One of the things I like to do when I’m cycling, is keep track of various statistics related to my ride.
This includes things like speed, cadence (how fast I’m peddling), and heart rate.
To do this, I have a number of sensors that connect to my bike computer (Garmin Edge 810). The sensors communicate with the bike computer using a low power communication mechanism called ANT+.
There are, however, some advantages of being able to track the sensor data on my iPhone in the various fitness apps (Strava, Endomondo, iBiker, etc). The problem is that the iPhone needs an adapter to receive the ANT+ signal. It’s not a big adapter, roughly the size of a charging cable connector. In addition, the adapter is currently only available for iPhone 4S’s and earlier … it uses the 30 pin connector. There are no ANT+ adapters for iPhone 5’s & newer (which use the lightning connector).
iPhone 4S’s & newer do have a variation of Bluetooth called “Bluetooth Smart” … also known as Bluetooth Low Energy (BTLE). SOME fitness sensors support BTLE, but very few support both BTLE and ANT+.
This is where the 4iiii Viiiiva Heart Rate Monitor comes in. It functions as a heart rate monitor with both ANT+ and BTLE communication. In addition, it can act as a BRIDGE between other ANT+ sensors and feed the data via BTLE.
As part of my fundraising effort for the Tour de Cure, I registered the domain “ridewithdavid.com”. I wanted an easy to remember domain that I could use as a portal to the fundraising page that the ADA provided.
So I created a basic web page that would redirect the visitor to my fundraising page after a few seconds pause.
I designed the page with some graphical elements and got it to a point that I thought it looked good.
The problem was, while the page looked fine on a normal desktop or tablet browser, it looked horrible on a mobile phone browser.
Here’s a screen shot of the page that is displayed on a desktop or tablet browser … notice the two graphical elements on the sides?
I decided it was time to upgrade my phone … and switched to an Android based phone. I got a Motorola ATRIX.
I was split between the ATRIX and the HTC Inspire … the Inspire has better battery life and a bigger screen, but the ATRIX has expandable memory and a front facing camera.
The primary reason for switching was so I could do mobile app development … I’ve got a few ideas for apps in my head and didn’t want to invest in a Mac just so I could develop them. Android apps are developed in Java and the SDK is free (and Eclipse based).
It’s going to take a bit of time to get used to the new user interface … but so far I’m liking it a lot.
We’ve never had good cell phone coverage at home … even when we had Verizon service.
The coverage with AT&T is even worse … but, we do like the iPhones.
I was pretty interested when AT&T announced they were rolling out 3G Microcell devices.
Basically, a Microcell is a tiny 3G cell site. It provides 3G service to up to 10 authorized cell phones. The 3G service is provided using VoIP like service (if not exactly VoIP). The range is about 40 feet in all directions.
The Microcell has a built in GPS unit so that it can verify it’s in the correct location … for E911 service and, I assume, so the AT&T systems can tell which cell towers to hand the call off to when you leave the devices range.
Setting up the device wasn’t hard … although it took quite a long time to activate. The instructions indicated that it could take up to 90 minutes, but ours took about 3 hours.
It’s been more than a year since we got the original iPhones … so when Apple announced the new hardware version for the iPhone, I figured it was probably worth getting. The new version has a lot of features that I wanted … and, frankly, thought should have been in the first version.