Acer just lifted the lid on the Xplova X5 cycling computer, which overlays your activity stats onto HD video captured by the built-in camera, at its event in New York.
The GPS cycle computer is made by the Acer-owned subsidiary Xplova, and while it looks a little like an eight year old smartphone, it touts quite the array of nifty features. It tracks metrics including cycling speed, distance, duration, cadence and strength gauge and can add this to heart rate data from a connected monitor.
The Xplova X5 was announced alongside Acer's new Liquid Leap Fit wearable which features an always-on heart rate monitor. It has - according to Acer - the longest battery for a continuous optical HRM. It's not saying how much at this stage, though.
Xplova X5: Features
The biking device has a built-in screen and camera so riders can video their travels and make all that cycling data that bit more meaningful.
All this data is pulled into one place: a Live Dashboard that presents performance data in real-time to the rider while also recording them live as they zoom down valleys and over hills. Xplova says this is so "you can share your biking activity with family, visually, as opposed to just a bunch of data of where you rode on the map."
The Xplova X5's camera is a wide-angle shooter recording at 720p to grab as much of the cyclist's view as possible. One neat addition is its ability to set different recording triggers. So instead of recording every second of a long bike ride, the Xplova X5's algorithms can kick in to record three-second video clips of the scenery based on pre-determined parameters like speed, GPS or even heart rate. Users can then select and compile up to eight of these clips into one video to share on social media.
We didn't get chance to test out this capability at the launch, but in our short test of the camera, it did a pretty good job of recording the events that were unfolding on the show floor. This is not the sexiest device you'll set your eyes on but that doesn't really matter. Basically, it feels robust enough to do its job and that's good enough at this point.
Acer's Liquid Leap Fit fitness tracker with heart rate monitoring
It features a 'transflective' colour screen that Acer said provides comfortable viewing in direct sunlight. It's also still completely functional in all types of weather thanks to IPX7 water resistance, with the Live Dashboard display set to withstand even torrential rains.
The Live Dashboard is the X5's home screen displaying all the rider's live metrics in one place. But if you flick up from this you'll come across a customisable Chart View for more detailed graphical analysis and to compare speed, heart rate, power output, gear position, distance, and trip duration to help riders improve their training efforts.
Sadly, the user interface didn't seem as nippy as we'd hoped for, and took a few attempts to register our finger strokes.
Xplova X5: Connectivity and release date
Xplova's director Ray Lin told Wareable that while it doesn't offer intergration with third party fitness apps, there "is a possibility to offer our devices to communities such as Strava in time".
At the moment, it does connect to existing wearables via ANT+, which is what allows it to grab fitness data and pull it into the Live Dashboard. Its own Smart Sign Guidance feature also syncs and stores favourite routes and points of interest in the cloud.
While it didn't prove to be completely bug free in our brief hands on, if these minor issues are smoothed out, the X5 could prove a worthwhile gadget for keen cyclists. Acer said it will be available from "quarter three" this year, though there's no word on price and availability.
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