Gear Guy

    Photo: Bob Parks

Q:

Hiod One: The Bad Stuff

It would be neat to have something that would allow me to communicate with the guys I ride with and track my speed.

A:The Hiod One is the first version from Swedish startup Hiod. So it’s probably for cyclists moderately comfortable with new technology. In other words, if the digital clock on your microwave has never been set for the right time, forget it.

Case in point: Sometimes the Bluetooth signals get fouled up. During my ride with Michel, his Hiod disassociated itself with the voice unit. I had to do a hard factory reset right there on the pavement of Route 9. The guy just wanted to get on with his ride.

Another example: My son accidently clicked on the voice-dialing feature while we were walking through the woods. He said, “What’s that sound” into the microphone, and the system thought he said “Call Dave Brown.” It immediately accessed my cell phone’s address book and dialed the personal cell phone number of a rather imposing editor that usually gives me cold chills to talk with anyway. (The call went to voicemail.)

It’s clear that the Hiod is a step into the future. It makes good use of a sophisticated technology you usually have on you already (your cell phone). It uses small wearable electronics that hug close to your body. And it uses a good digital wireless radio standard for flawless communication. The utility is there, but it’s still a lot of hassle for a simple country bike ride. This is really a design problem and when the product designers can finally tame all the hassles, it will have a broad appeal, for cyclists, and probably kayakers and hikers too.

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