Outdoors + Tech newsletter – April 22, 2019

Outdoors + Tech news articles, blog posts and research papers for April 22, 2019



Keynote presentation: Opportunities and Failures in the Sports Tech Industry

Facebook, DC Rainmaker from

from the Connect IQ 2019 Summit by Ray Maker [video, 48:20]


Garmin Forerunner 45 and 45S incoming as pictures and details leak out

Wareable (UK), Michael Sawh from

Pictures and a rundown of key features for suspected Garmin Forerunner 45 and 45S running watches have surfaced online.

The information about what seems to be the successor to the Forerunner 35 briefly appeared on US website CleverTraining before the error was spotted and the landing page was pulled down.


Fitbit’s second act: Can the original fitness band maker stage a comeback with healthcare?

ZDNet, Jo Best from

… by 2017, sales started to fall off, as consumers shifted to fully-featured smartwatches rather than lower-tech fitness bands and its revenue and stock price began to tumble. Its sales were eventually surpassed by Apple’s, which was able to sell more wearables despite devices prices that were often over $100 more than Fibit’s.

Since then, Fitbit has begun to focus heavily on healthcare as it seeks to restore its fortunes — a move that should allow it to address a much broader market than it has historically been able to.



Introducing the Garmin ® Connect IQ app, an all-in-one store for device personalization and content management

Business Wire, Garmin from

Garmin International, Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN), today announced the new Connect IQ™ app – an all-in-one store where customers can personalize their compatible Garmin wearable and cycling computers by downloading free apps, widgets, watch faces, and data fields that reflect their unique personalities and needs. This easy-to-use app shows popular and highly rated apps and allows users to search and sort by category. The Connect IQ app lets users browse, configure and manage their Connect IQ apps, and integrates the popular Face-It™ app which lets users create watch faces using photos from their smartphones. Downloads are sent wirelessly from the app to the device, making customization a breeze.


2019 Connect IQ Developer Awards Winners

Garmin Blog from

Now that the 2019 Connect IQ Developer Summit is over, we are excited to share our winners. This year saw long-standing brands, new competitors, and successful personal developers all contribute great content in their categories. These developers work hard to make sure that Connect IQ has the best content and we at Garmin could not be prouder of our developer community. Congratulations to the winners of our 2019 Connect IQ Developer Awards!

Best New Watch Face – Crystal – Vince Wong


Garmin Connect IQ Summit Day 2 Announcements

Ray Maker, DC Rainmaker blog from

We’re onto the second day of announcements here at the Garmin Connect IQ Summit. The list from Day 1 is over on my previous post, though as noted the majority of those were developer focused (except the new iOS/Android Connect IQ apps, which I’m told as of this morning the Android app should be fixed). And while the theme of the summit is of course developers in general, I think you’ll find the nuggets of consumer goodness in today’s announcements.

Or at least, understand how they could be impactful for real-world scenarios to real-world normal people (and not just developers).



Adidas’ Futurecraft Loop Is a 100% Recyclable Running Sneaker

Footwear News, Victor Deng from

Ahead of Earth Day, Adidas is doubling down on its commitment to tackling plastic waste by introducing the 100% recyclable performance Futurecraft Loop running sneaker.

The latest Futurecraft Loop is the brand’s first shoe designed to be reused. The shoe is made from 100% reusable TPU that’s spun into yarn and molded to create a seamless design. Using the brand’s Speedfactory technology, the upper is fused to a plush Boost midsole without the need for glue. Once the shoes come to the end of its life cycle, they can be returned to Adidas where they will be washed, ground down to pellets and melted for a new pair of shoes — with zero waste and nothing thrown away.


Leatherman Rethinks the Multitool. This Time With Magnets.

Popular Mechanics, Tim Newcomb from

Using magnetic architecture, Leatherman’s largest product launch in its 35-year history—the FREE Collection—creates a new technology for opening, handling, and closing tools.

A complete reimagining from the most popular multitool maker on the market releases today with the first of three FREE Collection lines, the FREE P Series, with two styles made of 420 steel for lightweight pliers-based tool design. The FREE P2 ($120) and P4 ($140) feature many of the same implements found within the classic Leatherman tools, but with new technology and a new design.



Polartec and Kraig Biocraft Laboratories to Bring First Spider Silk Fabrics to the Performance Apparel Market

Business Wire, Kraig Biocraft Laboratories from

Polartec, the premium provider of innovative and sustainable textile solutions, and Kraig Biocraft Laboratories (Kraig) (OTC:KBLB), the biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of spider silk, announce plans to bring to market the first fabrics made from spider silk. Initially developed for specialized military applications, these first-of-their-kind materials made from recombinant spider silk will eventually service the global market for high performance textiles and apparel.


Off-the-Shelf Smart Fabric Helps Athletic Coaching and Physical Therapy

Dartmouth College, Press Releases from

A computer science research team at Dartmouth College has produced a smart fabric that can help athletes and physical therapy patients correct arm angles to optimize performance, reduce injury and accelerate recovery.

The proposed fabric-sensing system is a flexible, motion-capture textile that monitors joint rotation. The wearable is lightweight, low-cost, washable and comfortable, making it ideal for participants of all levels of sport or patients recuperating from injuries.


New polymer mixture creates ultra-sensitive heat sensor

Linkoping University from

Scientists at the Laboratory of Organic Electronics have developed an ultra-sensitive heat sensor that is flexible, transparent and printable. The results have potential for a wide range of applications – from wound healing and electronic skin to smart buildings.



What’s Different for Men vs Women Running?

RunToTheFinish blog, Amanda Brooks from

… Heart Size
Men’s hearts are 20-25% larger than women’s, particularly in the left ventricle. This increases the ability to pump oxygenated blood around the body to be used in the muscles, making it easier for males to run faster for longer.


The primary male hormone is testosterone, which stimulates muscle mass development. The female primary hormone is estrogen, which stimulates fat accumulation. Testosterone also increases the concentration of red blood cells, and hemoglobin, both critical for transporting oxygen around the body.

This means that on average male blood can carry around 11% more oxygen than female blood to increase efficiency to run faster.


Airborne microplastics found atop France’s remote Pyrenees mountains

Science, Alex Fox from

Microscopic fragments of plastic have invaded the farthest reaches of the sea, from the depths of the Mariana Trench to the freezing waters off Antarctica. Now, researchers have found that such microplastics have polluted the Pyrenees mountains, expanding plastic’s dominion to previously unknown heights.

Prior studies have shown that microplastics, which can be ingested and inhaled by humans—and which may lead to reproductive issues in some marine mollusks—can rise up into the atmosphere and drop back to solid ground in the cities they come from. But scientists thought these plastics couldn’t travel very far from their urban sources.


Preventing Tick Bites – Basic Practices and Useful Gear

She Explores, Sawyer from

… There are a few basic practices and pieces of gear to know about when it comes to preventing tick bites, so we did some research and compiled it all here to get you started. Because your adventures might take you to unpredictable places, but preventing tick bites (or knowing how to respond accordingly) is something you can have some control over.



The Coolest Cycling Gear from Sea Otter 2019

Outside Online, Josh Patterson from

The Sea Otter Classic, which started in 1991 as a mountain-bike race, has morphed into a full-on exhibition. There’s still the competition, of course, but now every April as professional and amateur racers jockey for position on the hills overlooking California’s Laguna Seca Raceway, cycling brands are also showcasing their latest bikes, components, and accessories.

Here are seven products that caught our eye at this year’s show.


Study: Cars Give Bike Lanes Less Space

Planetizen, James Brasuell from

A new study provides more evidence that people on bikes need more of a buffer from drivers in cars than a mere strip of paint can offer.


SRAM Acquires PowerTap: What it means for both brands and consumers

Ray Maker, DC Rainmaker blog from

SRAM has just announced the acquisition of PowerTap, inclusive of their entire lineup of power meters (wheel hubs, pedals, and chainrings). The acquisition is not inclusive of the CycleOps trainer brand, nor of the Saris rack brands. Both of those will continue to be owned by Saris.



Despite transition period, maximal running shoes may still increase risk of injury

EurekAlert! Science News, Oregon State University from

A six-week transition period did not help wearers adjust to “maximal” running shoes, indicating that increased impact forces and loading rates caused by the shoe design do not change over time, a new study from Oregon State University – Cascades has found.


84 Million Trips Taken on Shared Bikes and Scooters Across the U.S. in 2018

National Association of City Transportation Officials from

More than double the number of trips were taken in 2018 than the year prior on shared micromobility, a fast-growing and rapidly-evolving form of transportation in the United States

The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), an association of 69 major North American cities, today released its annual comprehensive count of all shared micromobility (shared bike and e-scooter) trips in the United States.


Scott Fauble Wants to Tell You His Strava Secrets

Outside Online, Martin Fritz Huber from

Why the top American in Monday’s Boston Marathon is all about training transparency


It seems like nutritional studies often conflict. Here’s how to decipher them.

The Washington Post, Cara Rosenbloom from

It’s frustrating when nutrition studies seem to contradict earlier ones: “Are Eggs Good or Bad For You? New Research Rekindles Debate,” the Associated Press groused in mid-March. Though it may seem that dietary science is changing every day, that’s not really the case. I’m here to explain how nutritional research works, so you’ll have an easier time making sense of food headlines.

Let’s focus on one of the most vexing dietary issues: saturated fat. There are studies that suggest it increases cardiovascular disease risk, and studies that suggest it doesn’t. Why the apparent contradiction?

“Nutrition research is not well-funded,” says David Jenkins, Canada Research Chair in Nutrition at the University of Toronto and St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. For that reason, nutrition research trials usually have only 70 to 120 subjects. “When you don’t have big enough numbers, that’s when things can flip-flop,” says Jenkins.


What Exertion Looks Like Running the Boston Marathon

WHOOP, Allison Lynch from

On Monday April 15th, 2019, Caroline Shannon crossed the Boston Marathon finish line with an official time of 3:01:56 (6:57/mile), a personal best out of the four marathons she’s run. Shannon, a professional architect and WHOOP member, credits tapering and getting more sleep for a perfectly executed race. “I felt more prepared than ever with my training,” she said.

On top of her three-minute PR, this was Shannon’s first year running a marathon with WHOOP by her side. We decided to take a closer look at her data before, during, and afterwards to see how prepared her body was and how her exertion progressed along the course.



Batteries from the printer: Evonik presents a new technology at the LOPEC trade show

Evonik from

… The new materials can be processed by conventional printing methods into very thin, flexible battery cells, thus giving the developer a high degree of design freedom. They allow storage of electrical energy without the need for metals or metal compounds. Battery cells produced with the TAeTTOOz® technology do not require liquid electrolytes and therefore cannot leak. Creavis is now seeking development partners to integrate the TAeTTOOz® technology into new and existing applications.

Dr. Michael Korell, who is responsible at Evonik for the development of TAeTTOOz®, said: “We have developed a technology with enormous potential. It enables us to offer a solution to power small electronic circuits with printed batteries efficiently, reliably, and in an ecofriendly way.”


New Discovery Makes Fast-Charging, Better Performing Lithium-Ion Batteries Possible

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, RPI News from

… “The way to make batteries better is to improve the materials used for the electrodes,” said Nikhil Koratkar, professor of mechanical, aerospace, and nuclear engineering at Rensselaer, and corresponding author of the paper. “What we are trying to do is make lithium-ion technology even better in performance.”

Koratkar’s extensive research into nanotechnology and energy storage has placed him among the most highly cited researchers in the world. In this most recent work, Koratkar and his team improved performance by substituting cobalt oxide with vanadium disulfide (VS2).

“It gives you higher energy density, because it’s light. And it gives you faster charging capability, because it’s highly conductive. From those points of view, we were attracted to this material,” said Koratkar, who is also a professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.


Best in snow: New scientific device creates electricity from snowfall

University of California-Los Angeles, UCLA Newsroom from

UCLA researchers and colleagues have designed a new device that creates electricity from falling snow. The first of its kind, this device is inexpensive, small, thin and flexible like a sheet of plastic.

“The device can work in remote areas because it provides its own power and does not need batteries,” said senior author Richard Kaner, who holds UCLA’s Dr. Myung Ki Hong Endowed Chair in Materials Innovation. “It’s a very clever device — a weather station that can tell you how much snow is falling, the direction the snow is falling, and the direction and speed of the wind.”

The researchers call it a snow-based triboelectric nanogenerator, or snow TENG. A triboelectric nanogenerator, which generates charge through static electricity, produces energy from the exchange of electrons.


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