Hmmm. Maybe not IRON on the outside but the IronCloud T1 Fenix-wannabee does have the Valencell BW1.2 prebuilt wrist heart rate sensor module on the inside.
Anyway, the point to make here is that Valencell have confirmed it is a real product that exists at least to some degree and uses their sensor. Although if you head on over to the fcc you won’t find that it has made its way there for testing. Ironcloud are hoping for fulfillment in May 2018, so I guess there is still time for all those legal niceties.
You can check out some of the other challenger brands that will be, perhaps, making the presence known in my monthly update on the state of the sports watches post. The last version was produced a few days ago and updated today. Here…
Amongst other things, I recently chatted with Valencell about some of their developments (link below). And one of the standout things from the chat was that their business model was moving away from the licensing of OHR tech and more towards the sale of prebuilt modules. Valencell have 2 modules
- BW – Benchmark Wrist (Version BW1.2 and the smaller version BW2.0)
- BE – Benchmark Ear
The Ironcloud is a perfect example of how such modules can reduce the time-to-market. The IronCloud T1 uses the larger BW1.2 module…the latest one.
On paper the IronCloud looks temptingly impressive and seemingly aimed at the Fenix 5. Here are some highlights:
- 100m waterproofing
- 240x240px display – Fenix 5 ‘mehness’
- GPS+GLONASS+BDS -BDS is BeiDou and is China’s regional flavour of the global GPS/GLONASS systems. It’s inclusion in this and other product could signify several things
- The chip supports BeiDou but the watch firmware may not 😉
- The watch is targeting the burgeoning Asian market for sports wearables.
- Vibrate alert
- Titanium bezel and Sapphire Glass … sweet
- Colour Touchscreen – oh dear. But it has 5 buttons too. Phew.
- 480mAh battery (Fenix 5X is 430mAh Source) giving 30 hours of GPS-enabled fun. Much more without GPS
- Standard sport profile support – Outdoor Running, Treadmill Running, Pool Swimming, Open Water Swimming, Biking, MTB
- HR Training Zones – note to Suunto
- Some degree of training planning (looks like calendar not complex, structured workouts)
- ABC – Altimeter, Barometer, Compass
- Connected stuff via BLE to your smartphone. Only works with FITMIX4 app which, no doubt, will push to STRAVA (may not be correct FITMIX link)
- Processor is Mediatek MT2523, which was new from MediaTek around Jan 2016.
So the firmware ambitions look OK to good. Certainly very good for startup. Will they deliver…I don’t know. Will the app be as good as Garmin Conenct…no. Will it support power meters over ANT+…I doubt it.
But. Hey!. Let’s not knock it yet. It looks promising.
And: no I’m not putting my money up to back it.
What do you think?