To quickly summarize, 2012 will be the year we share the outdoor experience. I even saw a bathroom scale that will wirelessly share your weight with its included app. “Siri, am I fat?”
GoBandit LIVE action camera
GoPro is by no means the only wearable action camera on the market. Well, it never really was the only wearable action cam but it’s certainly the most prevalent. (Hats, er, helmets off to their marketing department.) The GoBandit cam offers a live link to your smartphone in full 1080 HD and has an embedded GPS to allow for live measurements of your speed, route and altitude. It’s a very cool looking camera and comes with a couple of mounts. Of course, you can upload and share your ride/wave/climb/jump/fall/spill/yard sale data. If you visit this site before 2/25, you can register for an early adopter discount, which you’ll want to do because they guy I talked to used numbers that were not real appealing, which reminded me of the stellar job the GoPro marketing department is doing.
UWater Action Gear by Fitness Technologies, Inc.
So I guess these guys have been around a while; where, I don’t know. Underwater I suppose, because that’s their primary focus: 100% waterproof electronics. They market a lot of slick, scuba-ready accessories, like flashlights, an FM radio, MP3 player with Bluetooth headset and dive lights. I really like the UWater Full HD Action Cam. (This is in part because I don’t scuba dive and thus, have no real interest in soundtracking Delbert McClinton to a reef dive.) UWater’s action cam looks like a bullet. It’s small, easy to mount and feels quite solid, as if it could actually take the abuse these in-action cameras are often subject to. It will accept a Micro SD card of any capacity and also has a patent-pending battery extension that will provide up to 8 hours of run time. It adds about another two-inches or so to the camera. I think this is a very cool product.
The only road biking I do is on a single speed over to Fresh & Easy or to the gym, so I don’t have a lot of need for an iPhone- (or iPod touch) connected bike computer. But that doesn’t mean that the iBike Dash isn’t slick as hell. So you download the app to either device and then insert it into the iBike “smart case,” which then attaches to your ride. From what I saw, the app is really comprehensive and has a very attractive touch screen interface. You can monitor speed and distance over a live GPS map, get averages, time and also take calls while the Dash continues to record your data. That’s cool. And it’s water tight. You can get either the iBike Coach App for training purposes or the standard iBike App for general riding and fitness.
I’m not a fan of headphones in the outdoors. I see them used a lot though, in mountain biking and snowboarding, especially. For me, it’s a safety issue. I don’t run with them because I feel music is a distraction, it doesn’t allow you to listen to your breathing, focus on your pace or stay mentally balanced. Yeah, I’m kind of a tool that way. I apologize for the digression; point is, a lot of people like to listen to music in their outdoor pursuits. If I had to, I would use these AfterShokz headphones because they do not “go in, on or cover your ears.” Powered by what the parent company, VoxTech, calls bone conduction technology, which has something to do with military special ops and bypassing the ear canal by sending the soundwaves through adjacent bones. What I like about this concept is that it allows you hear what’s going on around you in the outdoors, which is ideal for safety along the slopes, trails and suburban sidewalks. It also protects the eardrum. Hell, I may have just convinced myself to pick up a set. They also have AfterShokz Game for, yes, gamers, and AfterShokz Mobile for cell phones, each with an in-line mic. The sport version is $59.99 and the other two are $69.99. Nice.