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Week in Review–August 17th, 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.

Monday: Hands-on with Epson’s new Pulsesense optical heart rate activity trackers
Monday: Outdoor Retailer 2014 Odds and Ends Roundup
Tuesday: Swimming, cycling and running my way though Salt Lake City
Tuesday: 5 Random Things I Did This Weekend
Wednesday: Behind the Scenes at Wahoo Fitness HQ
Friday: An Apeldoorn Runaround

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:

(Since there hasn’t been a ‘Week in Review’ in a few weeks, some of these were favorites I had set aside but never posted)

1) Shark Week…Bicycle Style!  Yup, a whole boatload of cool cycling focused shark related things. Love me anything shark related!

2) At La Course, from the bike camera of Marianne Vos: Pretty cool view, especially as she just waits until the very end to go in for the win.  Awesome stuff.

3) Really cool hyperlapses using wobbly action cam videos: Can’t wait till the app is released to create your own videos.

4) Bicycling gearingeverything you needed to know: And in case you still needed to know more, Cycling Tips also released a series on it recently too.

5) Should volunteers at for-profit endurance events be getting paid? A worthwhile read from an employment litigator (and endurance athlete) on the subject.

6) Cyclists needed for performance modeling study: Only requirement from these folks being you race and train with a power meter.

7) Peaksware (company behind TrainingPeaks) buys music company: Hmm.  I’m not quite sure on this one.  I think the gym investment noted makes slightly more sense, since that’s directly in the wheelhouse of fitness and an area that’s both incredibly popular but without traditional TrainingPeaks coverage.  On the bright side, they have done a ton of work on the iOS app lately.

8) Strava details last month’s outage: A pretty good engineering/technical focused run-down of their outage on July 29th.  Good to see companies do this, shows a bit of openness.

9) Ski resort coming to Paris?  I sure hope so!  Would be lots of nearby fun (similar to the Dubai one I’ve been to many times).

10) A smartwatch for surfers: I don’t surf, but, cool to see sport-specific watches extended to other sports.

11) Women draws enormous male members using Nike+ Runs: And with that, we’ll end this week’s section of links. Can’t really top it.

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.  If you’re unfamiliar with projects, read my detailed post on how I decide which projects I personally back.  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.

Klamp: Better Action Shots for Bike Riders!

(Note: For some reason the Kickstarter video embed functionality is broken at the moment…so, click onto the site to see their video.)

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:

FitBit sync is now on Windows Phone: This was announced a while back, but now has shown up. This marks the first activity monitor to have an app that sync’s via Windows Phone.

Endomondo releases on Gear Fit/Gear 2: Pickup from fitness apps seems relatively slow for these devices outside of a handful, will be interesting to see if more join in.

Magellan Active API Updates: Magellan continues to chug away on making their site more and more open. Lots of detail in the link.

Garmin FR15 firmware update: Lots of little fixes.

Garmin VIRB Edit Software Update: Tons of new features, some fixes.

Quarq Firmware Update: This adds in support for accelerometer based cadence in all Quarq power meters in the event of loss of magnet. Really cool addition from them.

TomTom Multisport Firmware Update: Adds a new free-style mode that you can use how you please.  Also adds ability to Race against MySports activities.

TomTom releases Android app: Just in case ya missed it, they also released an Android app for synching to all their fitness devices (they already had iOS). Details on supported phones at link.

In the interest of getting this post out – I’m going to skip all the update screenshots for apps this week.  Plus, I’m not entirely sure there’s as much interest on app updates as there might have been in the past.  But, perhaps I’m wrong.

Have a great remainder of the weekend all!

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23 Comments

  1. Richard Kaufmann

    Those screenshots of updates must have been a lot of work, but truly, I just skipped over them.

    • That’s kind of why I skipped them. ;) It was easy to do the iPhone ones since it just took two seconds. But doing the Android, then Windows Phone, then the iPad. Phew.

    • Eli

      Seems like all phones these days tell you when an update is available so I only skimmed the screenshots in case there was some cool functionality in an app I don’t have. Maybe have a list of the sports apps somewhere with a general summery of what you find good about it would be more useful?

  2. Mario Lira Junior

    I also believe that most users use the automatic update options of their system…

  3. Mark

    As far as Peaksware buying MakeMusic, and the reason behind it, the article says that Peaksware’s common strategy is “deliberate practice”. So I guess they’re saying that this goes beyond sports and fitness to include anything which requires practice, training, commitment, etc.; which would definitely include music. Whether this is just corporatespeak or not, I don’t know, but that’s what they’re saying about it.

    • Yeah, no doubt understand that. I guess I’d be concerned that any acquisition of that sort will require a shift (or expansion) in focus from senior leadership, and eventually portions of the current company if they plan to enable synergies that would make such an acquisition worthwhile.

    • I think it’s corporatespeak.

      If you really look at the focus of Peaks – how they position their products, their marketing and corporate communications – you can tell the C-suite would rather sell solutions to “coaches” (broadly – people who teach things). I don’t think it’s any coincidence that they are hiring salespeople to sell to coaches – a lot of those hires are prolly gonna be making calls to piano and voice teachers now. :)

      It will be interesting to see them evolve. The Hunter/Allen team and original founding board members have got to be pushing 60 now right? I read an interview with one of them (can’t remember which) saying he’s pulling in $700k/year. And why are you still working!?!?

      Maybe an IPO soon??

    • Mark

      This would make an interesting business school case (and even though that would be a better place for discussion of it than here in the comments section of the DCR sports technology blog, here goes …). It’s the difference between a channel marketing strategy and a production specialization strategy; or, vertical vs horizontal (as an example, we see channel strategies by bicycle manufacturers who also sell clothing, lights, bags, shoes, etc. These items have nothing to do with manufacturing bikes, but everything to do with the same customer – you and me). So as long as Peaksware was just making and selling the TrainingPeaks (and WKO+) software, it was just one product, so there was no difference between vertical (sell to athletes and coaches) and horizontal (good at developing software that manages scheduled activities and their metrics). So in a way Peaksware is saying that it may have previously looked like they were just in the business of selling this software for endurance sports training (vertical), but now their software development skills (horizontal) also allow them to extend that to other types of activities.

      Only time will tell if they are right. You can make good arguments both ways. That’s what would make this a good business school case.

    • Gear Fisher

      I have a birthday coming up but I didn’t think 45 was THAT old.

    • Hahah… postbait! :) You can’t just drop by and not comment on the IPO. C’mon… give the Rainmaker readers an inside scoop.

  4. David

    I just skipped over the updates too, however a list of apps that were updated with links to their app store/play store page would be a nice lower effort compromise.
    I do like reading about new interesting apps though.

  5. Puto

    Love the “Week in Review.” Still hate the floating “Jump To:” menu in the left hand margin. FWIW

    • Richard Kaufmann

      On mobile devices the floating panel on the left is realy obnoxious — you only see a few pixel’s worth of it anyway.

    • Morten

      The little arrow/triangle at the top of the menu slides it into view.

    • Hmm, you should never see the floating panel on a mobile device – it’s not displayed. Which mobile device, and have you forced it over to desktop view by chance (scroll to very bottom and there’s a toggle)?

    • Andrew

      I see it consistently on iPad.

    • I’ll have to double-check on the iPad (don’t have one handy at the moment) to see if that defaults to being a “mobile device” (aka phone) or a non-mobile device. If it’s in the way there we can tweak stuff.

      That said, most folks do like it quite a bit, especially when trying to navigate the longer reviews/posts.

  6. Trish

    I like reading the updates that are available but don’t need the screenshots. Thanks for all your hard work Ray in bringing us all this interesting info!

    • Chris

      Agreed entirely! It’s great seeing your summary of the updates that have occurred, but the screenshots seem to be in the diminishing returns zone.

      Thanks again for everything!

  7. Joshua Parks

    Hey that surf watch is vapor ware! And I know your thoughts on vapor ware.

    +1 on no need for app updates unless they are core rebuilds like TrainingPeaks, Garmin Connect or similar. While I agree that apps auto update I have found a ton of functionality through things you show in the updates section. Maybe a better use of your time might be a quarterly app commentary, like what you use, what you stopped using and what you think needs better functionality.

    Still no movement to the downside for power meter prices. Though I have seen some flex on the higher end via some online retailers…

  8. Ben

    Indoor ski resorts are an awesome business.

    1. Build massively energy-intensive indoor ski resort.
    2. Global warming goes up, and without snow all your outdoor competitors go under.
    3. Profit!!

    Oh well, here in California the whole ski industry is corrupt, making money off advertising SUVs that are wiping out our ski season :(

  9. Jonas Decraene

    It seems Mio has also made the V4.1 firmware update available last week, I haven’t had the chance to try it yet. Still a lot of complaints on their facebook page though…