Coolness: Me and Simon Whitfield presenting at ANT+ Symposium

Well, not together at the same time. 

Because that’d be awkward – mainly for me.  And probably a little for him.

He would talk about Olympic Gold and Silver medals and Olympic opening ceremonies…and I would talk about plastic trophies from junior ski racing when I was 8 years old.  Really not entirely equal.

Thus, we’re talking separately – in two unique sessions.  But together, we’re still considered part of the top five reasons to attend.


This will be the third year I’ve presented at the ANT+ Symposium.  It’s my opportunity to talk to all of the sports technology companies out there*, and tell them what you want.  I also get to talk about all sorts of cool ideas and where I think the industry is going.

(*All, as in, everyone except Polar.  And rumor is, they watched and sent around my presentation from last year too.  Virtually every other software and hardware company doing anything in sports technology is there in attendance.)

Officially, here’s what I’ll be covering:

Capturing the Consumer in Today’s Market – with Ray Maker of DC Rainmaker
With almost 10 million page views per year, Ray dives deep into how sports technology companies can better engage and utilize their new and existing customer bases; why Kickstarter matters to you; and what consumers want when it comes to the tough issues like 3G connectivity in devices, Bluetooth Smart and cell phone integration.”

Which, essentially means – anything I darn well want.

Actually, no, I’ve got a really cool well defined outline for this year – with a new twist on things from past years.  I’m going to tackle some of the areas where I think companies continue to falter (both in hard product, as well as customer service).  It’s gonna be good!

If you want to check out last years presentation to get the flavor of things – I’ve linked to it below.

2011 ANT+ Symposium

In the past I’ve tried to rig up some sort of live way for you to watch me and haven’t entirely been successful due to interweb issues.  I’ll see what I can pull off this year.

For those companies that will be at the ANT+ Symposium in a little under two weeks, definitely schedule a bit of time – I’d love to talk (NDA’s are fine).  Historically, I’ve had meetings (formal or otherwise) literally from 7AM until near-midnight – so I definitely want to get you on the schedule (and preferably not a timeslot at 3AM, as The Girl might become suspicious…).

Thanks all!


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  1. I’ll pay you 2 beers in Brussels if you tell them that a usability expert is not just a cost but really improves their product.

  2. “Really not entirely equal.” Don’t sell yourself short. You are at least as (if not more)”famous” than he is. I didn’t even know the name until I read this post.

  3. Anonymous

    Hello Ray,
    please ask the ANT+-guys to let users pair at least two HR-transmitters with one watch. Some people may have one transmitter in their sports bag etc. and another one eg. at home.

  4. You’ve started just fine: “…Me and Simon…” Simon has done his job well in triathlon, but you are NUMBER ONE on this field! I can hardly wait for your posts and I guess I am not the only one! So it’s just a respect you deserve!

  5. Hi Ray,
    I would like to link the new Garmin tempe Wireless Temperature Sensor and get ambient temperature and transmit the data wirelessly to my Forerunner 910XT. This would be great for runners as temperature affects performance as I would attach it to my shoe. So far the 910XT is not listed as a compatible device. I believe the tempe uses the ANT+ protocol, so it should be practical to enable communication between the Forerunner 910XT and the new tempe Wireless Temperature Sensor.

  6. You have touched on this before: I would like to have the ability to have multiple user profiles on my watch.

  7. Thanks for posting last years presentation it was really interesting getting an overview of the people that read your blog,their opinions,concerns and the different requirements for different types of athletes. I look forward to viewing this years presentation!

  8. To add on to above with the temp sensor shouldn’t the baro altimeter have a temp sensor on board to help correct it? wouldn’t it be easy to add that to the data it collects?

  9. Thanks all!

    Re the last question – you can get temp without tempe, it’s just that the temp on the watch is bad at best. In my testing thus far, it rarely reflects reality – especially colder temperatures where the skin/body heat radiating out drives it quite a bit.

  10. Hi Ray,

    Another area that I believe that fitness companies need to look at is to allow more ANT+ devices to link to fitness equipment. This would bridge the gap between indoor and outdoor fitness activities so you can track and store data from a treadmill run or a spin bike workout.

    Presently Garmin has agreements with a very limited number of compatible brands, however not with most of the top-end treadmills. I recently purchased a Precor 9.35 treadmill, however I have to use my Garmin footpod and heart monitor to track my workouts. I cannot link the heart monitor to the treadmill display unless I wear both the Garmin, a Polar heart monitors.

  11. How do you see the temperature from the 910XT? I found it on the diagnostic screen, but I don’t know how to see it for activities.

  12. Oh, sorry, I thought you were asking about/referring to Fenix. Sorry for the confusion!

  13. Christoffer

    The biggest problem for me is that the phones mostly don’t support Ant+ only a handful of current phones do and just about all of those are from SonyEricsson. Sony appears to be holding back on Ant+. If Ant+ doesn’t make it into the phones soon I predict Bluetooth 4 will be taking over as the protocol for health and fitness sensors. The phone market is a really strong driver as it does things that watches and head units wont be doing for he forseeable future like music, spoken audio notifications and cell data connections for upload and maps. Protocol separation is bad news for consumers because we will end up replacing our sensors and head units for the wrong reason. They should be replaced for new functionality, not differing protocols. And worse, we risk a protocol war for 5-10 years that severly holds back the segment.

  14. Luc Perreault

    I find you to be the perfect spokesperson to represent me in my quest to find the ideal race/training solutions. I loved the 2011 41min ANT+ symposium presentation!

    Being a 39yo athlete, techno geek and a workaholic CIO/CTO, I highly value the KISS concept and in turn, tools that syncs my training/race data without data duplication (or use different apps to view and analyse), goes under water (at least 15m), will take the beating of a 12k Spartan race (30th of July 2013) and still be sexy enough to go out on a date with my hot wife (ok… I can ditch the watch for said date, but would prefer not to)

    Unfortunately, Garmin 310XT/910XT are far from a sexy training computers, I fear Suunto products will be a pain to link up with 3rd party apps (RunKeeper…), Polar watches and GPS accessories love and hate water (GPS vs HRM pods), Polar tools are also far from having the desired battery life to support a 17h Ironman (yeah… that’s also on my bucket list), TomTom might ship the multi-sport watch before I die of old age (and what about battery life?) and will Timex ever find the right technology to acquire a GPS signal (and then not lose it) within a reasonable time frame and so on…

    I value my tools and use/promote them daily. If my race/training tool dies on me or becomes obsolete because a communication protocol is pushed aside, then I’ll just stop using said tools.
    I know I wish for perfection, but if they build it, they will come! (at least I will). I’m still looking for a cell phone training computer replacement (I fear my zip lock protected cell phone will not survive the Spartan race).
    I’m even taking May and June off to train for Spartan. Heck, I need the break anyway! So I need a water loving cell phone replacement solution to help me attain my race goals.

    Thank you for being you and I cannot wait to read your comments and new reviews!


    • DC Rainmaker

      Hi Luc-

      Unfortunately, the watches are somewhat few and far between as it stands now. The underwater requirement and integrated GPS really narrows it down to only a few options: FR310XT/FR910XT, Timex Global Trainer/Run Trainer, Garmin Fenix.

      The TGT/310XT/910XT are all too big to wear as day watches. The TRT2 and Fenix though are acceptable day watches, though both slightly big. Check out both those reviews for whether either might work. Enjoy!