Motion measurement is being hailed by some as the next field of study in sports analytics. It could mean we all ride, run, and play more efficiently in the future.
Connected sports hardware manufacturer Leomo has debuted a new wearable motion tracker called the Type-R, which it claims could be the next big thing in improving cyclist performance. Using a suite of micro-sensors, it tracks the movement of feet, legs, and the pelvis, delivering deeper analysis of a cyclist’s movements than ever before.
Although modern fitness trackers and health-conscious wearables have found some use among the general populace, in many cases they are not used for long. Some would argue that the data they collect doesn’t go deep enough to provide a tangible, long-term benefit to the user. Leomo wants to do just that with the Type-R, and promises unprecedented levels of data analysis.
Instead of mounting directly onto your body, the main component of the Type-R, its touchscreen, mounts on the handlebars of the bike you’re riding. What does attach to your body are five sensors, which are placed on your shoes, knees and lower back, letting them track much more than just your heart rate and calories burned.
All of the sensors connect wirelessly using Bluetooth technology and with their combination of gyroscopes and accelerometers, they can deliver a lot of interesting data to the main touchscreen device. It’s the analytics that deliver the real insight, though.
The Type-R able to tell the rider about their power, power balance, cadence, speed and heart rate, as well as motion efficiency, which should let them adjust the way they ride in response to these real-time statistics. Better yet, Leomo’s device lets them plot results in graph form and save them for future analysis.
Upload that data to the web-analytics backbone of the Type-R’s system and you can review your rides and see trends over time, as well as receive more detailed feedback from the system about improvements that could be made.
The only downside to all of this, is that what the readouts mean for the user aren’t necessarily clear right now. With no real consensus on what the optimal leg force or pelvic angle actually are, it means that, as GearJunkie points out, users will have to figure out what the data means to them.
That’s why Leomo plans to sell the Type-R to professional athletes and trainers first, before opening it up to the public. By the time you get your hands on it, the firm may know more about what you should be aiming for on your regular rides.
The Leomo Type-R will retail for $400 for the first 100 units, with prices rising for follow up versions and eventually retailing at around the $800 mark.
Updated by Jon Martindale – 03-15-2017: Added more detail about pricing, as per Leomo correspondence.