Notio & Velocomp sign up to their Common Aero Profile standard
Cycling aero sensors currently have no accepted standards and certainly no formal inclusion in the ANT+ profile. Thus Notio and Velocomp got together to create a fledgeling AERO PROFILE standard for the industry which helps in the two-way data transmissions used for the setup and measurements of aero devices and their data.
Common Aero Profile – Why is it important?
Having a standard to work to makes it easier. It makes it easier for 3rd parties to support Notio and Velocomp products and it makes it easier for the competition to enter the market and also leverage the work of those 3rd parties. For consumers, it’s a great thing and even for the manufacturers, there are some big wins.
Why so long? & Where’s Garmin?
A Garmin Vector AIR product has been rumoured for quite some time, in fact for so long that Garmin has since effectively changed their power meter name from VECTOR to RALLY. Maybe we will see a Rally AIR…maybe not.
My understanding is that the ANT+ profile for aero sensors would not necessarily be imposed by Garmin although clearly if the AIR is a real product it will almost certainly already have proprietary means of talking to ANT+ bike computers.
Thus whilst the Notio+Velocomp improves interoperability today, there will probably be changes to come if and when Garmin enters the fray.
That said, one complication could be as follows: my understanding is that there are new additions and changes coming fairly soon to some ANT+ profiles. Maybe Garmin has an eye to include their aero work in that as well? Note: the intel is about other changes and NOT about AERO.
Surely Garmin is the market leader and Notio and Velocom small fry?
Of course, Garmin has a 0% (zero) market share as of today – there’s no product. Furthermore, Martin Le Sauteur, CEO of Notio, claims that “Notio and Velocomp have captured nearly 100% market share of the aero sensor category.” And indeed it’s a bigger market than I had imagined with John Hamann claiming “over 10,000 Notio and Velocomp customers already using our sensors”, although I suspect that the 10,000 figure might include PowerPod products which have no aero abilities – it’s is Velocomp’s Aeropod that is the aero sensing device.
Who will support this?
Now, that’s a good question and the answer will include bike computer manufacturers and new aero sensor manufacturers.
The aero sensor market is going to be a small one. So, for example, if a bike manufacturer doesn’t already support Garmin Varia lights then it’s very unlikely that they will support the Common Aero Profile. That said, quite a lot of companies do support Varia!
The companies whose users are most likely to need compatibility with an aero sensor are Garmin, Wahoo and maybe Stages too. Although it’s possible that another company, like Hammerhead, might see supporting this standard as a quick way to win some business with high-level cyclists and/or their coaches.
I would have thought the initial adoption would be with apps from Notio and Velocomp! That would include smartphone apps as well as a Garmin CIQ app. Although, theoretically Garmin CIQ apps could work with any device that supports the standard.
As a workaround, we have seen with CORE, that they made use of the little-used muscle oxygen profile to transmit SMO2/THB type information so that Wahoo head units could display the data.
- The Core body temperature and skin temperature data is likely to be added to an ANT+ profile soon – source: CORE
- MOXY is the only remaining Muscle Oxygen sensors. IIRC both its CIQ apps and Humon’s CIQ apps work with each others’ sensor.
- Muscle Oxygen and Environmental temperature are already in the ANT+ profile (thisisant.com)
What will it cost?
The standard is free to use by any sensor company or bike computer company.
What do Notio & Velocomp Cost
Notio’s product is at around £950 and Velcomp’s Aeropod around £450. These products are clearly targeting different markets and that’s perhaps the reason why these two companies could agree a standard seemingly easily!