Headed to ISPO this weekend, got tech companies to see?


This Sunday kicks off the annual ISPO sports trade show in Munich.  This show is all about the outdoors and sports, with a chunk of it dedicated to sports tech.  The convention is massive – spanning the entire convention grounds and making most other sports shows look like elementary school bake sales.

It’s a bit unusual in that it starts on a Sunday, versus a weekday.  But that works out for me, as the flights are cheaper.  Each year I’ve gone I fly in early Sunday morning before the sun rises, and then back to Paris again in the evening when the show closes for the day.  This year I’ll be doing the same.

Now we don’t tend to get many announcements from major sport tech players at ISPO, but rather, we see smaller announcements and find hidden jewels.  The biggest announcement we’ve seen recently out of the show in recent years has been the announcement of the Polar V650 a few years back.  Beyond that, it’s mostly updates from companies like WatTeam a few years back, Airdog, Kuai, or last year the sneak peak of FINIS’s new devices.

What’s cool about it though is that I generally stumble on startups I’ve never heard of before (they’ve got a dedicated startup section), so that’s what I’ll focus on.  I have a handful of meetings and demo’s scheduled – including one with a new sports action drone entrant (Staaker), but I’m certainly looking to hear of any companies you want me to check in on that are attending the show.

So if you’re a company going to ISPO, or if you know of a company you want me to check out – drop a note below or get in touch via the contact form!

Finally – merely as a general overview of the biggest sports tech announcement events during the year, here’s how things generally shake out:

Early January: CES – Consumer Electronics Show (Las Vegas, NV)
Early January: Outdoor Retailer Winter – Very few sports tech announcements there (Salt Lake City, UT)
Early February: ISPO – European Heath and Fitness Show (Munich, Germany)
Late February: MWC – Mobile World Congress, mobile and some health (Barcelona, Spain)
Mid-April: Sea Otter – Focused on cycling, growing in importance (Monterey, CA)
Early August: Outdoor Retailer Summer – Occasional tech announcements (Salt Lake City, UT)
Late August: Eurobike – Cycling show – (Friedrichshafen, Germany)
Early September: IFA – Consumer electronics show – used by Garmin/Fitbit/TomTom this year for announcements (Berlin, Germany)
Mid-September: Interbike – Cycling show (Las Vegas, NV)

Note that the biggest push is really in that August-September timeframe, right before the holiday buying season.  At the same time, for sports products, you also see a good sprinkling of new releases between March and early May.  After May, it’s generally considered too late for the outdoor sports gadget realm to hit summer usage.

With that – stay tuned and thanks for reading!


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  1. Eric Giroux

    Hi Ray – definitely checkout RollerSafe at ISPO!

  2. Matthew


    If Philips is there, would love an update on the Philips health watch – link to usa.philips.com – especially given the claims of “clinically validated measurements & algorithms”

  3. Ramunas

    me too 🙂

  4. Ramunas

    Will be there too next week, looking forward to that

  5. Thorvald Mosvold

    Ray, definitely check out a new norwegian startup called Northern Playground. They make warm underwear that you can zip on and off without taking off your shoes.

    I use them for running and mostly skiing where its a pain to take off your boots to pull on warmer layers.


  6. Michael

    Hi Ray,
    when do you expect that Garmin is announcing the successor of the FR 920XT ?

  7. Christoph Parschau

    Hi there,

    can you check out Evalu (www.evalu.com)? Looks they are going to be a competitor to FeetMe from the first look you just did. Would be interesting to see if both are similar or aiming for different goals.

  8. Axel

    I was expecting a replacement to the Polar V800 on CES. When do you think that will be announed? I am assuming Polar want to get something out to compete with the Fenix 5 so people stay on their platform but I also understand that the V800 just got new gopro features, possibly increasing its lifespan. What do you think?

  9. Stef

    Hi Ray
    Check these french guys link to myclim8.com won also the gold award this year.
    I can introduce you to one of the founders, I might be at ISPO as well on Sunday.
    Oh and also I know Pomoca should have a working unit of their tracking and measuring device for ski mountaineering.

  10. Felix Köster

    Hey Rey,

    If wahoo is there. Can you ask about the Elemnt Mini or if this rumor is untrue

  11. kevin

    Hi Ray,

    Checkout Platysens. They have a swimming gps that attach to the goggle strap and does some stroke recongintion as well.

  12. Fiatlux

    Looking forward to that Staaker meeting report. Their drone looks strangely similar to the Simtoo Dragonfly. I would really recommend them adding a regular controller to the kit (like Simtoo did with the Dragonfly Pro).

    • Yup – had some good meetings and demo flights with them. Just gotta edit together all the video stuff I shot. Working on my ISPO Roundup post now for this afternoon/evening, though will have Staaker be a separate post for tomorrow morning.

  13. Ramunas

    As certain person would say, IPSO is YUGE and tremendous:)