Danish designed GPS sports watch on Kickstarter

Looks like some chaps are trying to get funding for an interesting new GPS sports watch

1 to 20 of 24 messages
04/01/2013 at 15:58

Looks like some chaps are trying to get funding for an interesting new GPS sports watch. Thought I'd share the link in case anyone is interested in taking a gander:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/903141699/leikr-the-new-danish-designed-gps-sports-watch

Being an ultra-runner, I'd love to have a half decent GPS watch with maps. No one seems to have done it particularly well yet, so hope these guys nail it. As long as they can get the battery life up from 6 hours through their updated software, in addition to some waterproofing, they could end up with a pretty decent product.  

04/01/2013 at 16:53

I follow a lot of things on Kickstarter but that one doesn't grab me - or other investors by the looks of it as they are well short of their target with 28 days to go.

 

04/01/2013 at 17:03

They are close to 30% of their target with 28 days to go. That's not bad going in my book. Let's see what happens over the next 4 weeks anyway. It would be interesting to see some additional competition in the GPS watch market, given that Garmin or Suunto seem to be the default choice of most long distance runners these days.

04/01/2013 at 18:17

Actually, it looks like they have almost 30% of their target after only 48 hours. That's a pretty decent start I'd say. I'm sure they are going to get their funding within the next 28 days...

04/01/2013 at 22:25

Battery time: Up to 6 hours..
Was quite interested up to that point. 

04/01/2013 at 23:52

LOOKS AMAZING

05/01/2013 at 14:03

Ian, they mention "WIth the current power scheme optimization we can grant a battery life up to 6 hrs by June. We know that we can improve the battery life significantly and we are going to do it through SW upgrades."

I'm sure they will be releasing a software upgrade that allows you to change the GPS reading settings, like you can do with other running watches. I'd definitely be interested if they could get the battery life up to 10-12 hours...

09/01/2013 at 10:01

Looks like they are half way towards their funding goal with 23 days to do. Reckon this project is moving forward 'fat buddha'. It would be good to see a bit more innovation in the GPS watch market, as it feels like a rather oligopolistic market at present. The entries from Motorola and Nike were quite interesting, but did not shake things up enough for serious runners / triathletes. 

09/01/2013 at 11:20

MH - I wish them well with their funding goal - as you say, it would be good to have a decent alternative to Garmin

I guess my biggest gripe is me - I don't "get" why you need to have tech like this - I guess I'm a bit old school when it comes to running/riding etc.  I have a Garmin 405 (which I got for free otherwise I wouldn't have taken it) but it rarely gets used.  I don't need a wrist map to know where I'm going locally.

and if I was going somewhere where GPS maps would be of use - trekking in the wilds somehwere - then something like a Garmin eTrex would suit my eyesight better!

and - fyi - I don't eschew all tech. I was in early via Kickstarter on the Pebble watch  that links to an iPhone or Android mobile - http://getpebble.com/ - which is the biggest funded KS venture to date.

to me the Pebble offers a lot more versatility, useability and dare I say, fashion than this Leikr unit.   I'm eagerly waiting my 2 Pebbles!!

09/01/2013 at 14:17

I know what you mean, most of the time you don't need a wrist map. Having said that, I can definitely see some good uses for it. There are a number of times where I've been lost on ultra-marathons as a result of missing a signpost, and have also managed to get lost on long bike rides in unfamiliar areas. I like the idea of being able to upload a gpx file to your wristwatch before an ultra or long ride, so that you can make sure you don't go too far off course. Whilst a phone with mapping is really useful, it's not always practical, especially from a battery life perspective over longer runs / rides.

Perhaps I just love maps a little too much. I have a geography degree and also a masters in geographic information systems. I get quite excited about the use of mapping technology and the potential for location based services etc.

I like the look of the Pebble, very cool. Now if they could only make a lightweight GPS enabled mobile phone with a decent battery life to communicate with it  

09/01/2013 at 17:06

just had an e-mail update from Pebble - they have a press conference at the CES show in Vegas today.  hopefully they will announce shipping dates!  EDIT: shipping starts 23 Jan!

I like maps - a lot - I have some of my Alpine ones framed at home.  but to try to read a 2" map on my wrist without my glasses would defeat me - and I have no intention of taking my reading glasses out on a run or bike!!  perhaps different if trekking but not when actively exercising.

now maybe a head up display.....

 

Edited: 09/01/2013 at 17:48
09/01/2013 at 18:09

I knew as soon as I clicked on the link and saw the design that the battery life would be an achilles heel and was right.  I don't think 6 hours is enough for the sort of person likely to most want that sort of device, whether its ultra runners or hikers.

10/01/2013 at 06:14

I like the look of it. In fact, sufficient to have pledged. I hope they make their goal. I have used Garmins throughout, and still do, but it feels as though they need some competition. Their software hasn't really moved on much, their designs are so-so and their customer service is also somewhat lacking. Competition from other quarters is good for all brands and for the end-punter.

Personally the six hour battery life is not a concern. I'm in the electronics industry and that's their worse case non-optimised scenario. They have quite an interesting article on their Kickstarter page explaining this. As long as I can get, say, 10 hours between charges then I'm happy. I always leave my Garmin in its cradle between runs anyway. They will comfortably get this 10 hours once they optimise the software.

I hope they make their target. Innovation is good.

cougie    pirate
10/01/2013 at 09:51
Not interested in gps watches - my iPhone is a cheaper option for me.
The pebble watch is very interesting though - that ticks a lot of boxes.
10/01/2013 at 09:54

if I recall battery life of earlier Garmins was an issue with those "going longer" - certainly the case with some of my IM compadres, many of whom were out there on the bike and run for much longer than 10 hrs, let alone 6.  recent versions have improved on that.

so 6hrs for many is more than enough and if these guys can get that up to 10-12 before launch, then it will be no a no-brainer for those wanting to buy.  sure - if you want longer than that, you may need to go to handheld GPS unit but for those doing active sports 12hrs is usually more than enough.

10/01/2013 at 10:24

Looks interesting but I invested in the Bia Sportswatch that was on Kickstarter middle of last year and have been receiving regular updates on product development, so I'll wait for that one to go into production!

10/01/2013 at 15:05

Agreed Torchy, competition leads to innovation, which has got to be good for the consumer in the long run (pun intended).

Fat Buddha, I'll be carrying my Garmin Edge 800 with me at the Country to Capital this Saturday. I've heard the course is pretty easy to follow, but I'll feel better for having a mapping GPS with me and I've downloaded the route onto the device. I'm pretty sure the battery will last too. Towards the end of these long races, it's amazing what silly mistakes you can make trying to follow marking / arrows, particularly in the dark.

13/01/2013 at 16:37

The Garmin Edge 800 was invaluable during the run yesterday. Despite the fact that a number of very experienced ultra runners were carrying maps and quite a few of them had also run the route before, people were getting lost on the course. At one point, I was literally leading a group of 30 runners who were relying on my GPS maps, as the route was not particularly clear to follow on the print outs. Shame the battery ran out after 24 miles, although fortunately we were on the canal paths leading into London by that point. Garmin market the Edge as having up to 15 hours of battery, but I'm not sure what settings you would need to obtain that kind of performance.

14/01/2013 at 10:37

I like the device and at $300 it's very competitive, especially if they get the workouts right.  Look at MotoActv - that was utter junk when it launched at £300, but it's still going.

Backing a Kickstarter project isn't an investment.  At worst it's a gamble, at best it's a purchase.

14/01/2013 at 11:36
Intermanaut wrote (see)

Backing a Kickstarter project isn't an investment.  At worst it's a gamble, at best it's a purchase.

would agree with that.  in many ways it's a way of getting some early tech (although they also fund many other types of projects) at a decent price but with the proviso that it may still be a bit buggy when you get it.   

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