• Nerd Alert – Bike Related Sightings at CES

    by  • January 19, 2011 • opinionate, too random • 0 Comments

    I figure an article about some technology stuff is appropriate since NorCal is really built around Silicon Valley.  NorCal is simultaneously the birth place of the semi-conducter, mountain biking, graphical user interfaces, and the obvious… the bike computer.  Like many local cyclists, my day job took me to Las Vegas, for the Consumer Electronic Show (CES), to get up to speed on Televisions last week. [Funny story, United Health Care, , Sponsors of the United Health Care Pro Cycling Team  had a booth pushing some of their online technology and I saw Jake Keough and Morgan Schmitt in jean,s and long sleeve cycling jerseys, wandering around many of the exhibits listed below, looking out of place, and extremely skinny compared to most folks walking the show.]  Here are a few cycling related nerd droppings i thought would be appropriate for the power meter dorks that read Nor Cal Cycling News

    ANT+ 
    The ANT standard just seems to grow every quarter and if CES is any indication is is about to go big time, even making it into the Panasonic booth for an exhibit about connected homes.   For those that aren’t super geeks make sure that any device you are buying from a scale, to a heart rate monitor, is ANT+ compatible.  ANT+ a wireless network protocol that is ideal for multiple signal products, like bike computers, that want to have multiple data inputs into one device.  ANT’s presence at tradeshows seems to be getting bigger every few months.  They had a side booth at Interbike, and even more floor space, and central spot at CES.  Most exercise equipment vendors in attendance that i spoke to were hawking devices that were ANT compatible or were going to be made ANT compatible in the near future.  Their booth at CES was chock full of software and equipment vendors like Mapmyride, Garmin, Training Peaks, and Wahoo.  This is a technology worth watching since many of our devices, including phones, can now start sharing data for improved logging and analysis.

    Finis
    folks are based out of Livermore and are making a device, in a watch form factor, that measures swimmers strokes.  Finis is also putting together a software package for swimming specific data analysis – which looked dreadfully boring, but would probably be cool if I didn’t think swimming was only good for keeping one alive if accidentally pitched out of a whale watching boat.  For those already invested in a training software program Finis was promising TrainingPeaks file compatibility by the end of Q1 which should mean it could work with most training programs that accept data files. They are adding GPS to the next generation of devices which should come out in Q3 or Q4 of 2001. While I firmly believe that tri-athletes are the scourge of the cycling world, cause they can’t ride a straight line in a pack, I do think this would be a cool watch to have if i didn’t sink like a rock in the water.

    Recon Instruments
    Recon Ready Ski Goggles have a GPS unit in side of the goggles which feeds data to a full small display screen, inside the goggles, of relevant data  like speed, distance, altitude, vertical feet, temperature, etc  They also have their own mapping and data software that comes along with it but it looked sort of early stage and unpolished.  While this doesn’t have much to do with cycling I prefer to spend my January and February skiing, than doing the silly Early Birds and Spring Classics like Snelling.  I would imagine its not long before similar technology finds itself in cycling glasses instead of a cock pit centered computer.

    Tanita 
    Tanita makes ANT+ and  blue tooth scales.  Just think, you no longer have to guess, approximate, or make up your weight and body fat content for your training log – it should all get input automatically with all your other data on your Garmin.  Your weight and other scale specific data, like body fat guesstimate, could be uploaded automatically to your personal device every time you step on a scale. This kind of passive collection of data will make weight control and high performance analysis even easier than it is now. While it looks like Tanita is getting close to a ideal data collection tools I still have not found a good software package for diet/weight analysis for serious athletes. Diet logging software is still a pain in the ass and other than graphing one’s weight none of the logs offer much in the way of analysis.  Tanita’s online software package, Healthy Edge, is offered at the Competitive Edge  but I have not spent any time on it.

    Casio: Hybrid-PGS EX-H20G
    This camera tags photos with a latitude/longitude reading enabling very accurate maping and location identification. The current consumer use case for this is a little weak, but as the functionality, lat/lon geo tagging, becomes more prevalent on phones and cameras, and the social networks like Facebook, Strava, etc become more savvy, it will be a cool additional data point for people posting photos about routes, races, and other events.  I always see ride photos form friends in the North Bay and East Bay that make me envious of their local flora and fauna.  With a GPS and location tags of the photos and routes i could recreate the magic if i can’t get there at the same time.

    Now go buy some of this stuff and let me know how it works out for you.

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    Former NorCal resident now residing in Madison,Wisconsin. I race cross, but I'm named after a velodrome. Support your local bike shop, NorCal race promoters, and go learn to race on a track. Hellyer Velodrome - http://www.ridethetrack.com

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