TomTom New Golf Watch Comes with Automatic Shot Detection

Exhibiting at the Wearable Technology Show today in London, TomTom presented a new version of its GPS-enabled Golf Watch.

TomTom Golfer 2 embeds acceleration and gyroscope sensors that allow for automatic shot detection.

With this new feature each shot is precisely geo-located on the green, helping golfers to improve their game with highly detailed post-game analysis.

TomTom Golfer 2 includes the following features:

– Green Distances – Precise yardages to front, centre and back of green.

– Hazards – See distances to individual hazards along the fairway.

– Lay-up- See remaining distances to lay-up points.

– Greenview — View unique green and hazard graphics before your shot.

– Round Tracking – Keep track of the score, distance, and time for your round.

– Daily Course Updates: Receive course updates wirelessly from your smartphone.

– Wireless Syncing: Sync your session wirelessly on TomTom MySports app.

– Weather and water resistant to 40M.

– Choice of large or small straps for the best fit for your wrist.

Costing 249 euros, the watch will be available in May 2016.

PhiLOCK: P2P Bike Sharing with Smart Lock

French startup PhiLOCK has launched on Kickstarter a smart bike lock that offers peer to peer bike sharing for $150 (retail price, $100 on Kickstarter).

PhiLOCK is first a “smart“ bike lock that allows you to lock and unlock a bike using a mobile app through Bluetooth. Based on proximity sensing the system locks and unlocks itself automatically. In addition to that a powerful alarm emits a loud signal if a theft attempt is detected (via an embedded three axis movement sensor).

On top of the smart lock feature, the application allows the bike owner to submit his bike for rent and other users of the app to find a rental cycle, pay for it and unlock, lock it via the app.

Payments are made via credit card and a deposit is secured assuring peace of mind for the bike owner.

PhiLOCK is currently raising $100,000 on Kickstarter; shipping of the first units are expected during the summer 2016.

SpeedForce: Smarting up Bikes with Connected Stem

Bicycle are seeing a lot of innovation these days through connected devices; another one launched this week on crowdfunding platform Indiegogo. Coming from California and called Speedforce, it comes as a replacement for the bike stem that has a 1.6-inch full-color transflective screen and a front-facing light that provides 30 feet of illumination for safer cycling.

The device feature ANT+ and Bluetooth connectivity; it has a GPS and an analog altimeter.

Speedforce embeds more than 40 hours of battery life. It provides real time coaching and its data pairs with the SpeedX Cycling app.

Sensors on the back of the pedals and wheels work in tandem to provide precise data to identify behaviors and provide recommendations to correct them, like changing gears or pedaling faster, to improve the overall health and safety of the rider. Over time, SpeedForce will recommend training programs and challenges to improve overall performance.

SpeedForce can also charge your mobile device’s battery while providing a lot of data:

– Current/maximum/average speed

– Current time and trip time

– Altitude

– Slope

– GPS directions

– Route planning

– Cadence

– Power rate

– Tread rate

– Weather

– Access to training and coaching content

The public can pre-order SpeedForce for $159 on Indiegogo. Units are expected to ship to consumers in March 2016.

Garmin Switches to Proprietary Heart Rate Sensor for New GPS Watch

Garmin yesterday announced the a couple of new GPS watches, among them the Forerunner 235, which is “the first product to feature Garmin Elevate wrist heart rate technology,“ the company said.

Interestingly the Forerunner 225, the first watch from Garmin with an embedded heart rate monitoring system was featuring a heart rate technology developed by Mio Global (based in Vancouver, Canada); “an award-winning performance wearables brand acclaimed for EKG accuracy demanded by athletes everywhere,“ Garmin wrote at the time. The Forerunner 225 was launched in May.

In September TomTom also had launched a GPS watch with an embedded heart rate, featuring their own proprietary technology. They previously also used technology from Mio Global in their Runner Cardi GPS sport watch launched in April 2014.

Wrist-based heart rate systems

The wrist-based heart rate systems use an optical sensor which monitors changes in blood flow by shining light through the skin.

Several reviews proved that chest straps are more accurate than wrist-based heart rate monitor technology. (read here: http://www.wareable.com/fitness-trackers/heart-rate-monitor-accurate-comparison-wrist)

However its is sure that it is far less cumbersome hence why the TomTom Cardio was a success and why Garmin is turning to wrist-based technology since May (although the company also unveiled today the Forerunner 230 that as a chest strap as opposed to the Forerunner 235).

However it is likely that this technology will improve. As a matter of fact the new watch from Garmin seems to feature three optical sensors instead of the two found in most Mio products and Garmin previous watch.

TomTom Enters Action Cam Market with Bandit

On the heels of our scoop last Monday (read here) TomTom announced today its entrance in the action camera market with Bandit (€429) a waterproof, 4K-enabled action camera featuring numerous sensors.

In a typical TomTom fashion the Dutch company has been focussing particularly on the software side of the camera. The way the company wants to differentiate with Bandit is in making video editing and sharing super easy.

To do that TomTom Bandit includes a built-in video media server eliminating the need to download all the footage to be able to edit it.

“We took a simple, but radical approach to solving the editing problem,” says Slobodan Stanisic, lead engineer on the TomTom Bandit. “With all existing action cameras you first need to download gigabytes of footage to a powerful PC, a process that can take a long time. Then you need to find the highlights, put together a story and format it. We know this often takes hours. Not with the TomTom Bandit. We have designed a camera where the footage is processed on the camera itself, making the editing process far easier and much faster.”

The editing process is accelerated by the sensor data attached to the videos. Bandit detects the interesting, exciting moments based on speed, altitude, G-force, acceleration and heart rate (using a separate heart rate monitor) and instantly create a video that can be quickly edited by the user in a few steps directly on his smartphone. In addition to the video data music and metrics overlays can be added in a few clicks.

Click here to see our video demo

In terms of technical features the camera does well against the competition with the following specs:

– Video at 1080p30, 1080p60, 720p60, 720p120

– Cinematic at 2.7k30, 4k15

– Native time lapse at 4k30, 1080p30 (various capture intervals)

– Native slow motion at 1080p x2, 720p x4, WVGA x6

– Single and burst photo up to 16MP at 10/s

Bandit is expected to be available in May in Europe and later this summer in the United States and Asia Pacific.

With Bandit TomTom is adding simplicity on a sport camera market where the growing quality of the footage has become a problem in itself.

Continued…

Exclusive: TomTom GPS Action Camera is Coming

Investigations from GPS Business News led to the conclusion that TomTom fitness division is preparing the launch of an GPS-enabled action sport camera.

A prototype of the device was shown behind the curtains to a few key retailers last February at a sport trade show in Germany.

Our investigation shows that the Dutch GPS maker has acquired the technology and assets developed by GoBandit GmbH, a German startup that produced and started to sell GPS-enabled action cameras between 2010-2012.

GoBandit software (for web, desktop and firmware) was developed in Belgrade by a subsidiary called GoBandit d.o.o. Per our research on LinkedIn, 4 software developers and an office manager from GoBandit joined a local TomTom subsidiary – TomTom d.o.o. -between March 2013 and May 2013, which roughly indicates when TomTom acquired the company.

Since then TomTom has been staffing its Belgrade office with new hires, mostly software engineers. Posts on the TomTom job board indicated these new hires were to report to TomTom fitness product unit based in Central London.

Further researches on Foursquare and Facebook have demonstrated the connection between GoBandit and TomTom.

GoBandit developed a couple of sensor-enabled (GPS, gyro, acceleration, pressure sensors) high definition sport cameras and applied for patents related to the use of video in conjunction with sensors such as GPS. The company disappeared suddenly at beginning of 2013.

Aleks Ristic, co-founder and ex-CEO of GoBandit – now behind a social network startup apreet.com – was contacted by GPS Business News and declined to comment on this topic.

TomTom did not reply to our request for comment either.

Parrot Releases its Flying Action Cam: “Bebop Drone“

Parrot has announced on Friday in a press launch in Paris the availability of its Bebop drone before the end of the month.

The product that was already announced a few months ago (read here) is completely dedicated to the camera system unlike its previous drone where the camera was a feature, not THE product.

The new 14 MP camera takes spheric images that are processed on the fly by the embedded GPU to offer smooth video shots whatever the movement of the drone (even when it flips) and to change the video angle (up, down, left, right) from the smartphone or tablet app that controls the drone.

Compared to the previous version of its drone, this one embeds a GPS/GLONASS receiver, which was previously only offered as an option. It is very helpful for outdoor flying, enabling a “back home“ function where the drone comes back to the location of the smartphone that controls it.

Bebop drone also has a reduced size compared to previous versions which makes it more portable. However, the battery life remains rather short: 10-11 minutes. Hopefully the company supplies a second battery pack in the box.

The range of the drone has been also improved using the latest wifi technology: WiFi ac. To further extend the range of this product Parrot created a controller (Skycontoller – see image) where the user plugs its tablet and which transmits its Wifi signal up to two kilometers (in the 5 Ghz band allowed in the United States, not in Europe). Without the skycontroller the range of the drone will highly depends on each smartphone/tablet that operate the drone depending on its Wi-Fi technology and its antenna.

The price of the Bebop drone is €499 and the drone plus the skycontroller costs €899. We can expect to have $499 and $899 recommended prices in the United States.

With this new product Parrot definitely positions itself in the mid- to high-end of the market. Its previous consumer product, AR Drone, was offered for around €350.

Watch below a short video of the Paris event:

TomTom to Introduce Golf Watch

During a press conference at the KLM Dutch Open, TomTom has introduced a Golf watch. The former European Tour player Rolf Muntz demonstrated how the watch worked and introduced it to the press present at the event.

The black and white screen displays the distances and the location of bunkers and other obstacles. More than 34,000 golf courses are already in the watch, additional courses will come in the future.

The watch is expected to be launched worldwide by the end of the month, its price is rumored to be in the €250 range.

The Bluetooth low energy chipset of the watch has already cleared the FCC authorization in the United States.

TwoNav Ultra: Wrist-Worn GPS with Maps

Spanish outdoor GPS vendor CompeGPS has announced the release of TwoNav Ultra, a new wist-worn device that features a 2-inch colour touch screen.

TwoNav Ultra will be available in November for the reommanded price of €419.

“Our main challenge was to find the ideal combination between the weight and size of the device, while at the same time, a screen which will guarantee perfect visibility of the maps,” commented Florian Gratien, Marketing Director at CompeGPS.

The hardware spec list features a GLONASS/GPS chipset, a barometric altimeter, an electronics compass and wireless connectivity through Bluetooth and ANT+. All of that is powered by a 1.300 mAh battery that is said to offer up to 12 hours of operation.

The device comes with European maps from Openstreetmap as well as some additional local topographic maps depending on your location. The map data can be easily stored on the device that accept MicroSD cards up to 32 Gb.