The New York Times is out with a review of heart rate monitors. The highlights:
- Polar FT60 is "efficient and easy to use."
- Mio Stride Petite makes you press buttons mid-workout, which the tester found annoying.
- Timex Ironman Road Trainer is "a little too complicated."
- Garmin FR60 is "a little uncomfortable to wear."
- Suunto T3C Black Arrow isn't "as intuitive as other monitors."
All good to know. But much more intriguing — the photo (above) which ran with the article. Jumping rope on a Bosu Ball? Prediction: One minute after this trend hits, it recedes, leaving millions of broken ankles in its wake.
My "General Exercise" feat dial goes to eleven.
No but seriously, can anyone help? I've logged 21 workouts in March, but can't get a feat accompli.
Yesterday on Social Workout, a debate raged on whether ski clothes are always ugly or whether Sports Illustrated purposefully dressed Lindsday Vonn to look like a carny. Interesting question. Unclear answer. But what's clear is that if the photo were real, Lindsay would have been freezing her face off. If only she'd had the ColdAvenger. The tricked out ski mask makes you look like Darth Vader, but it mixes the cold air you inhale with the warm air you exhale to keep your face a balmy and dry 40 to 60 degrees above outdoor air temperature. $50, and her pretty face could have been nice and toasty! (via Gizmodo).
- For sale starting next week, Ear Vibe Headphones. The ear pieces literally vibrate in your ears, so it's like you have a teeny tiny car with a pimped out stereo system that shakes every time your music hits low frequency bass, and that teeny tiny car is sitting right atop your ear drum. Which undoubtedly sounds pleasant to someone out there...
- Biking and headphones (vibrating or otherwise) are a dangerous combination, but now you can still listen to tunes on your bike thanks to wireless speakers that attach to your handlebars. The New York Times reviewed a bunch and liked the Tommyca Bicycle Sound System best.
- Researchers at USC are developing super-trackers for weight loss intervention. Rather than just monitoring your activity and calorie expenditure like any number of movement trackers, these devices are hooked up with video cameras to track what you're eating, and if you're inactive too long or eating something bad, you'll get an intervention text message.
Two new gadgets worth noting:
- Samsung MyFit. It's a music player (various digital formats plus radio) but it also has built in fat and stress sensors, a calorie counter, workout guides, and a program that selects music based on your workout. Plus its equipped with apps that can tell you when to drink water and yell at you for smoking. Coming this spring, price unannounced. Any bets?
- Philips Activa. Coming April 2010, the Activa music player adjusts the tempo of your music to match your workout and tracks your distance and calories burned. Like the Adidas miCoach, if you slow down too much it talks over the music and tells you to speed up. Potentially encouraging, or as Erikka warns, potentially annoying. Either way, $130.
Running can be a lonely workout, which, in fact, is part of the appeal. But a little encouragement along the way certainly couldn't hurt. Pacing playlists are tried and true, but they don't actually talk to you. Enter the Adidas miCoach fitness tracker. It tracks your pace and heart rate as you run, and then a little robot voice tells you to go faster or slower. You can plug the miCoach into your iPod, and the voice will just insert itself right over Lady Gaga. The miCoach pacer is $140 and the heart rate monitor is $70, so pricier than the $30 Nike + tracker. But it does all the same online tracking as other devices, plus has the voice, so you just have to decide if an automaton in your ear is worth a hundred something bucks to you.More...
Unveiled yesterday amidst the protests and deadlock at the Copenhangen Climate Change Summit, MIT's new "Copenhagen Wheel." You attach the wheel to your regular bike, and it transforms it into a "hybrid" by storing energy when you brake and then returning it to you when you need a boost to go uphill or speed up quickly. But attention workout trackers: The Copenhagen Wheel also beams information to your iPhone about your speed and distance traveled. Plus it gathers and displays data on traffic, air quality, and the proximity of your friends as you ride so you can plan accordingly.
Need a nap, but no bed in sight? Forget sneaking off to a bathroom stall or climbing under your desk. Sleep inconspicuously in public with The Vertical Bed. It fully supports your body weight while you stand and comes with noise-cancelling headphones and sunglasses so you can sleep anywhere and blend right in. Tested on the streets of New York...