
    Thanks from Portugal.

  9. Thanks for mentioning the multiple user profiles to the big boys. They seem to forget that most of us can’t afford multiple gadgets and have to share one with their SO, love you hunny.

  10. I just listened to your speech, great stuff.

  11. Great Preso Ray – Thanks for acknowledging us overseas folks (Australia myself) and in particular allowing us to enter your competitions. Now I just need to hack the RND() function that you use :-)

  12. Eli

    While lots of us here may really want Ant, I’m guessing as a mass market think Ant isn’t popular enough to get Ant capable hardware built into devices not directly targeted to just us like cell phones. But on a positive note Ant and bluetooth are very similar in terms of hardware so more chipsets that do bluetooth are adding support for Ant. My question for you is have any chipsets come out besides WiLink from TI that have added Ant support? Anyone keeping track of the phones that are using those chipsets? (A phone may not be marketed as an Ant phone but still have the hardware inside to do it)

    Ant was added to WiLink6 and kept for WiLink7 which came out last year but the only phone I can find that uses WiLink7 is the Droid 3 since very few articles mention that chipset.

  13. Thanks all for the great feedback – I appreciate it!

    Eli, to answer your question-

    As you likely know, there are ANT+ chips in cell phones today. Some of of them you’re familiar with, such as:

    Sony Ericsson Lineup (all phones going forwrd)
    HTC Rhyme

    However, there are also phones like you noted that have the chip but don’t announce it. Further, as you guessed, there are other options for chips that aren’t just the WiLink. Unfortunately, at this time I can’t comment on either. But I can say I think companies are getting it.

    Long term BTLE remains an interesting game. I’ll be a good measure of where things stand next year at this time. With BTLE only adding their first device profiles back in June – and no consumer gear actually in the market yet – it’s still gotta long way to go. Licensing costs are also a major blocker, but on the opposite side, eventual (assumed) adoption by cell phone companies. ANT+’s point made in the presentation (as well as Nordic and TI’s) is that it really doesn’t have to be an either/or game, but rather with all the silicon being dual now, it can really be whatever technology is best for the job.

    Interesting times ahead…

  14. Eli

    Just thinking, with almost all Android phones having microSD slots there is the possibility of using a microSD card that also does ANT like Spectec’s sda-323. But then, can’t find anyone who wrote drivers for Android to actually make use of the hardware or where to buy the memory card for that matter so might not be real.

    I guess the big help to Ant will come if Google makes Ant+ natively supported by Android

  15. Mark

    Multiple user profiles : Also use-case for one user, multiple shoes?

    I run in different pairs of shoes (incl 2 pairs of same shoes), which seem to need slightly different calibration factors. In the past I’d have been willing to buy several (Suunto) footpods, if my (T3c) watch had supported multiple profiles

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  17. Ray – i echo the sentiments shared by folks here. Awesome work being the voice of the athlete.

    I am TGT user who runs (a lot) and rides a bicycle too and you touched on points that frustrate me (inaccurate altitude, inconsistent pace readings, challenges with track workouts, watch size) and I am looking forward to coming year for firmware updates (cheaper than buying the latest watch!) to make the whole experience a pleasure.

    I always take my Nokia N8 phone with me (using the Sports Tracker app) and one of my biggest challanges is the fact the TGT Heart rate belt does not send data to the Sports Tracker app because it uses a specific bluetooth belt – am I supposed to wear two belts?, crazy! It would be great to see a Timex TGT app for Smartphones with audible voice readouts like reading out pre-selected data at splits (or pre-defined intervals), it will save me from checking the phone (almost impossible) on a regular basis.

    Keep up the good work and best of luck with your upcoming fall racing season.

  18. Ray,

    Great preso . . . it’s terrific that you are getting the voices of the masses to key stakeholders.

    Also, I enjoyed putting a voice to the blog.


  19. Anonymous

    Great presentation, many thanks for communicating the athlete message to the businesses to improve the stuff we want to spend our money on!

  20. +1 for Marks comment
    “Multiple user profiles : Also use-case for one user, multiple shoes?”

    I have 2 different shoes, one for outdoor and one for indoor.

    Both are Nike+ though, so I have the garmin footpod stashed under the sole.
    And although it’s not a lot of work to change between them I would be willing to buy a second footpod to avoid problems like getting to the studio and then not getting recording of speed on the Garmin due to the footpod being at home in the other pair of shoes (not that this would EVER happen to me :P )

    It is especially irritating since it can obviously be done. ref cadence sensors on multiple bikes.

    A totally different thing is that i feel that I get “crosstalk” with other peoples heartrate monitors. It has only happened 3 times.

    I have the Old Garmin HRM (big plastic thing)
    I was walking a slow walk with a friend with the same HRM and I was at over 90%.
    I haven’t trained with him after this so I don’t know if it happens all the time but when we went our separate ways my heartrate went back to normal.

    On a Spinning interval class I sat next to a lady with an older Polar HRM, and my HRM monitor didn’t correspond to my perceived exhaustion level at all. (Giving everything on the last interval, and my garmin showing 80%)

    Is this a known problem or do I have a totally different problem?