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CES Cycling Tech Roundup – Intel, Suunto, IBM x Under Armour, Bell, GoPro, Oakley & More!

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Follow-me drones have popped up recently, but few mention any sort of obstacle avoidance and none have explicitly stated they’re able to follow along through the woods at speed without smacking into a tree. Now, Intel is poised to change the game dramatically with their RealSense technology. Shown at CES in two different form factors, the 360º awareness allows them to navigate real world obstacles and adjust in real time to changing conditions.

The video above shows them flying through the woods, click past the break to see it follow a real, live mountain biker…plus, the keynote video about RealSense for drones along with lots of other great new tech from Oakley, Suunto, IBM, Under Armour, Bell, GoPro and more…

We’re guessing there’s a litany of liability issues (just read the disclaimers in the videos) from using such a thing in a public venue, but for professional filming and a whole host of delivery and real world applications, this is simply amazing.



Suunto has been making high-powered GPS watches for some time, but the new AMBIT3  Vertical makes a serious foray into sports watches by capturing and displaying elevation (gain, incline, actual, etc.) alongside bike-friendly measurements like cadence, speed and power. And, it’s all easily managed and shared via the new smartphone app.

The Vertical (left) is joined by the Peak, Sport (center) and Run (right), all of which provide GPS data and differing levels of 3rd party sensor compatibility correlating to expected uses. Most now offer recovery status and sleep monitoring when paired with their heart rate monitor. Here’s the promo video for the Vertical:

Price is $469 for the AMBIT3 Vertical, others range from $299 to $600 depending on model and color.



Focusing more on the fitness crowd than purely cycling, the Under Armor Healthbox is an all-in-one kit for tracking your daily activity, weight, body fat, diet and general well being. The kit includes their body-fat measuring scale, the fitness wrist band and a chest strap heart rate monitor.

The scale and wrist band connect to the UA Record app as well as MapMyFitness, MyFitnessPal and Endomondo, all of which are owned by UA. The UA Band monitors heart rate continuously via little lights underneath (like the Mio devices), giving you a look at resting heart rate, a good way of seeing just how well you’ve slept. The chest strap is there to capture a more accurate HR during high intensity activity, an area we’ve found several wrist mounted measures somewhat weak, and it determines HE zones and intensity.


All of that data is automatically uploaded to the UA Record app, which makes it pretty and easy to decipher. Take the time to rate how you’re feeling and put in your daily diet and it’ll use that info to provide workout recommendations. Input your goals (weight, body fat, etc.), and it’ll tailor those workout recommendations to help you meet them.

How? Because they’ve tapped IBM’s Watson to do the number crunching and develop intelligent workout programs and plans for improving your overall fitness. Smart.


By tapping into the 100+ million user base of their collective fitness app universe, you also have the ability to compete with others or just see how you stack up.



We already saw the mountain bike helmet with 360Fly’s surround-o-vision camera integrated into the top. What we didn’t show you was the Bell Star, their bad ass street motorcycle helmet with the action camera. There’s also a motocross full face and a snow sports helmet with 360Fly built in.


Engadget interviewed GoPro founder Nick Woodman, who hinted that their planned Karma drone will be backwards compatible with even the earliest of their cameras, which suggests the camera itself won’t be integrated into the drone. He also spoke of making VR easy, which they posit means a 360º capture camera could be in the works. Whether it takes the shape of Nikon’s dual lens or the 360Fly used by Bell remains to be seen. Either way, look for the drone to launch early this year.

And the FAA has launched B4Ufly, a new app that lets you know when and where it’s OK to fly that drone.



Activeon’s new Solar X is a 4K action cam with touch screen controls and easy sharing that’ll capture up to two hours of hi-def action per charge. And, as often happens, should you run out of a charge in the middle of it all (or far, far away from the middle of anything), it’ll recharge itself from the sun simply by flipping out its solar panels. They claim it’ll get to 70-80% charge within an hour, and even faster when plugged into a wall socket.


The specs are decent, capturing 4K at 2160P and up to 15mb/s. What makes it more attractive, beyond the solar charging, is the simple GUI interface on a 2″ screen and the ability to instantly upload to their own cloud or your social media channels by connecting through your smartphone.


Image courtesy of Intel.

Intel, which recently purchased Recon and their Jet cycling sunglasses with heads up display, looks like they’re expanding their reach into athletic data. Already working with New Balance on running shoes, they’ve partnered with Oakley to create the Radar Pace smart sunglasses. Initially, the data looks to be focused on running, but they brought 3x Ironman World Champion Craig Alexander to the stage to show them off, so likely cycling data will follow. They may need to make it work with a single earbud, though, to comply with some state’s safety laws. The device will capture movement metrics and provide auditory feedback and workout cues.

They also showed off miniature, low power chips that capture performance data inside sports equipment. Planned for use in snowboards first at the ESPN Winter X-Games this year, they’ve tested it in BMX bikes in the past, too. The data could stream real time metrics like G-forces, speed, amplitude, etc., giving spectators live info to enhance viewership. Imagine that at Crankworx!


Check out the new goods launched at CES from Sony, Nikon and Garmin.

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