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What top brands have to say
Reliability, simplicity, and ease of use for product developers and end consumers alike make ANT+ the top choice for these ANT+ Members.
Bkool is a technology company that creates interactive and innovative solutions for sports and videogames. In the field of cycling, Bkool has developed the world’s most advanced trainer and simulator. It allows cyclists to ride any route in the world, in 3D, accompanied by other riders simultaneously connected from different locations. The simulator enables the user to experience the same sensations at home that he would out on the road. Bkool 3D RealWorld technology can replicate any route in the world, in 3D, recreating the actual terrain and features of the landscape. Bkool 3D RealWeather™ technology recreates, in real time, the weather conditions on any route. Bkool is available in seven languages, including Chinese and Japanese, and distributes its products all over the world.
Bkool supports the following profiles and its software is certified for:
When Bkool was looking for a connectivity solution, the company set out in search of three main criteria: Connectivity, reach and user experience. Connectivity was critical, meaning that the connectivity platform needed to be a reputable consolidated sports industry standard. The readily available documentation and resources for Bkool developers by ANT+ was a huge benefit. Reach meant that the platform had brand recognition and a stellar reputation. The user experience was both simple to define and hard to achieve – a platform that was reliable for the end consumer and easy to implement.
ANT+ was Bkool’s first and only solution. “The members of the Bkool development team were already heavy users of ANT+ sport devices when we were looking for a solution”, said Bkool Chief Marketing Officer Pablo Sierra. “Their comfort and experience with the ANT+ protocol, combined with its connectivity capabilities and acceptance in the market, made it the clear choice for Bkool.” Sierra added, “The ANT+ platform has a strong reputation and is recognized as the industry standard.”
All Bkool software is ANT+ certified, which confirms connectivity with other ANT+ compatible devices.
Bkool found that the ANT+ technology performed as expected, with an enriched experience for the consumer. End users are able to connect their devices to Bkool’s software platform, irrespective of the manufacturer of their preferred device. The ANT+ wireless capability allows Bkool to communicate with devices in a way that is seamless to the final user. In addition, because of the strong ANT+ reputation, consumers perceive ANT+ devices as a reliable solution.
The Bkool sales team has been able to expand its reach through compatibility. Both the sales channel and end consumer demand compatible devices, and Bkool’s compatibility with other top tier ANT+ products has made Bkool products an easier sell. “Bkool’s partnership with ANT+ has added value to the Bkool brand, since ANT+ is recognized and reputable within the sports segment,” Sierra said. “Our overall experience working with ANT+ has been extremely positive.”
Engenuics creates teaching platform for embedded systems world
Engenuics specializes in embedded systems hardware and firmware development and training. The company strives to deliver ultra-high end training and shift the perception of industry training from low value to a must-have service. The foundation of its training services comes from a university program that was launched over 15 years ago and continues today in universities across Canada. With nearly two decades of experience, Engenuics helps its customers learn as their product is developed, providing value to anyone who invests in its training, design services, or products.
Engenuics teaches very “low level” firmware, which means that the company wants to know everything about all the bits and bytes moving around. Engenuics needed an ultra-low power solution that was entirely passive to the user and "just worked." In looking at options with the required life and operation, Engenuics did not find choices that could deliver. One possibility, BLE, was still vaporware when Engenuics’ product was already in production.
Given Engenuics system requirements, ANT+ was already under consideration as an option. “We first learned about ANT when designing a proximity activated car security system for BlackLine GPS,” said Engenuics Principal Engineer Jason Long. “With the ANT experience from BlackLine, it was natural to bring it into Engenuics and the development boards. Even as the ANT hardware evolved, we would look around at the other options whenever we did a revision and barely consider moving away from ANT.”
The protocol and operation of ANT/ANT+ are comparatively simple compared to other options in the market. “The cost of ANT+ was almost negligible,” Long said, “and we were very excited to migrate to the new hardware. Now we have a two-in-one development board system that is not only a great teaching platform, but also a tremendous prototyping tool for many of the designs we do for customers.”
Long continued: “The support tools - ANTWare, the ANT+ simulator, the simple USB sticks for testing - are really well done and also very easy to use and thus integrate into our training programs.”
Since Engenuics main ANT-based product is actually the development platform for the university program, the company’s main ANT customers are young engineering students who are just finding their way in the embedded systems world. “To be able to look at ANT, understand how it works, and use the tools to implement their own projects with barely any prior knowledge, is a testament to how easy ANT is to learn and use,” Long said.
“More importantly,” Long continued, “it's very easy to explain. The entire protocol is described in under 100 pages of documentation, and we have found that anyone can very quickly understand how the messaging works.”
Adding wireless capability to a development board at the ANT+ price point and with ANT+ simplicity was an easy decision for Engenuics, and the added dynamic of wireless communications elevated the university program to a whole new level.
Engenuics’ people-centered philosophy makes Engenuics appreciate the qualities of the ANT team. “As an early adopter of the technology, we have witnessed the ANT team grow and watched the technology evolve,” Long said. “We've been to every Symposium and know many of the ANT team as friends. The best part is that ANT technology development has actually outpaced our own ability to keep up. We don't even have a "wish list" of features that we want because they're already there.”
Engenuics is making the most of ANT+, taking advantage of cost, power, footprint, ease of use and understanding, teachability, features, low certification cost, and an outstanding team behind it all.
Kinomap adapts video platform for the indoor athlete and exercise enthusiast
Kinomap is a French company that launched the world’s first video-sharing platform to offer synchronized video/map playback. The platform provides users with an app enabling them to view a pre-recorded, geolocated outdoor route, to measure their own performance, and to view progress on an accompanying map. Kinomap is the world’s largest sharing platform dedicated to motion videos. It is attracting an increasing number of contributors currently coming from over 80 countries. As of today, more than 12,000 videos are available on www.kinomap.com, which provide access to 60,000 km of cumulative tracks and rides across the world.
Kinomap’s goal is to bring the outside in, with the best immersive indoor experience. With its exercise apps Kinomap Fitness and Kinomap Trainer, the company enables users to run through the streets of Beijing or cycle in the French Alps. Kinomap Fitness uses the front facing camera of the iPhone or iPad to track the user’s movements and detect cadence. When used in conjunction with existing ANT+ receivers and sensors that wirelessly collect and transfer data, information such as speed and stride power can be monitored. These features allow users to synchronize their performance with the video.
In 2011, Kinomap was looking to add value to the content that already existed on their platform. Their new goal was to have videos replayed on cycling and indoor fitness equipment. The company needed a solution that would allow its apps to read speed from a mobile device. Kinomap felt it was important to gain access to existing electronics, rather than develop any specific electronic component.. It was also important to the company to use existing sensors without disrupting the ongoing interaction between consoles, bike computers and apps.
“ANT+’s broadcast capability is a key element,” said Kinomap President Philippe Moity. “While other protocols do 1-to-1 pairing, ANT+ sensors can be connected to Kinomap and still remain available for other computers or apps.”
Kinomap discovered ANT+ at CES. ANT+ was just beginning to develop its speed/cadence profile, and already had a standardized and popular way to collect sports data on mobiles and tablets. This platform satisfied Kinomap’s needs, and new ANT+ profiles, such as Power and FE-C, and the integration of ANT chips in many smartphones and tablets, have validated Kinomap’s decision to build with ANT+ technology.
“A key benefit of ANT+ is that the standards and official training profiles are easily integrated by developers and software editors,” Moity said. “There is a set of APIs or SDKs that are also available on the market.” Moity continued: “We also enjoy the opportunity to participate in the ANT+ symposium every year. This event enables us to meet the engineers, suppliers, customers, fitness brands and media partners that have all deployed ANT+. It allows us to remain technically up to date but also to think about new business opportunities.”
Users training indoors can connect their cadence, stroke, stride, speed, power meter or heart monitor to Kinomap, and use the same sensors when training outdoors. A large part of the videos on Kinomap now include not only the usual video and GPS track, but also cadence, heart rate, and power. (Click here for a demonstration.)
“We empowered vendors of ANT+ sensors by providing an immersive and interactive environment for training,” Moity concluded. “We serve customers in over 40 countries, a confirmation of ANT+ as a worldwide standard.”
Market leader Octane Fitness® relies on ANT+ for seamless exerciser experience on and off its machines
Founded with a passionate vision in 2001, Octane Fitness, LLC, today is the market leader in elliptical cross trainers in the United States – and the only company in the world whose sole focus is zero-impact cardiovascular exercise equipment. From day one, Octane has been relentless in its pursuit to deliver breakthrough, performance cross training in the form of premium products; innovative, effective workouts and unparalleled personalized service.
Octane’s award-winning collection started with perfecting the standing elliptical, introducing a new category with the xRide® recumbent elliptical and then designing strength-infused cardio with the unique CROSS CiRCUIT® program. The company created exercise in a new direction with the unmatched LateralX®, invented zero-impact running with the Zero Runner®, optimized cross training with the all-in-one XT-One™ and is leading smarter training today with the SmartLink™ app.
With the Zero Runner, Octane Fitness created an exciting new indoor option that replicates real running motion but without the stressful impact. As part of this offering, the company wanted to ensure that runners could easily track data from their outdoor runs and indoor workouts together in the same platform. In addition, Octane’s popular CROSS CiRCUIT program requires that users step off the machine during strength-training intervals, and thereby necessitated a connection option that would continue to capture exercisers’ heart rate to provide accurate workout stats.
For its home equipment customers, Octane Fitness wanted a technology solution that utilized the devices they currently owned and were familiar with, such as smartwatches and mobile devices, which also would already be part of the ANT+ ecosystem.
And for commercial products for health clubs, the company needed console technology with a digital signal that is synced up and linked to one machine to eliminate device cross-talk. This ensures that users on one machine do not pick up heart rate information from any other exercisers nearby.
“We researched all the options and partnered with ANT+ because it has the best technology in the market. It’s been tested and proven successful by consumers,” said Tim Porth, EVP of product development and marketing at Octane Fitness.
With ANT+, Octane is the first to offer new technology for runners to combine and/or track both their outdoor and indoor workouts on one platform. And, thanks to the long connection range of the ANT+ system, CROSS CiRCUIT participants now can perform their strength intervals anywhere in the room or the next room, and the heart rate data is still connected to the machine so they have accurate workout stats throughout their workout.
The ANT engineers built a solid base that allows for expandability into the future so that features can continue to be added for customers. According to Porth, “We only partner with companies that continue to research and invest in expanding its technology.”
Health clubs and other commercial customers have seen an immediate benefit from the elimination of cross-talk and the strong ANT+ digital connection that facilitates accurate pairing between the machine and the user, particularly in crowded clubs, such as in New York City, where machines are placed more closely on the floor.
Zero Runner users now can combine their outdoor and indoor workouts into one workout, capitalizing on the convenience of data in one place, and CROSS CiRCUIT program participants have more space options in their homes to perform strength training exercises.
Because of the brand awareness of ANT+, along with the popularity of heart rate training, it’s simple for exercisers to immediately understand the benefits it brings. “If you’re talking to a cyclist or a runner, they already know about ANT+ and most likely are already using it,” Porth said. “For a new user to the technology, it’s easy to explain the features and benefits that ANT+ provides.”
Another advantage of ANT+ devices is the rigorous certification process. “We are confident in ANT+ technology and reliability,” Porth explained. “Not all of the options in the marketplace have solid reliability; and we knew that ANT+ will continue to develop leading technology.”