‘Gadget’ Articles

X4 Lights the Spot

Commuter-X4There are plenty of ways to be seen while riding or running at night, but Edward Ward of London has created the Commuter X4, a wearable, fiber optic rear bike light that helps drivers judge distance, width and even speed of the cyclist. Ward’s design was even selected as one of the final 20 of the British Inventors’ Project at the Gadget Show Live 2014. His design features four fiber optic light guides and this system can be worn over the back and can also be attached to bags and backpacks. What makes this system also stand out said Ward is that the human eye typically judges distances by focusing on two more focal points and the Commuter X4 provides much more than a single light.

This system is also designed to sit at the optimum height for all road users – again ensuring it can’t be missed. Ward has now launched a Kickstarter campaign to help the X4 get noticed by investors. Video after the jump

Shine Like a Eagle

Eagle-600The Eagle 600 bike light from Magicshine doesn’t necessarily soar higher than most lights, but it does have a little magic of another sort. Unlike most cycling lights this light features an OLED display that shows remaining battery and runtime.

It can be fully charged in about four hours and can run on full power for about 1.5 hours. It also has low modes plus flashing mode to preserve the battery life. On full blast it offers 600 lumens, which is enough to light the road ahead. The best feature is still that lets you know the runtime that is left with the light so you’re not left out in the dark.

Magic Shine Eagle 600 Official Website

GoPro Goes Double

GoProGoPro has doubled down so to speak with the introduction of the new GoPro Dual HERO system, which can capture synchronized footage that can be converted to 3D. This set up will also allow users to capture simultaneous photo and video footage. It is compatible with two HERO3+ cameras (sold separately) and the system will retail for $199.

Read the rest of this entry »

XBand on the Run

XBandTracking runners once just required a stopwatch, but today coaches have more options and now the XBand Speed Pro offers coaches as way to track speed and agility metrics through a new wearable device. A wearable body module is paired with a finish line module and smartphone adapter and can be used to interpret data and display the results in the accompanying app. It utilizes a microwave sensor, accelerometer and RF modules to precisely measures and transmits key performance data to a smartphone app as runner’s train, and with this information runners can improve their speed and performance.

The XBand Speed Pro is being developed via a Kickstarter campaign, and the designers hope to have it off and running later this year. Video after the jump

Taking a Dive

Dive-Master-500Victorinox, the makers of the Swiss Army Knives, has long made watches and this spring the company launched a limited titanium edition of its Dive Master 500, which is limited to just 500 pieces. It features a 43mm case in Grade II titanium and is water resistant to up to 500 meters. It also features protected screw down crown and push buttons.

Victorinox Official Website

Rocket Powered

Rocket-TorchWhen heading out into the wilds less can be more as the new Rocket Torch from Pyle Audio proves. This sleek cylinder is both a multi-functional speaker and flashlight equipped. It is equipped with Bluetooth technology, FM radio, mini SD card slot and AUX-IN jack. It is water resistant yet weighs less than a pound, while the Bluetooth technology allows users to connect to any iOS, Android or PC device and listen to music and phone calls up to a distance of 32 feet.

It also offers a bright, energy efficient LED flashlight that can be clipped to a backpack or even a bike for traveling at night. This is one rocket that will light the way and rock out the tunes.

Pyle Audio Official Website

GoPro Mounts Up Again

GoProGoPro has introduced a number of new mounts for its rugged action cameras that offer users even more flexibility in capturing the magic of that special moment. The new stealth Blackout Housing($49.99) promises to delivers the ultimate in low profile shooting. It features a non-reflective black matte finish and LCD concealment stickers to ensure low visibility and eliminate light reflections. The new housing is perfect for the sportsman, tactical, professional or any user who wants a covert look for their HERO3+ or HERO3.

Two additional accessories, Gooseneck and The Frame, are also designed for maximum ease of use and greater versatility in shooting. The Gooseneck ($19.99) offers a seven-link flex neck along with a quick-release base plate for capturing hard to reach shots around corners or underneath objects; while the reengineered Frame ($39.99) promises to be the smallest, lightest way to mount the HERO3+ and HERO3 camera. The Frame features full-time access to all camera ports for convenient data offload, live-feed video and charging, an integrated latch to make securing and removing the camera quicker and easier, and a compact mounting design that allows for optimal audio recording. Video after the jump

Double O Light

Double-OThe Double O isn’t exactly something we’d expect 007 or any other British super spy to use, but these are being developed in the U.K. by Paul Coksedge Studios through a Kickstarter campaign. The Double Os put out 80 lumens up front and 45 lumens in the rear. The designers suggest that this round style uses less bright LEDs but more and that results in a more visible light – without being blinding or otherwise distractive to drivers and other cyclists.

These charge up in 90 minutes via USB and have three modes – steady, which can run for about 2.1 hours; flashing at 4.2 hours and Eco at about 10 hours. Video after the jump

Trail Recorders

Dark-Ops-Trail-CameraTrail Cameras has introduced two new outdoor rugged cameras, the Browning Strike Force and Dark Ops Trail cameras and both are small enough to be virtually undetectable by animal or human eyes.

Each of these outdoor cameras is powered by six AA batteries, while offering easy set up. These feature time, date, temperature, moon phase, and camera ID on the data strip of every image, along with trigger speeds of .67 second, recovery times of 2.1 seconds, and increased power efficiency allow the cameras to capture more than 10,000 images on a single battery charge. These provide infrared images with an auto-adjusting illumination feature that prevents overexposed images in nighttime photos and videos; while the extended illumination feature brightens the field of view and eliminates dark edges.

Trail Cameras Official Website

UCI Looking at Google Glass

Google-GlassThis week VeloNews reported that a technical commission from the world’s cycling governing body, the UCI, has taken a “look” at Google Glass.

“The equipment commission will address concerns over the outdated method of data and video capture in the biggest races,” one source told VeloNews, on condition of anonymity due to a forthcoming official announcement from Google. “Google Glass technology will take the sport to the head of technological development in major professional sports. The possibilities for entertainment, sport science, and, yes, safety, are nearly limitless.”

Google Glass incorporates a small, Internet-enabled computer in a pair of lightweight eyeglasses and provides wearers with the ability to capture and share photographs and video hands free, and even complete a number of other commands.

This move into cycling marks Google’s first major sports sponsorship as part of its Glass launch. It could mean that Google Glass could soon join such technology as race radios in future events like the Tour de France.

[Via VeloNews: UCI commission to recommend Google Glass use on WorldTour]

Smart Run Gets the Red Dot

Smart-Run-Red-DotLast month Adidas announced that its Smart Run won the product design category at the Red Dot Award 2014 and the wearable device stood out from 4,815 entries and received the Red Dot: Best of the Best for highest quality and ground-breaking design.

“Our ambition was to bring all the features and technology that runners value into an elegant, wearable package, with comfort and usability driving our decision making. Simple forms were executed in high quality materials such as magnesium, stainless steel, glass and silicone, to bring the look and feel that is appropriate to this level of innovation,” said Scott Tomlinson, design lead of the SMART RUN. “We consciously ignored the running watch template and looked more into the world of consumer electronics for reference. The touch screen display is the hero of the product and allows a clean look for all day wear, but also brings a rich and intuitive experience that comes to life as the runner requires it. We believe that the key to successful wearable technology goes beyond the features and functions, and is really driven by how well the product integrates into the daily life of the user, how well it simplifies and reduces, rather that what it adds.”

Red Dot Press Release: The winners of the Red Dot Award

Contour is Back

ContourIt has been quite the wild ride for Contour – maker of action sports cameras. The company was on a roll, and then suddenly called it quits. Earlier this month the company announced that it had completed a financial overhaul, reorganized and improved its distribution.

It made the move from Seattle to Provo, Utah and the company said its financial outlook is solid with key retailers.

“The aim is clear—we want to create a world class company to support this world class product,” said Danny Lysenko, CEO of CONTOUR. “While recovering CONTOUR’s position in the market, we’ll continue the long tradition of being at the forefront of innovation and bringing to market beautifully simple, yet ultimately professional cameras.”

Contour Official Website
[Via Transworld Business: CONTOUR Returns to POV Camera Market With New Ownership]

Weekend Reading List (04.05.2014): Bike Decline, RIP Hobie, Total 360, Old Timers

Bike Decline


From Bicycle Retailer: The single biggest issue facing the bike industry (A blog by Jay Townley)
As we finish the first quarter of 2014 the U.S. bicycle business is preparing for its April gathering of industry leaders at the Bicycle Leadership Conference and the IBD Summit. We have noticed that the U.S. bicycle business continues to separate the meetings of the specialty bicycle retail, or bike shop channel of trade suppliers from the retailers and the separate agendas for these two important annual gatherings still do not mention or pay attention to the most important single issue facing the U.S. bicycle business today!

The following chart (above) is a graphic presentation of the 18-year history of U.S. bicycle riding participation from 1995 through 2012. The data is from the National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA). The overall trend is a slow decline, from the peak of 56 million in 1995 to flat overall bicycle riding participation at 39 million for the last three years. 2013 bicycle riding participation will be available in early April, but we don’t anticipate any significant change from the history you see here. Read the rest of this entry »

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