dcrainmaker has just announced a very interesting scoop from Zwift which I encourage you to read if you are interested in either Running or Zwift or both 😉 (full article: link to dcrainmaker.com). I’m going to be mostly ADDING stuff here to what he is saying, rather than repeating it.
In a nutshell: Zwift have acquired Milestone … the cheap, Bluetooth SMART running POD people.
It looks like a cool move to address some of the scenarios of indoor, treadmill running with Zwift.
But much has already been going on behind the scenes and, err, in public too.
Milestone is more than just the POD and smartphone app that some of you, me included, have been using.
First up Mileston have, not so secretly, been working on a WearOS app. This looks cool and, as far as I know, STRYD is working only on their own Apple Watch app (covered here: link to the5krunner.com) rather than on WearOS. With the different price points and featuresets…this makes sense for all parties on all sides
Second Up (is that a phrase?) at CES 2018 Milestone were demoing the MilestonePUCK (yep PUCK). This was displayed on QUALCOMM’s stand integrated into their smart shoe
Third Up. I mean, hey, from this image they’ve gotta be working on an iOS app as well, right? (below)
Fourth. I just like this image showing the Milestone app’s WearOS screen flows
Fifth up. they’ve just got to be working on making the MilestonePOD ANT+ compatible too, right? I hope so (but I do not know so). There’s a market there for older Garmin watches that only take ANT+ sensors and other ANT+ compatible watches not made by Garmin that also accept footpods.
Opinion & Thoughts.
I suspect that there is a notable market still to be tapped for an ANT+/BLE footpod. BUT the simple maths of notable size multiplied by low cost won’t amount to too much to shout about.
But Zwift will not be primarily interested in that. They want control of the REQUIRED hardware to tie in with their BLE-only participation game at a lower price point than STRYD Live (STRYD Light). They want to make signing up to Zwift Run as cheap, easy and painless as possible.
I’m not quite sure what the market will be for Zwift Run (the game). I’d never use it for training myself but I appreciate that many of you live in countries with super-cold winters where treadmills are an essential part to many runners’ kit. On the other hand, the slight wind/rain vagaries of Southern England would often make me stay indoors and CYCLE with Zwift. I suspect there are many more wimpy cyclists out there like me than there are wimpy runners. Hence Zwift cycling is a much more attractive market.
Looking at some of the behind-the-scenes developments with MilestonePOD, might Zwift be looking to raise the price? Partly to help fund the acquisition? Maybe. But price is pretty much the key attraction for a MilestonePOD.
STRYD can EASILY lower prices of STRYD Live for those wanting the accuracy that MilestonePOD won’t QUITE be able to deliver. Admittedly the accuracy of MilestonePOD will be more than enough for most people. But there will always be a market for people who want the ‘best’ and in support of that I’ll cite the $1000 price tag of the Fenix 5X Plus 😉 For Those that want actionable POWER and accurate INSTANT PACE away from the treadmill OR on the treadmill, then I can’t see anyone other than RunScribe taking on STRYD as there is no ‘need’ to own two devices…unless…
I also have this nagging suspicion that Garmin will come out with a dual band HRM and footpod this year or next. Maybe even with power coming from the footpod. Some people just like buying same-branded goods. Garmin watch. Garmin pods. That would also eek into some of the potentials for Zwift’s payback. Against that, you will shout…Zwift game, Zwift pods. Fair enough. You got me.
So I can still see a mix of products going forwards: Polar & Garmin, MilestonePOD and STRYD, others too. All competing in slightly different ways for bits of overlapping markets.
Long story short: Good for consumers.
Zwift/Milestone Announcement Source – read it!: dcrainmaker.com
Other Sources & Puck images: milestonepod.com
Here is the Press Release( verbatim) and I have highlighted interesting bits
Zwift Acquires Team and Assets of Milestone Sports
June 22nd, 2018
Zwift, the global online training platform, has acquired the commercial rights to manufacture and distribute foot pods previously manufactured under the Milestone Sports brand.
(Long Beach, CA, June, 22 2018) – Zwift, the global online training platform, has acquired the commercial rights to manufacture and distribute footpods previously manufactured under the Milestone Sports brand.
As part of the deal, Zwift has secured the core team responsible for the design and engineering of the legacy Milestone product – including ex-Milestone CEO, Jason Kaplan, Chief Technical Officer, Meir Machlin and Tzach Goren, former VP of Business Development. Zwift intends to start producing new pods imminently for its running experience.
Running footpods provide a first entry point into the world of virtual running on Zwift and allow Zwifters to run in any gym, on any treadmill, anywhere. By simply clipping a footpod to their existing running shoes, runners can communicate speed and cadence to the Zwift platform powering their avatar through a rich virtual environment.
“Footpods though, are not only a great asset to runners indoors.” says Jason Kaplan, now Director of Enabling Products & Business Development at Zwift. “Not only do they provide connectivity to Zwift on any treadmill, but they also provide the outdoor runner with important metrics such foot strike and rate of impact along with run distance and duration. These are not only great tools that help to refine running technique, but also help provide runners with important information that can improve performance, reduce injury risk, and make sure they are in the proper shoe.”
Zwift now aims to produce a new footpod model, which will be more “Zwift-centric,” focused on improving the indoor running experience. The new Zwift footpod will be a refined version of the legacy MilestonePod, with enhanced technology and a more responsive feel for both indoor and outdoor experience.
“This is an important step for us as we move into the running space.” says Eric Min, Zwift Co-Founder and CEO. “We at Zwift aim to help more people to exercise more often than they may have done before, by bringing more entertainment and social connectivity to the convenience of indoor training. We are determined, as much as ever before, to continue work with existing footpod and treadmill manufacturers to help us achieve this goal by providing customers the best possible experiences to suit their individual training needs.”
MilestonePods are now back in production and being shipped to distribution channels.
I partner directly with STRYD in the USA and their distributor New Running Gear in the EU. The images below take you through to whatever current deal on STRYD there is at any given time in the USA/Canada. Thank you!