Sweetzpot Rowing Power Meter Announced

Another company has stepped forward and aims to bring a rowing power meter to market this year – A company called Sweetzpot (nice)

Based in Norway, they already have a free “speedcoach” app available on android, with apparently an iOS app coming later in the summer – and appear to be hard at work developing a rowing power meter that, according to the thread on rec.sport.rowing (where I first heard about them) they aim to release this year

sweetzpot

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/rec.sport.rowing/-UIPadzyyfE

sweetzpots

It is interesting to see how far along they are with the development of the product and that they are already beta testing it at several Norwegian events and with the Norwegian national squad – Following my rant last post its good to see frequent updates on their social media sites!

Regarding the power meter itself, it appears to be essentially the same as the Weba Sport Oar Power meter that is already available in that it is a sensor that is attached to one of the oars and measures the amount of flex of the shaft, a calibration of the sensor/app using a known weight suspended from the blade helps make sure the accuracy

http://www.weba-sport.com/en/products/oar-power-meter-e

I actually own the webasport device and plan to do a full review in the summer when I have some time, although some thoughts I had and how they apply to this product

  • Big advantage over gate based sensors in that it can work with rowing/sculling and is quick and easy to change between boats/rowers when needed
  • Not aware of any issues with accuracy with the Webasport OarPower meter when compared to comparative effort on a rowperfect (although havent been able to compare with another product) – easy to calibrate and be confident you have done so correctly
  • Having the device on one oar and not the other is a little disconcerting when sculling – a lighter product/smaller profile would help reduce this and it looks like the sweetzpot is smaller
  • The usual issues/risks of using a phone in the boat rather than a dedicated device (screen not ideal/overly reflective, water protection etc)
  • The Webasport app is Android only and very basic and not that user friendly, a better developed app would help improve the Sweetzpot product no end
  • The Webasport Power Meter is around £500, the Sweetzpot sensor is currently pre-ordering at about 2000 Nor Kr + shipping, so around £250 in the UK, a very competitive price

Looking forward to hearing more about this product as the year pans out

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About stelph82

I am a rower who is a lot of a technology geek as well!
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7 Responses to Sweetzpot Rowing Power Meter Announced

  1. I like the idea of 2 force sensors so you can look at port/starboard differences In the stroke. It would be a fair amount of money. I’d also like to see application independence. In other words, that the sweetzpot people focus on developing sensors and calibration, but they end up working with existing apps, like power meters for bikes. I don’t want to switch to a different app and deal with another new data format, but I suspect it will be that way.

    • stelph82 says:

      I agree, a sensor on each blade would help balance out sculling but as you say there is a cost there, and im not sure what additional data benefit there would be or even if the app supports it! I forgot to add to my WebaSport comments that one thing the app is missing is being able to connect and display more than one device on the same screen at the same time – so it is less good for crew boats

      Agree with your thoughts on app support, I really hope they open up the API to other companies/developers, mostly so we can see other ideas of how to share and use the data. I would hope since the app is free so any money they are making is on the device, that they might be open to the suggestion

      • I think it’s very important because the people who are really good at inventing widgets are unlikely to be the best at developing rock solid and user friendly applications. The tough issue is the business model. Everyone wants to get people into some kind of subscription based service (ala ergstick) to develop a continuous cash flow.

  2. Exciting times are coming. I am really looking forward to affordable gadgets on my boat.

  3. the5krunner says:

    have a look at this: http://www.sporttechie.com/2016/08/09/sporttechie-startup-profile-series-the-rowing-app-shows-rowers-exactly-how-to-improve/ . is it possible for rowing tech to, for example, measure the verticality of the blade whilst in the water? (and similar rowing dynamics?)

    • stelph82 says:

      Yes i have seen and already tentatively backed that project – as long as you set a reference point for app (i.e. when the blade is horizontal and buried in the water) then the accelerometers should easily be able to measure the arc of the rowing stroke, AFAIK that is how other wireless sensors currently work for rowing- WEBAsport OARpowermeter for example

      What I am slightly surprised about is that they are attaching a whole phone to the oar, with a case this will be quite heavy – I would have thought it would make much more sense to use a wireless accelerometer like the wahoo cadence sensor (assuming the Wahoo API lets you see live accelerometer data) or build your own – that way the device is much smaller, and the phone can stay in the boat as a screen – if you also have ANT+ support (and relevant phones/dongles) then it makes it even better as for crew boats you could connect all the oars to all the phones to overlay each others blade path

      • the5krunner says:

        yep. must be lots of performance stats. prob not as big a market for the end product as for run/bike stuff.- except at the more competitive end of the market.

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