The annual extravaganza of all things digital, CES, has revealed quite a few new bits of tech aimed at the cycling and fitness crowd. None is more impressive than the Activetainment Ebove.

While Zwift is busy creating a massively multiplayer online world for roadies, Activetainment has looked to the dirt to create an amazing and fully immersive mountain biking simulator. The video tells the story better than words ever could, but if you don’t have two minutes to have your mind blown, here’s the nutshell: The fully robotic Ebove mountain bike simulator that moves in real time based on your pedaling, braking and turning, changing both the position of the bike and the speed at which the on-screen “trails” move. That means leaning, inclining and declining, and it’s compatible with upcoming virtual reality headsets. Not only can you ride alone, but you’ll be able to compete online in real time against others. Insane.

Keep reading for details on this, the incredible Bragi fitness earbuds and more!

Activetainment above virtual reality mountain bike simulator trainer with real time online competition

The unit adjusts resistance in real time based on the virtual environment you’re riding in, and you shift gears, brake and turn to control your own speed. You can ride on your own and keep it all private, or train and compete against others in real time or against leaderboards and share your activity on their network. Into multisports? They also make an interactive treadmill and rowing machine.

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Speaking of Zwift, they’ve officially licensed Pinarello bikes for use in game, letting you choose from the Dogma F8 road bike and Il Bolida TT bike. They say other brands of bikes, gear and clothing will follow, like giving you a few options when the service opens to the public early this year.

Polar V800 and M400 sports watches getting text message and phone alerts with new firmware updates
Photo: Polar USA’s Instagram.

Polar’s joining the fray not with a new device, but with some impressive software updates for the V800. The model is their flagship sports watch and already connects to your phone and other peripherals (HR monitor, power meters, etc.) via Bluetooth Smart. It also tracks your motion and sleep activity 24/7, making it a nice combination of basic fitness tracker and full fledged sports watch. Now, the data transmission will go from your phone back to the device with text and call alerts, letting answer or decline a call as it comes in, and even showing you tweets. The update will also come to the M400 watch. Get the full scoop over on Engadget.

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They did have one new product, aimed more at the fitness crowd than hardcore cyclists. The new A300 combines a sports watch with Bluetooth heart rate strap to track your motion and sleep quality 24/7 and your HR during exercise. Like the higher end models, it builds in fitness tests and activity level recommendations, even alerting you when you’ve been sitting on your arse for too long. It’ll also vibrate gently to help wake you up, presumably during a non-REM stage, making you feel fresher upon rising. Retail is $160 on its own, and $200 with HR strap. Interchangeable bands let you switch up the colors from yellow to pink to blue to black to white.

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Supposing you don’t want a watch or wristband tracking your activity constantly, Bragi’s The Dash in-ear wireless headphones will do the job only while you’re working out. They connect to your phone via Bluetooth and use separate left and right pods with no cable between them.

Like any good ear buds, they’ll play music. They’ll also track and audibly relay your speed, time, distance, cadence, heart rate, HR variability, plus more advanced features like oxygen saturation, body temp, and calories burnt. It’ll even tell you rate of descent, G-forces, air time and number of turns.

Even more fantastic? It’ll do all that without needing a phone anywhere in range. Thanks to a 4GB music player built into them, you can blast tunes without carrying your phone or anything else with you. And the sound can be tailored to safely suit your activity – on the road, it’ll actively let outside sounds in so you’re more aware of your surroundings. Elsewhere, it’ll can passively block outside sounds to give you a little peace and quiet, and you change the mode by simply swiping the surface of the bud.

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They come with a charging case with built in battery good for five full charges (good for about 3 hours of music playback per charge) and three sizes of silicone fitment pieces. Each side weighs just 13.8g. There’s even a free fitness and setup app to get you started, which lets you set fitness goals, minimum and maximum thresholds, and sync data. Lastly, it also works as a headset, letting you make calls with clarity by using a bone conductive mic so it won’t pick up background noise…only what you’re actually saying is heard by the person on the other end of the line. They’re up for pre-order now for $299 in black or white.

GoPro 4 Hero

GoPro already announced their LG Channel, putting all-GoPro-all-the-time footage on your big screen. But Engadget is reporting they’ll soon be updating their firmware to build in some handy new features like auto-rotate, automatic conversion of time-lapse stills into video and additional burst and slow-motion modes, too.

Parrot makes a lot of consumer-level drones that use self-generated WiFi networks to let you use your smartphone to control them. For the professional customer, they have their Sensefly brand of drones that make use of longer range, more sophisticated controls. The latest takes a lot of cues from nature to create what might be the most technologically advanced drone we’ve seen.

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Using five different dual sensors, the upcoming eXom drone can hold its position with relying on GPS, making it great for tree covered situations. By using ultrasound and visual proximity sensors, not only can it stay in place on its own, but it can avoid obstacles. There are five of each type of sensor aimed down and in array to see all around it, then it combines that data to have a situation awareness that’d make Archer proud. The head of the unit is able to rotate and maintain level, keeping its onboard hi-def video camera stable regardless of the drone’s orientation. It’s likely going to be above the budget of most of us, but for those shooting the big scenes in the ride videos that get us truly stoked, this could be amazing. Combine it with Intel’s new chips and it gets downright scary.

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Last October, Livestream started letting you push live, streaming video from your GoPro across the web using your phone’s 4G data connection. Meanwhile, competitor Hang With was letting users live stream video directly from their phones, sending real-time vlogging to their followers…and some well known personalities are on board. Now, Hang With has updated their app to allow the video to come from a GoPro or DJI Phantom 2 drone while the audio streams simultaneously from the iPhone or iPad. Add in the ability for followers to send real-time chat questions and comments and you’ve got a powerful new way to stream real conversations and interviews with much better camera angles and placement. Think you’ve got something worth watching? Hang With even shares content ad revenue with its users.

Other recent tech products we’ve covered include:

See anything else fun out there? Leave a link in the comments!

24 COMMENTS

  1. The Activetainment system is astounding. It looks like it introduces users to an exciting assortment of bicycle shaped experiences. Going the wrong way around a velodrome, for one.

  2. Because I happen to have perfect situational awareness, Lana. Which cannot be taught, by the way. Like a poet’s … mind for … to make the perfect words.

  3. Those Bragi earbuds look interesting.

    Shame there’s no way to capture them when the left or right one falls out while on the trail!

  4. I can finally ride a mountain bike without constantly feeling like I’m gonna wipe out. Well, maybe I’ll feel like I’m gonna wipe out but I won’t…maybe

  5. There’s an O’Grady cartoon from years ago that was so spot-on I think I can still remember it almost verbatim.

    A customer walks into the store, and asks the Mud Stud if he has any fitness bikes.

    “They’re all fitness bikes, dude, sir,” he responds.

    “No, I mean bikes you ride indoors,” the customer tries again.

    “I’ve tried that before–kinda hard on the furniture,” the Stud comes back.

    “I can see we’re not getting anywhere here,” the customer replies, giving up.

    “You’ve got to expect that if you’re going to ride indoors.”

  6. @plod- The case is what you charge. It can charge the earbuds 5 times before you recharge the case, which in turn will charge your earbuds 5 more times in full. Rinse, wash repeat.

  7. Dave B ,
    Or you buy the system and can compete against the athlete and not the bike ,you know ,18lb 29er against 30lb 26er , kinda cool. Also , no worries about my wife running in to a tree or getting rained out or…

  8. well, yeah, for me this is so *meh* but wait, I must think of others every once in awhile, and I’m sure there’s some people out there that are *drooling*… 🙂 <3

  9. honestly, the simulator looks like a lot of fun. Would’ve said it’s perfect for cheap thrills, but I doubt that’s anywhere near cheap.

  10. Im looking at that motion bike and my mind is screaming “TAKE MY MONEY” as for me having perfect vision while riding a trail would be awesome as I could finally push myself hard without having to focus on trying to remember each little bump and turn as that is what I currently have to do to ride off road as Im almost blind.

    I bet they didn’t realize that the device would have that kind of audience when they created it as my only hope right now of going fast is a tandem which there doesn’t seem to be any open captains in my area as all are couples; let alone one that will ride off road. Heck I have even been looking for guides but all riders I have seen don’t seem to want the responsibility of calling out turns and obstacles.

What do you think?

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