9 sports gadgets that offer something new
7th Apr 2013 | 07:00
The sports gear that will change the way you exercise
Sports technology has made a giant leap forward over the past year. New devices now connect using Bluetooth 4.0 for low-power usage.
Better data analytics means you can see more information about a workout. And, many of these gadgets offer easily adjustable, customize-able features to fit your own fitness regimen.
1. TaylorMade R1
Even seemingly low-tech "gadgets" like a golf club are benefiting from technology advancements. The TaylorMade R1 can be adjusted for loft (a dial at the shaft lets you adjust between 8 and 12 degrees to increase lift) and the angle of the club face (choose one of seven positions). You can also move weights to enable you to move the club head's center of gravity. TaylorMade offers an app and virtual site that shows how it works.
2. Wahoo Fitness: RFLKT Bike Computer
Pronounced "reflect", this bike computer shows data from your iPhone like speed, distance, distance, and heart rate. The Wahoo Fitness app also lets you create a playlist of music, and you can skip tracks and control volume. You can quickly mark an interval on your workout from the handlebar, which is saved to the app. The device uses low-power Bluetooth Smart for the wireless connection.
3. Adidas Boost
These new trainers are designed to save energy. There are thousands of special energy capsules that have been melted together into one midsole. Adidas says it will change your run forever - we can say they certainly feel comfortable as we've tried them out. The buzzword is 'high energy return' and there's extremely soft cushioning to help you feel comfortable all through your run. Adidas says it will release more shoes under the Boost brand.
4. EatSmart Precision Tracker Digital Bathroom Scale
Not all bathroom scales are created equal. This high-tech model shows you your current weight, your weight from your last weigh-in, and the kg difference. The scale can identify who you are automatically based on your weight. You can also see a history of your weight loss over time on the built-in LCD display.
5. Under Armour Armour39
Most fitness trackers just spit out raw data. You're on your own in determining whether you had a robust workout or not. The Under Armour Armour39 includes a module and strap you place around your chest. (There's also an optional watch). Once connected to your iPhone, you can see the usual read-outs for heart rate and calories in the free app. But the new WILLpower score from 1-10 analyzes your workout duration, body position, heart rate, and other factors. You can see in a glance if you have pushed hard or had more of a leisurely workout.
6. GeoPalz ibitz PowerKey
Not every step-counter works the same. This gadget for kids clips to your clothes or a belt. You can track steps, distance, weight, height, physical movement, and BMI (body-mass index). For kids, the device also includes a game where you have to feed a game character healthy food, water, and provide physical activity.
7. Reebok ATV 19+ Training Shoe
Fitness tech means more than just an exercise program and a heart rate monitor. These rugged outdoor shoes have nineteen lugs in the sole to help you run through snow, mud, sand, and grass. The outsole (the layer between the lugs) os made form carbon rubber. The shoes use a synthetic heel and toe reinforcement, plus a padded tongue and collar. The rugged shoes are the first of their kind.
8. MayFonk VERT
One of the major trends in sports technology is to get more accurate data from athletes. The MayFonk VERT is a small clip-on device that measures your vertical jump in real-time. An OLED display shows your jump height, but the gadget also connects to a smartphone or tablet over Bluetooth 4.0. That way, coaches can see a real-time vertical jump indicator using the VERT SKILZ app.
9. BKOOL Set
This "turbo" trainer for indoor bike training connects to your computer, GPS, iOS or Android device using an included ANT+ wireless sensor. The sensor feeds info like power and cadence to your gadget. You can adjust resistance up to a 20% incline. One of the coolest features: you can use the app during an outdoor workout to record speed, distance, altitude, route map, calories, and calculated power to save. You save the data to BKOOL.com and can load it to simulate the ride indoors.