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Week in Review–August 4th, 2019

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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 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!

DCRAINMAKER.COM Posts in the Past Week:

Here’s all the goodness that ended up on the main page this past week:

Monday:  DCR Summer 2019 Open House & Ride Recap Photos
Wednesday:  Jaybird Vista Earbuds Hands-On: An AirPods/PowerBeats Pro Competitor for Sports?
Friday: Garmin MARQ Athlete In-Depth Review

Expect a little bit of a quieter August, as usual. At least till the end of the month, then it’ll likely be fireworks as usual once we approach Eurobike & IFA, where most of the fall things will be announced. Said differently: August is gonna be nuts for me prepping stuff for then!

FIT File Podcast This Week:

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Episode 83 of the podcast is up!

– TrainerRoad price increases – twice in under 12 months.
– Zwift also increases their price
– Favero Assioma Firmware Update: Cycling Dynamics Implemented
– The Elite Suito: Trainer to beat for 2019?
– LIMITS power meters are back baby!!!
– Visit to Giant in Taiwan / Their MY20 Power Meter Preview / CADEX line
– Gear I Use Discussion
– Body Battery Metrics vs Sleep Deprivation
– Peloton sunsetting their older bikes

Listen here, or four options for where to find the podcast:

A) iTunes: If you’ve got an Apple device, we’re there!
B) Google Play Music: Yup, we’re here too (and on Google Podcasts app)
C) Spotify: Of course we’re on Spotify now – you can even cache it on your wearable too!
D) RSS Feed: Follow along using the direct RSS feed

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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 (and in this case, some of these are from the past few weeks…as my backlog is a bit longer):

1) Zwift releases Titan’s Grove expansion to Watopia: If you like big trees and bears, this is the expansion for you. Hit up Lama’s video below for all the details.

2) More than you ever wanted to know about Cycling Dynamics and the potential for high speed data: Of course it’s disturbingly detailed, it’s Uncle Keith.

3) Hoverboard Crosses English Channel. Sorta: It did have to make a single brief refueling exchange half-way across, but the entire thing only took 22 minutes end to end and reached speeds over 100MPH.

4) The Tour de France in 100 Amazing Photos: Obviously this was going to come from Cycling Tips. Just click…and keep clicking, roughly 100 times.

5) Paving the way for women in esports: This has nothing to do with cycling or Zwift, but rather computer games. But I found it fascinating. Really worth a solid read.

6) Phillips sues Garmin & Fitbit: I’d love to get/see a copy of the specific court filing. This one is peculiar to me. Philips used to provide sensors to Mio, who in turn provided sensors for a single Garmin product way back when (the Forerunner 225). But then Garmin went off and did their own thing. The article linked implies more GPS, which doesn’t really jibe with what I know. (Thanks to J.)

7) LIMITS goes for another round: I know I tweeted about this, and we talk about it in the podcast, but I figured I’d link it here just in case. The memes on Twitter are fantastic.

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 are 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?  Oh – and if you want to get a head start on things, this page is a great resource for watching Garmin and a few other firmware updates.

CycleOps Hammer 1/2 Firmware Update: This gets rid of the power spikes that occurred during sprints on the Hammer 1/2.

Garmin Descent Firmware Update: This is a biggie. Sure, it only lists four things, but in reality it incorporates like a year’s worth of Fenix 5X firmware updates to it, as noted by the last line item. You’ll remember that Garmin always stated with the Descent that they were looking to be much more cautious/slow on firmware updates to account for the safety related elements.

Garmin Edge 530 BETA Firmware Update: This is the second beta firmware in as many weeks, though minor compared to the previous massive beta update. I’d strongly recommend this beta if you’re having any of the specific issues noted (I’ve seen no issues on it for my daily usage).

Garmin Edge 830 BETA Firmware Update: Same as Edge 530.

Garmin Forerunner 935 BETA Firmware Update: Various bug fixes

Garmin MARQ Series Firmware Updates: Various bug fixes

Garmin Instinct Firmware Update: Slightly larger pile of various bug fixes

Wahoo ROAM Firmware Update: Bug fix related to map storage.

Thanks for reading!

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13 Comments

  1. Steve Norman

    Can’t find a free copy of the filings, but link to law360.com lists a few patent infringements.

    6,013,007 – Athlete’s GPS-based performance monitor
    7,088,233 – Personal medical device communication system and method
    8,277,377 – Method and apparatus for monitoring exercise with wireless internet connectivity
    6,976,958 – Method and apparatus for health and disease management combining patient data monitoring with wireless internet connectivity

    • Interesting. So, taking the first patent (GPS performance monitor), I don’t now of any GPS performance monitoring devices in that time-frame. The first I think we saw was basically Garmin’s some 5-7 years later. Of course, you don’t have to actually make a device to hold the patent.

      In an case, here’s the specifics of that patent:

      “A Global Positioning System (GPS) based personal athletic performance monitor for providing an athlete with real-time athletic performance feedback data such as elapsed exercise time, distance covered, average pace, elevation difference, distance to go and/or advice for reaching pre-set targets. The monitor is integrated with an AM/FM/TV personal radio, and the athletic performance feedback is provided through a set of audio headphones using an audio module. The monitor can be connected to an external personal computer via a serial or infrared port for further data storage and long term trend analysis, or to a remote computer via modem, where historical performance data is collected and logically compiled from participating athletes worldwide. Results are then transferred to an Internet web site which displays comparison data representing the relative performances of two or more athletes, provides customized individual training advice and virtual competitions, and an opportunity for advertisers to reach highly well defined potential customers. Geographically and demographically targeted advertising messages are also downloaded to the performance monitor while connected to the remote computer.”

      Knowing nothing about patent law, I’d observe the following:

      A) Every GPS watch by every company ever made would in theory violate those, as these days that’s super generic
      B) Does it have to exactly match the above? For example, there’s no AM/FM radio in Garmin/Fitbit devices. Does that mean it’s no longer a match, or?
      C) The patent expired today, which means that Philips was clearly going for in for the kill just before patent expiration.

      This one is super interesting.

      For the others:

      7,088,233 – Personal medical alerting system: I don’t think Garmin’s system would actually meet these requirements, specifically as it’s not two-way. Assuming the violation Philips is going fo here is incident detection, there’s no method for a secondary person to respond back within that framework they discuss. It’s only one-way. They could use a secondary frame work – text messaging – to communicate back to the individual, but that’s not covered by this patent.

      8,277,377 – This is super broad, just like the first, and would ultimately impact Apple and every other device maker. The patent doesn’t specifically state that the data has to be forwarded on, just that it connects wirelessly.

      6,976,958 – Garmin would easily and accurately argue that they don’t provide ‘health and disease management’, which they’d likely point out would get them in hot water with the FDA. Though again, would think Apple and many others would get tangled up here.

      I guess this ultimately goes back to just how broken the patent system really is for technology. Ultimately keen to see where this all goes. Also of note is that some of these weren’t original Philips patents, but ones they’ve bought.

    • tfk, the5krunner

      phillips have a whole new generation of ohr sensor since the mio products (apparently). I’m digging here as well.
      Instabeat uses the new Phips FWIW.
      I regularly cycle with a few tech patent lawyers … you know my email.

    • For those interested, a DCR reader and legal peep has dug up both filings. I’ve attached them below:

      Fitbit suit: link to dcrainmaker.com
      Garmin suit: link to dcrainmaker.com

      RE: Philips sensor

      Yeah, they talked about that new sensor last time I chatted with them, though, that was a couple years ago. I honestly haven’t heard any rumblings in the industry of anyone looking at their wares lately though. Last I heard (a while back) the offering they had wasn’t viable for 24×7 type HR monitoring from a battery life standpoint in a wearable while also having the accuracy required for sport. Basically, same issue Mio had in trying to sub-license their tech. Was great for sport, but that same sensor not viable battery wise the rest of the day.

      But, maybe things have changed since then.

  2. Steve Norman

    Looking at link to inquartik.com, you have to find it in the list page 12 currently, they do list a couple of prior art for 2 of the patents which may well help invalidate them but I am not a lawyer. Can’t see any details from that site either. I would sign up for pacer to be able to track the cases but I’m too cheap to pay for the 10 cents a page for what should be public records.

    The first link was for the Fitbit case which is a separate case, Garmin in California and Fitbit in Massachusetts, so there might be a difference between the patent sets. Will be interesting if both courts decide a differing opinion though.

    • Interesting.

      I would think for the first patent, Fitbit and Garmin would basically be in the same camp. For the 2nd patent (two-way medical), I don’t see anything Fitbit has that even remotely puts them in that camp. For the 3rd patent (wireless connectivity), oddly enough, Fitbit’s insistence on not supporting wireless sensors should cover them here too. Plus, they don’t send any data wirelessly to the internet in realtime. For the last one (patient management), Fitbit would actually be in more of a pickle here than Garmin, since they have been specifically courting the FDA around patient management.

  3. hdb

    Can we interest Intel in Limits? That could put them out of their misery for once and for all (albeit with Gordon and cronies getting some cash out of the deal).

  4. pl12579

    Ray, will you be looking at or have you looked at the new line of updated Lezyne gps computers announced recently? like the Lezyne Super Pro gps computer

  5. Henk

    There is also a new firmware update out for the current CycleOps trainers, although from Facebook it seems that some people are having issues installing it.

    From the Release Notes page:
    31.058, released July 18, 2019

    Improves conditions for sustained high power, such as temperature protection.
    Added a rolling resistance range limit for some training apps.