Week in Review–January 31st, 2016


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 and Facebook, 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!

YouTube Videos I’ve uploaded:

On Thursday I headed out into the countryside to try out the new follow-me action cam drone, Airdog.  It was just me by myself, and all these shots are from my first ride with it trying it out.  Everything is controlled by a small remote control on my arm (sorta like using a Garmin).  Here’s a very short montage I slapped together in a few minutes with the footage.  None of the footage is edited in any way.  But I learned a number of things that should make it look sweeter next time.

DCRainmaker.com posts in the past week:

Here’s all the goodness that ended up on the main page of DCRainmaker.com this past week.

Monday: 5 Random Things I Did This Weekend
Tuesday: ISPO 2016 Sports Tech Roundup: FINIS Optical HR Swim Tracker, Kuai, Evalu, WatTeam and XMetrics
Thursday: Microsoft Band 2 In-Depth Fitness & Sport Focused Review

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) Motor caught in cyclocross world championships: It was bound to be found/seen sooner or later, and the first case of someone being nabbed has arrived.  Congrats to UCI for continuing to focus on this, as well as also vindicating some folks in the cycling journalism world that have been covering this sort of thing being a possibility for a while (like Shane Stokes).

2) Snow swimming in Finland: (Yes, this is older) Not gonna lie, this is epic.  Especially the flip turns.

3) Battery life in wearables: A good article on the challenges of battery life in smart watches today.

4) Obstacle avoidance in trees for drones: This is cool, but keep in mind that anytime you’re talking a CES keynote/stage demo, it’s something well-rehearsed.  Also check out this related article, that’s a very good and fairly objective read on the state of the industry (written by one of DJI’s employees)

5) How Zano raised millions of dollars on Kickstarter and backers got nothing: If you have some time (it’s long), this is probably the best article to read this past month.  Very solid, and I suspect some amazing parallels to other projects of interest to readers here.  A key takeaway here being that merely having something that appears to function on video, is totally different than something that is actually a useful device day in and day out for end-consumers.

6) Pro cycling team to use Zwift to pick 2017 rider: Pretty cool idea – and another example of Zwift’s savvy when it comes to the merging of the pro cycling scene with getting subscribers.

7) Periscope adds GoPro integration: Those of you watching my Periscope feed this past week got to see me trying this functionality out during a night ride around Paris.  Keep an eye on my feed for some live skiing footage this week (assuming it stops raining…).

8) Pebble smart strap adds optical HR & wireless charging: A brilliant example of extensible (connected) straps.  Especially if it’s true that it uses Mio HR technology, which means it’s likely to actually be accurate. (Thanks Ted)

9) Dog bandits half-marathon, and podiums: Well, sorta podiums.  Seriously, start to finish. (Thanks Randy)

10) Google MyTracks app to die: I can’t say I’m too surprised.

11) British motorist jailed for driving head-on at cyclists: Well then, that’s just bat-crap nuts.  Seriously, watch the video. (via Marc)

12) Fitbit captures exact moment man’s heart breaks: Ahh…so sad! But, yet, pretty cool. (Via, my Dad)

13) Product delays of note: While I don’t have any links – just an FYI that the Wahoo ELEMNT release has been delayed while they sort out a communications issue.  Meanwhile, the Fly12 shipments have also been held up after discovering an issue with the video sensor.

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?

TomTom Spark firmware updates: It gains 24×7 HR monitoring, among a few other tweaks.

WKO4 now available for PC: You’ll remember the Mac version launched this past summer.

Garmin adds HR charts on Vivosmart HR: Nifty little graphs on your wrist.

Best Bike Split gets Zwift workout & Garmin FE-C support: Pretty cool, and really nice example of integration from the company.

Polar V650 gets route guidance: One step at a time, the unit is getting more and more features.

Thanks for reading all!


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  1. Donnie Barnes

    Ray, any idea if GoPro is planning Periscope support for the Session, too? From what I’ve seen, anyway, it’s not there right now.


  2. SS76

    Ray, where do you get this info that the pebble strap has a the Mio sensor? I don’t believe they can license the phillips sensor anymore….which is why you are seeing new sensors.

    • In the article I linked to, it noted it (but in a confusing way).

      Mio actually does still retain the ability to license the Philips sensors, however, it’s no longer an exclusive license.

    • SS76

      Interesting. Thanks for the clarification. I suppose the Mio (Phillips) sensor is too demanding for 24×7 tracking, my guess, hence the move to develop their own sensor, plus it must end up being cheaper.

      We’ll see how this measures up. The Garmin Elevate sensor certainly seems to have significantly more issues but that could be software related rather than the sensor itself. Certainly makes you weary about investing in these expensive watches to simply become a beta tester

  3. Stages also released a firmware update for their power meters this week (link to support.stagescycling.com).

  4. Scott E

    Need some help, I couldn’t find which sport watch is best for snow swimming in the DCR comparison tool ;-)

  5. TR

    The interval of TYLT VÜ Pulse for Pebble is at 10 seconds in active mode and every 60 seconds in passive mode.

    How is that compared to Garmin etc. HR monitors (belt and optical) ? Is 10 seconds fast enough for accuracy ?

  6. Joe E

    OK Airdog video was pretty amazing. Too bad it is $1600 for this drone or you would have just sold one with that short video alone. This needs to be priced more in the $600 area at most and they will sell a lot, at $1600 I am not sure who their target market is.

  7. Jonathan

    SRM finally reduced their pricing:

    link to srm.de

  8. Phil A

    I saw that snow swimming video a few weeks ago and thought it was pretty sweet :-p

  9. Jonathan H

    So I take it that the Airdog worked better than Hexo+?

  10. Claus Jacobsen

    Great Idea about the Tylt HR addon – have the same idea for Garmins – Although my “trusty” 910XT is rather outdated – it would actually be extremely cool if the Quickrelease could pull doubleduty as the HR strap. So Garmin if you read this – please consider something like that for the 930!

  11. Ken

    Between your review/follow-up on Lily (Thanks, I was planning on buying in but have decided to wait) & now this article on the Zano, I’m very leery of any non-production drone & their overpromising.

    After doing a Polar Plunge & then making snow (ice) angels in my bathing suit this weekend, I think I’m fully trained for the snow swimming championship.

  12. Brian

    Hi Ray,

    I assume you’re going skiing in the alps!

    I follow some specialised snowreporters, and Thu+Fri it will dump some pretty good snow!
    Expect less visibility on those days, but some awesome skiing in the weekend! (probably best of the season so far)
    Just don’t go out of bounds on the new layer or this blog will turn into DC Snowmaker…