Leikr: The Next Generation of GPS Training Watches?

While the Danish designed Leikr GPS watch is still in the Kickstarter phase, other GPS watch makers should take notice. In place of typically small, hard to read screens on many GPS enabled watches, the Leikr boasts a 2 inch, high resolution, color display all housed under a protective layer of Corning Gorilla Glass. It also claims that it can connect to the GPS satellites extremely fast, in a time as short at 30 seconds. Considering this is a prototype on Kickstarter, the watch is looking very polished – but what would you expect from a team of former Nokia smart phone engineers?

It appears that the Leikr forgoes touch screen functionality and instead utilizes 4 large rubber buttons on the corners of the watch that seem to be fairly well labeled on the screen for easy operation. Thanks to the color screen, the Leikr can display real time mapping with its onboard maps sourced from OpenStreetMap. Regardless of what kind of electronic training aids you employ, connectivity shouldn’t be a problem with the Leikr being compatible with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB, and ANT+.

The Leikr has been designed for any athlete looking for training data, from running, cycling, triathlon and more. When it comes to cycling though, we would like to see a handlebar mount either included or offered, as I can’t see myself riding with a watch that large.

Leikr is an impressive piece of hardware, that should have no problem finding its place in the market so long as it meets its funding goal on Kickstarter. If it does, let’s just hope they don’t have the same problems delivering the watches as Pebble.

More videos and specs after the break.


Comments

pigeons - 01/06/13 - 1:32pm

“…we would like to see a handlebar mount either included or offered…”

They kind of have thought about this:
Have you thought about a bike attachment?
Yes, the idea is to remove the strap and then securely attach the Leikr watch to a bike pod through the same interface.

Independent - 01/06/13 - 2:28pm

Waterproofing?

Mark - 01/06/13 - 2:35pm

Or just buy a Motorola MotoACTV that has been on the market for more than a year now…

Samuel J. Greear - 01/06/13 - 2:45pm

My $0.02, take it as you will…. Sooner or later someone will get it “right”, this is a step in the right direction but not there yet. These types of devices will remain niche until one checks the following boxes (if your company is doing the follow, let’s talk, I may work for stock):

[ ] Completely customizable and extendable by the end-user, this means an open platform/sdk. This unit is built on Linux/Qt, it _could_ check this box if they wanted it to, they mention that they may do this, but without a guarantee of an SDK I would not count on it. The Motorola MOTOACTV is a step ahead in this regard. Dedicated Garmin and other fitness devices, regardless of sales volume are losing market share to Android/iPhone smartphones, in large part because the latter are a customizable platforms. This Leikr supports Endomondo.. Great! I don’t use endomondo though, so I am already not interested, extensibility would remedy this. Additional sensors would enable more creative use of the device by third party developers, 3-axis accelerometer, compass, barometric pressure sensor, light sensor.

[ ] Ability to be used for any type of outdoor activity, from cycling to running to walking to geocaching to swimming to backcountry skiing. The main requirement here is mounts, wrist mount is great but the device needs to have an optional handlebar mount, arm case (works well for most outdoor activities if the user wants to use audio capabilities (assuming the device has any)), etc. Also a slim polycarbonate impact resistant/waterproof case so the device can be taken in environments where impacts are likely or that it must be waterproof (Such as under your swim cap if you are a triathlete). (Could also waterproof the device itself, such as the Garmin FR310 but that is harder and adds more size and weight to the device for other uses).

[ ] Great battery life. Backcountry and Ultra-Endurance sports are getting more and more popular every day. You can spend days without the ability to recharge during such an excursion. The better the battery life, the more useful the device becomes. Many very popular running and cycling races here in the US take the majority of competitors longer than 6 hours, this Leikr doesn’t even manage to hit the low water mark for battery life. The MOTOACTV fails to put up a reasonable showing in this regard as well, as do most mobile phones when used in this manner. Garmin has many devices rated for 16-20 hours. Many serious endurance athletes would simply have no use for this device because of the battery life alone.

What does this Leikr get right as I see it? Supporting Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB, and ANT+ is killer, even more killer if you can actually _use_ the device when power is being supplied over USB (not the case with many). The software choice, Qt on Linux, if they were to open up the platform a large number of developers would be able to dive right in and do really cool things with this device. The screen looks pretty great. This device has several critical flaws, I could not even consider using it for my training — but it is pretty awesome for their first device, I hope they get this funded if only so they are able to go back to the drawing board.

Zach Overholt - 01/06/13 - 2:46pm

@independent – Yes, they are planning for it to be waterproof, this is from their FAQ:
The mechanical solution of our device is designed to be waterproof.
According to the tests we have done so far with our current prototypes, we can already say that the watch is definetly water resistent (we have tested it extensively in the Danish pouring rain without any problem)
Once we will finalize our production assembly process we will start testing its waterproofness.

DawieO - 01/06/13 - 3:06pm

Does this device have support for swim functions both open water and pool? If so, I’m there…

Ben - 01/06/13 - 3:38pm

It’s a watch, but they don’t actually show it telling time . . .

Ploutre - 01/06/13 - 4:04pm

@Ben it does! but you’ll have to go and fetch your glasses! (look at the bottom of hte screen, middle part, looks like there’s the time, in 24hrs mode)

Tom - 01/06/13 - 8:21pm

Cool, would be even better if it incorporated a HR sensor in the watch instead of relying on a ANT+ strap.

Mindless - 01/06/13 - 8:37pm

Vaporware.

Speedy - 01/06/13 - 9:38pm

@Tom – my thought as well. It’s on your wrist, wouldn’t it be possible to put a heart rate sensor in the band?

g - 01/06/13 - 11:14pm

6 hr. battery life. What good is that? Nice try.

Dean Dobbs - 01/09/13 - 2:05pm

This thing is pretty ridiculous. Go get a Motoactv for $149 from Amazon – something that actually exists. I bought one to replace an old blown out Garmin Edge 305 and I love it.

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