Ever since we drooled over Griffin’s StompBox at CES, the more musically intrigued members of our gang have been eagerly waiting for the jazzed-up, four-switch pedal box to actually arrive (I’m pretty sure our Lonnie Lazar has been sitting there, forlorn and imploring, like some lost, guitar-wielding puppy). Wait’s over, Lonnie — it’s here.
Seems practically everyone has cottoned on to the idea that the iPhone makes for a stellar cycling computer — because hardware that turns the iPhone into a feature-packed riding companion keeps popping up. The latest is Velocomp’s iBike Dash series of app-enhanced hardware stashed inside their waterproof Phone Booth case that work with its free iBike app.
The unit starts out at $200 for the waterproof case with built-in ANT+ receiver and a speed sensor for your bike; $329 will bag you the Deluxe kit that adds a heart-rate strap, cadence sensor and supplemental battery for the iPhone. Velocomp also sells the Phone Booth case only — without the ANT+ electronics in it — for $50.
The waterproof case looks pretty rugged, but pricing strikes us as a tad steep compared with other kits out there from Wahoo, Digifit and New Potato Technologies (even though we were less-than-enthusiastic about the latter).
In fact, the system seems to be evolving very closely along the lines of Wahoo’s Fisica system — so closely that their new $50 Digifit Connect 2 dongle (that’s it pictured below) looks the spitting image of Wahoo’s version. No surprise then that the $15 Digifit app is now also compatible with the Wahoo dongle. In addition, there’s a new $120, water-resistant, iPhone 3/4-compatible Digifit Connect Case for mounting on bicycle handlebars.
LAS VEGAS, CES 2011 — Griffin has paraded off so much cool new stuff at this year’s CES, you’d be excused for thinking this site’s name is actually “cultofgriffin.com” — this time, it’s their StompBox pedalboard for iPad with swappable effect modules.
If you’ve been following our posts about making music on the iPad, you’ve probably already heard about iShred — who make the free app that pairs with StompBox, for which Griffin originally made the GuitarConnect cable that connects instruments with 1/4-inch jacks to the iPad (or any other iDevice) last year. StompBox is just the evolution of the idea, giving musicians better control over the sounds via the physical switches (rather than using the soft controls of the app).
The app comes with several modules that make different sounds, and more can be collected via in-app purchase for a few bucks apiece. Griffin says StomBox should be available by spring of 2011 at $99, which includes the $30 GuitarConnect cable for free. The pedalboard can also be paired with Griffin’s new $40 Mic Stand Mount for iPad, available in January.
LAS VEGAS, CES 2011 — Griffin Technology‘s new Crayola ColorStudio HD ($30) evoked so many bubbly noises while it was being demo’ed you’d think CES had become a popular 3rd-grade field trip destination. And if the fun little gadgapp (yeah, I know, see below) can make a bunch of jaded tech journos grin, you know it’s going to be a huge hit with the kids.
The app works with what’s essentially a jumbo stylus that paints color on the screen in a selected color. Parts of the page are animated, and those animated pieces can be colored in without the color bleeding over the lines. Finished pages can be emailed, uploaded to Facebook or printed.
Oh, about the “gadgapp” thing: So, this year’s CES seems indeed to be the year of the app-enhanced accessory; problem is — as my lamentably lame attempt demonstrates — we can’t seem to come up with a not-dorky term to concisely encapsulate this rapidly emerging new category of gadget. But we think our readers are sharp bunch, and we’re certain one of you can come up with something better. We”ll be announcing some sort of competition with prizes next week, be on the lookout.
LAS VEGAS — Griffin revealed something really cool today: a sensor that hooks up to your car’s diagnostic computer and feeds all kinds of info to your iPhone. Griffin calls it the CarTrip, and it attaches to your car’s OBD-II sensor (the thing car mechanics uses to diagnose problems), collects and stores the data, then sends it to your iPhone (we’re not sure how, because the press release doesn’t say), which then displays the data in realtime with the help its free partner app, CleanDrive.
The app/hardware package will reveal all kinds of information, like fuel consumption rates, acceleration, and it’ll interpret diagnostic codes. It’ll also display a “Carbon Score,” so you can figure out how much you’re befouling the planet by driving around.
CarTrip should be available in early 2011 for $90.
Update: CarTrip is equipped with Bluetooth for relaying the data to an iPhone. Thanks Levi!
While most of the Western world was wolfing down grammies Christmas pudding and singing Christmas carols, our gadget squad was quietly steeling itself (in between eggnog and unwrapping gifts, of course) for the onslaught of new tech at the monster of all gadget events, the annual Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas.
The madness kicks off early next week, and we’ll be smack in the middle supplying wall-to-wall coverage from the get-go. From advance information we’ve received, the really big news this year will be a dizzying acceleration toward hardware that interfaces with iDevices, including what seems like a massive dose of app-enhanced gadgets — gadgets that are built to interface with an iDevice and come with their own app, basically making the iPad or iPhone an intrinsic part of the gadget.
In fact, we were pretty surprised and disappointed during last year’s CES when it seemed all we could dredge up of the promising new concept was a clock and an insipid speaker dock. But the concept had only just been made available (with uncharacteristically little fanfare from Apple) earlier that year, and it seems gadget makers have caught up — we’re seeing teasers for everything from an iPhone-connected thermometer, to a car stereo that integrates the iPhone as a display to, a little bizarrely, an iPhone-controlled ball.
Not quite as cool but wider in appeal is the vast assortment of new wifi and Bluetooth connected sound hardware that’ll be on display; there’s also an increase in gadgets that stream and/or communicate with the cloud. And of course, we’ll be covering all the usual suspects: portable audio, speakers, docks, storage, cameras, gaming hardware, peripherals — you name it. Stay tuned.
With the CultofMac so chock full of bike geeks, it’s no wonder we pretty excited to see the arrival a few months back of one of the first gadgets that fall into the app-enhanced category — a gadget/app mashup that manufacturer New Potato Tech cleverly calls an “appcessory.” In this case, the $99 LiveRider combo of an iPhone bicycle mount and sensor/receiver package with its own dedicated app turns the iPhone into a flexible, jumbo-screened bike computer.
It’s not the only sensor/app combo on the market; Enki Sports offers a more complete and expensive solution, and newcomer Wahoo Fitness recently arrived with a flexible, modular approach (with sensors that look remarkably similar to Enki’s). But we figured New Potato’s kit would provide a simple, relatively inexpensive setup for intermediate-ish cyclists wanting their data fix. We were mistaken.