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Showing posts from August, 2015

X Bionic presentation

Last month, i had the opportunity to try out some running attire from X-Bionic, a Swiss-based sports apparel brand, which uses some pretty nifty tricks and technology to approach heat management during exercise. This was part of a final year project by some really great students at Republic Polytechnic, and I am really glad i took them up on the offer to be part of it.

Here's their video presentation on the project. I think it looks really professional!

*i'm sorry but it does not seem to play from mobile platforms. It will work if you play it on a desktop/laptop.



REVIEW: ON Running The Cloud 24/7

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On Running has been around since 2011. I first came to know about the brand when I visited their booth at the 2011 Ironman 70.3 World Championships Expo in Henderson, Nevada. They were an up and coming brand at the time and were getting some attention from the Slowtwitch forums, so I decided to check them out. They had only one commercially available shoe at the time, the Cloudrunner, retailing for a then promotional price of ~US$140 if I recall correctly. The folks at ON Running took a rather novel approach to midsole cushioning, and that is a compressible ring of rubber (coined a Cloudtec Element), which is supposed to compress during footstrike and rebound back into shape as the foot takes off. This in turn generates a sort of cushioned and bouncy feel to the shoe. Back in 2011, I was quite new to running technology and I had arrived at the race planning to wear my trust Brooks Launch on race day, but a short jog around the expo in their demo samples had me sold. I promptly bought…

FINAL VERDICT: SONY’S SMART B-TRAINER™

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I’ve had the privilege of using Sony’s Smart B-Trainer™ for about a month now, and I find myself using it for a lot of my outdoor runs. I have used heartrate monitors in the past before, but never very diligently because I tend to find HR straps uncomfortable to wear, especially on longer runs, and it’s just a little too time consuming to wear for my tastes, having to wet the sensor and get the position right before each run. I have also had problems with abrasions from the sensor piece on long runs, though some of my friends have recommended using adhesive tape to protect the skin but that’s just one step too many for me, when my running is already packed with gadgets. With the Smart B-Trainer™, it’s simply a matter of putting it on before the run, switching it on while I wear my shoes and then it takes a few seconds to capture a GPS signal before I’m off. I like to wait and see whether the Garmin captures the signal first or the Smart B-Trainer™, and overall I think it’s pretty muc…

KEY FEATURES: SONY’S SMART B-TRAINER™

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Sony’s Smart B-Trainer™ is packed with six types of sensors – heart rate, acceleration, GPS, compass, gyroscope and barometer, and records 11 types of running metrics – heart rate, burned calories, distance, time, speed, pace, cadence, steps, stride, running route and elevation. Here, I shall focus on three main features which I feel give it a big edge over the competition: standalone GPS tracking capability; built-in heartrate (HR) monitoring; intelligent music playback and real-time voice coaching.
GPS capability
I’ll start with the GPS tracking capability. As far as I know, it’s the only running headphone on the market which does not require concomitant use of a smartphone to provide GPS tracking capability. I know many runners, myself included, who hate to run with a cumbersome phone. While modern GPS watches have shrunk in size quite a bit in recent years, they still tend to weigh more than the average conventional watch, not to mention the fact that you have to glance at your (s…