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SportBrain Dies, Unrelated WSJ Article Explains Why

Dave Aiello wrote, "Last week Nancy Many from California called me to point out that SportBrain declared bankruptcy. Sportbrain was a company that made an electronic pedometer with an interface for other wearable biometric devices."

"I was given one of these devices as a Christmas gift by my brother and sister. It turned out to be an interesting device. I liked it enough to write several articles about it on this Web Site."

"Although the Wall Street Journal's StartupJournal.com does not mention SportBrain, they did publish an article last Friday that discusses the market for biometric devices. The article makes an excellent point which is well worth repeating here:"

As Internet health-information companies have discovered, as many as 100 million people may be surfing the Web for information about illnesses and fitness. But it's hard to find people to pay for "wellness."

"In the last article I posted about SportBrain, I pointed out the limitations of the device when it used in connection with sports that do not involve running or walking. Now that SportBrain is no more, finding alternative devices that deliver similar functionality is more important than ever before. If you are a stranded SportBrain user, read on for my suggestions regarding alternative exercise measurement devices...."

Dave Aiello continued:

I am extremely interested in Polar Heart Rate Monitors these days, particularly their new S-Series. However, the high end S-Series devices for cycling (the S-510 and S-710), which are supposed to include support for pedal cadence and power, have not come out as expected. I understand that Polar has had manufacturing problems, resulting in units that failed accuracy tests. Ship dates for these models have come and gone for nearly half a year.

The less sophisticated products in the S-Series, including the ones designed strictly for running and race walking, have been shipping for the last month or two, and I have heard of no problems with them.

A couple of other products I am interested in trying come from the Nike TechLab, which is a group within Nike charged with creating electronic devices that are unique enough to differentiate Nike from other sporting goods manufacturers. The products are HRM Triax 100 and SDM Triax 100.

(These devices are profiled on the Nike TechLab Web Site, but that site is almost entirely Flash based. Keep that in mind if you go to Nike's Web Site. I am pointing to RoadRunnerSports.com, a reseller of all sorts of running gear from whom I buy a lot of my personal equipment.)

The HRM Triax 100 mates a Nike running watch with a heart rate monitor. The resulting product looks similar to some of the Polar heart rate monitor products, although there is no mention of any ability to upload the data from the HRM Triax 100 to a PC or to the Internet.

The SDM Triax 100 replaces the heart monitor with a speed sensor that is strapped to the laces of the user's sneakers. This small device measures speed and distance traveled in a manner that appears quite similar to that used by the SportBrain.

More information to be added to this article later....

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CTDATA Venutures (CTDATA) develops Internet and Intranet applications for corporations and non profit organizations. Our services include:

  • Consulting services for Movable Type and TypePad-based publishing systems (visit our Weblog Improvement website for more information),
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