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TomTom Sports now tells your Fitness Age

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TomTom has launched Fitness Age, Fitness Points and Personalised Workouts across their sports watch range. Combined, these features give users the tools they need to work out smarter, achieve their fitness goals faster and live a healthier lifestyle.

The new features include:

  • TomTom Fitness Age shows users how fit they really are;
  • TomTom Fitness Points give users direct feedback about their exercise to improve their Fitness Age over time;
  • TomTom Personalised Workouts provide step-by-step exercise guidance tailored to an individual’s fitness level and exercise goals.

Corinne Vigreux, co-founder and managing director TomTom Consumer said: “I always wonder when I exercise whether my efforts have any impact on my fitness level and I know I am not the only one. By introducing Fitness Age and Fitness Points we have now designed a reliable way to measure your fitness level. We are proud to introduce a ‘personal coach on your wrist’ to motivate you when you need to do more and acknowledge your efforts when you’ve done enough.”

TomTom Fitness Age & Fitness Points

TomTom Fitness Age provides users with an age relating to their personal fitness level. It is based on their VO2 max and compares their fitness level to their age and gender. VO2 max (the maximum amount of oxygen an individual can consume per minute, for their body weight) is a key indicator of cardio fitness and a globally accepted measurement.

Based on your Fitness Age, you will earn Fitness Points every time you exercise. The greater the effort, the more points you achieve. Gain 100 Fitness Points per day to guide you in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If you hit around 500 Fitness Points, three times a week, your Fitness Age will improve over time.

Urho Kujala, Professor of Sports & Exercise Medicine at the University of Jyväskylä, involved in the research used to develop TomTom Fitness Age, said: “Recent research has proven that the recommended exercise to optimally improve people’s health and fitness is personal and especially determined by their current fitness level. TomTom Fitness Age is based on this research, and takes these individuals factors into account. Therefore it is an overall better guide to becoming fitter than just the existing and absolute metrics such as steps, calories, and active time and users are more likely to live a healthier and fitter life.”

Personalised Workouts

Personalised Workouts offer users fifty running and cycling workouts directly on their TomTom Sports watch. Intensity and duration are automatically adjusted to reflect an individual’s fitness level.  Personalised Workouts can help improve your Fitness Age, as well as support individual fitness ambitions such as running a marathon as well as fat burning, cycling or running speed and strength goals.

Additional updates

Phone notifications and Autopause are now also available across the TomTom sports watch range. Phone notifications allow you to see incoming phone calls and text messages on your watch. With Autopause, your TomTom Sports watch pauses automatically when you stop moving, preventing temporary breaks in activity from distorting your performance data.

TomTom Fitness Age and Fitness Points have been developed to give guidance and motivate everyone, no matter what their fitness level or fitness routine they enjoy. All the new features will be available via a software update across all our cardio Sports Products[2] and with the TomTom Sports app from September 2017.

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Low-cost wireless sport earphones get a kickstart

Wireless earphone brands are common, but not crowdfunded brands. BRYAN TURNER takes the K Sport Wireless for a run.

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As wireless technology becomes better, Bluetooth earphones have become popular in the consumer market. KuaiFit aspires to make them even more accessible to more people through a cheaper, quality product, by selling the K Sport Wireless Earphones directly from its Kickstarter page

KuaiFit has an app by the same name which offers voice-guided personal training services in almost every type of exercise, from cardio to weight-lifting. A vast range of connectivity to third-party sensors is available, like heart rate sensors and GPS devices, which work well with guided coaching. 

The app starts off with selecting a fitness level: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Thereafter, one has the ability to connect with real personal trainers via a subscription to its paid service. The subscription comes free for 6 months with the earphones, and R30 per month thereafter. 

The box includes a manual, a USB to two USB Type B connectors, different sized soft plastic eartips and the two earphone units. Each earphone is wireless and connects to the other independently of wires. This puts the K Sport Wireless in the realm of the Apple Earpods in terms of connection style. 

The earphones are just over 2cm wide and 2cm high. The set is black with a light blue KuaiFit logo on the earphone’s button. 

The button functions as an on/off switch when long-pressed and a play/pause button when quick-pressed. The dual-button set-up is convenient in everyday use, allowing for playback control depending on which hand is free. Two connectivity modes are available, single earphone mode or dual earphone mode. The dual earphone mode intelligently connects the second earphone and syncs stereo audio a few seconds after powering on. 

In terms of connectivity, the earphones are Bluetooth 4.1 with a massive 10-meter range, provided there are no obstacles between the device and the earphones. While it’s not Bluetooth 5, it still falls into the Bluetooth Low Energy connection category, meaning that the smartphone’s battery won’t be drastically affected by a consistent connection to the earphones. The batteries within the earphones aren’t specifically listed but last anywhere between 3 and 6 hours, depending on the mode. 

Audio quality is surprisingly good for earphones at this price point. The headset style is restricted to in-ear due to its small design and probable usage in movement-intensive activities. As a result, one has to be very careful how one puts these earphones, in because bass has the potential of getting reduced from an incorrect in-ear placement. In-ear earphones are usually notorious for ear discomfort and suction pain after extended usage. These earphones are one of the very few in this price range that are comfortable and don’t cause discomfort. The good quality of the soft plastic ear tip is definitely a factor in the high level of comfort of the in-ear earphone experience.

Overall, the K Sport Wireless earphones are great considering the sound quality and the low price: US$30 on Kickstarter.

Find them on Kickstarter here.

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Taxify enters Google Maps

A recent update to Taxify now uses Google Maps which allows users to identify their drivers, find public transport and search for billing options.

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People planning their travel routes using Google Maps will now see a Taxify icon in the app, in addition to the familiar car, public transport, walking and billing options.

Taxify started operating in South Africa in 2016 and as of October 2018 operates in seven South African cities – Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, Tshwane, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Polokwane.

Once riders have searched for their destination and asked the app for directions, Google Maps shares the proximity of cars on the Taxify platform, as well as an estimated fare for the trip.

If users see that taking the Taxify option is their best bet, they can simply tap on the ‘Open app’ icon, to complete the process of booking the ride. Customers without the app on their device will be prompted to install Taxify first.

This integration makes it possible for users to evaluate which of the private, public or e-hailing modes of transport are most time-efficient and cost-effective.

“This integration with Google Maps makes it so much easier for users to choose the best way to move around their city,” says Gareth Taylor, Taxify’s country manager for South Africa. “They’ll have quick comparisons between estimated arrival times for the different modes of transport, as well as fares they can expect to pay, which will help save both time and money,” he added.

Taxify rides in Google Maps are rolling out globally today and will be available in more than 15 countries, with South Africa being one of the first countries to benefit from this convenient service.

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