perjantai 30. lokakuuta 2015

Catch up with Runteq's Zoi Run

// Find the original Finnish version here.

Finnish Runteq Ltd  is ready to produce the first batch of  Zoi®-running sensors. 

I have had the privilige to test and use one of the seven  Zoi®-product samples. In this blogpost  I will tell everything I know about the Zoi-sensor and the Zoi Run mobile app.   
At first, I thought this blogpost would be a comparison to Garmin's HRM-RUN heart rate monitor belt, which is equipped with an accelometer to provide some running metrics. When I tell about Zoi to people, some respond: "Garmin measures my running technique, too. Why should I buy Zoi?"

Right to
the point. I too use Garmin Fenix 3, and a HRM-RUN sensor.  And it does use its simple accelelometer to measure cadence, vertical oscillation and the ground contact time.
What does a HRM-RUN make you understand?

The thing is: data represented as plain numbers and a plot diagram is useless. The diagram might suit as decoration for a blogpost into which I wanted to add a technical final touch but not much else. It does not make me understand anything about my running.

So,  HRM-RUN has been really useful to me.

It made me understand,  that there is a need for a product and company, which specializes in measuring running technique and especially in making the results understandable and telling you what to do to run better.

Zoi on HRM-RUN belt. Image credit: Miguel Discart (CC BY-SA 2.0)
(Photoshopped in the fear of hairy manboobs)
Such a company and product will make people run faster, further, with less injuries and with more fun.

  Zoi® is your personal running coach, telling you how to enjoy running more.  

The purpose of Zoi is not to measure. Instead, it needs to point out clearly what you should do based on the results. The success of Runteq's product  depends on this.

Already now, in an early Beta-phase, the Zoi Run mobile apps tells me much more than a million dots in a HRM-RUN graph.  

Instead of a million dots it tells me simply, that I should brake less and increase cadence.  Also, the app tells me what to do to fix this.

(In the images stance measurements are empty, I have used only a chest-sensor).

Later on, it will also feature an audio coach, and things to motivate and enhance your training. The application is currently in the Apple appstore's approval process. The early development has been done for iPhone. Android-version is naturally coming out as well. (
YouTube-screen capture of the app in action)
For the runner, being able to understand and utilize the measured data is crucial. That is only possible if the sensors provide the application with accurate and adequate data for the analysis.

I said that the app is still in early beta. But the sensor is stable and ready. During the last weeks, it has proven to be very reliable. It wakes up from deep sleep automatically, connects with the mobile seamlessly and  without hassle, does the job and goes back to sleep when the movements end. This thing is ready for production.

  • Zoi-sensor is fast and accurate. For example, in addition to the data provided by HRM-RUN,  Zoi-sensor's capabilities make it possible to accurately measure braking and impact forces.
  • The foot sensor provides a completely new set of data compared to chest-sensor-only approach.
  • Broader and more accurate set of data makes it possible to provide new estimates, on for example running economics and injury risk
  • Zoi-sensor is programmable. The same sensor can be made to measure new aspects of running, or even completely new sports.
  • Zoi-sensor contains an internal memory. Should you just want to collect data of your marathon, you can do this without carrying the mobile with you. Sync the data later.

Finally. Runteq has specialized in analyzing running kinematics since 2012.  Their Runteq Runlab Coach, aimed fo the professional market,  was used by coaches, personal trainers etc. already in 2013. They are experienced pioneers in this business and now bringing this to recreational runners. (A peek into history imagesearch: Runteq Runlab)

ps. Almost forgot to mention, you can also stop worrying about not being noticed when running in the dark. My son spotted the blinking led from 500m away :)

ps2. Update Nov 11: the Zoi Run app is now available for download at iTunes.