Smart athletics: How the ‘Internet of Things’ is revolutionising the style we train and play

Image: UNSPLASH

Theres the old adage that “practice induces perfect.”

And while perfect is easily the loftiest aim one can have, building better utilize of your practise is what will see you reach your peak performance aims faster.

In recent years, advances in technology within the Internet of Things have given us a slew of super-smart ways to improve the way we practise and play to give us a competitive advantage. There are now all kinds of objects, devices, and apps that help us track our performance, monitor our progress, and enable us to improve in ways that help athletes from all walks of life satisfy and surpass their goals.

IoT describes a network of contacts between products: from mobiles, to clothes, to autoes, and fridges. Put simply, IoT means that one thing you own can talk and sync with another thing you own. Technologists use the use the word thing because the application of networked technology simply keeps growingnow almost anything at all can be connected to the network.

More than simply a fad or buzzword, IoT is set to radically change every part of our lives, tells Camilla Gulli, editor of Red Wire, Vodafones mobile technology blog.

Here are just six of the things revolutionising the way we train and play.

Wilson X Connected Football

This smart football helps you elevate your throwing performance in a gamified way. Theres a small sensor in the middle of the ball that records throwing velocity, spin rate, spiraling efficiency, distance, catches and drops-off.

The ball pairs with an app where you customise your avatar and play five different games, after which you can position your ranking and stats.

Image: Flicker user Andri Koolme

Fitbit Blaze

This smart fitness watch is one of many watch and bangle wearables on the market that help you monitor various facets of your workout, along with activities from your daily life that influence your health and fitness.

It constantly maintains way of your heart rate, connects to GPS to record where youre running and walking and has FitStar workout abilities that give you step-by-step instructions and coaching.

The Fitbit Blaze also tracks your sleep, so you can make sure youre getting enough remainder for peak performance.

Athos Wearable Fitness Technology

Athos takes a different approach to wearable fitness in the form of smart wearable attire.

They stimulate tight-fitting attire items that are filled with sensors that see your heart rate, inhaling rate and muscle activity. And dont fret: You dont have to wear the same dirty clothes every time you work out. The entire Athos clothing line features a small core that slips into a pocket on Athos shorts( it works with any pair ), and it connects with the sensors in each item of attire. The core then wirelessly delivers data to your smartphone.

What stands out about Athoss system is that it shows you how much youre exerting yourself and specific muscles, as opposed to an overarching workout report which induces the clothes especially great for weight and resistance educate.

UA SpeedForm Gemini 2 Record-Equipped

These UnderArmour running kickings track every single stride and second you spend working out and then they sync the data with the UA MapMyRun app. It captures your GPS information, hour, cadence, duration, distance and splits.

It even apprise you around the 644 -kilometre mark that its hour for a new pair of shoes and you dont lose the data youve accumulated when you sync in a new pair, either.

Winners are workers. Period. ))

A photo posted by 94 Fifty Smart Basketball (@ 94 fifty) on Nov 18, 2015 at 2:36 pm PST

94 Fifty Smart Sensor Basketball

Few things sound as great as a basketball swishing into a net, and this balls aim is to help you stimulate that splashing sound more often.

The ball which comes in both men and womens regulation sizing has sensors inside that measure your shoot and dribbling. It then sends data to an app that instantaneously analyzes it and gives you feedback on what youre doing well and where you can improve. The company also offers a SmartNet that measures shot accuracy.

Shockbox Sports Helmet Sensors

The Internet of Things has led to many performance-enhancing technologies and devices, but its also led to developments that help keep us safer when we play. Like, for example, these helmet sensors provide immediate transmission to an app that maintains way of hit counting and force of impact, so youll know when a player has experienced a hit that may have resulted in a concussion. That way, youll always know when to stop play and seek examination.

Currently, the company offers sensors for football, hockey, lacrosse and snow athletic helmets.

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Google Wifi is an affordable style to blanket your home with fast, dependable Wi-Fi

Google Wifi
Image: raymond wong/ mashable

I think we can all agree that Wi-Fi routers aren’t sexy devices. Nobody really get excited over a router, unless maybe if you work in IT.

And yet, Wi-Fi routers are various kinds of the rage right now. You assure, we all want fast and reliable Wi-Fi in every corner of our home. But networking gear is largely “meh, ” with ugly and cumbersome hardware and sub-par software, often using dated web-based interfaces that might as well require a computer science degree to figure out.

Google’s OnHub router, which debuted last year, was a good step towards improving Wi-Fi at home, but at $200 it was still too pricey and didn’t really fix bad Wi-Fi in large, multi-room homes.

Google’s new approach to improve home Wi-Fi, simply called Google Wifi ($ 129 for a single division, $299 for three ), takes a different tack. Rather than cramming a dozen antennas into one router, Wifi mimics routers from the likes of Eero and Luma, using multiple small routers to create a “mesh network” and essentially kill dead zones.

Coverage and speed

The only ports you’ll find on the Google Wifi unit.

Image: RAYMOND WONG/ MASHABLE

Though it’s possible to get a beefy wireless router with a dozen antennas sticking out of it like some kind of alien spaceship for better wireless scope, the vast majority of people aren’t going to buy a router that looks like a plastic tarantula taking a nap.

Most people usually stick with the modem and router their cable/ internet provider includes with their internet service. And because these routers are usually average, they largely have poor Wi-Fi range, which means the farther away you go from its physical place, the weaker your signal gets.

Most newer Wi-Fi routers support 2.4 GHz and 5GHz wireless frequencies. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. A 2.4 GHz network has greater coverage over farther distances, but lower velocities, and a 5GHz network has poorer long distance coverage, but faster speeds.

Google Wifi, just like Eero and Luma, offers the best of both worlds: coverage and speed.

Google OnHub( left) vs. Google Wifi( right ).

Image: raymond wong/ mashable

A single Google Wifi division runs exactly like the OnHub. You connect it into your modem via Ethernet, plug it into power, use the Google Wifi app( previously called OnHub) for iOS or Android to configure it, and in less than the time it was necessary to attain yourself a hearty sandwich, you’ve got a functional Wi-Fi network. It’s really telling how easy Google made the setup process when the box doesn’t even come with instructions.

If you’ve got a small apartment( 500 -1, 500 square feet ), a single Google Wifi unit is enough, and at $129 it’s more affordable than the OnHub. Not to mention the physical Google Wifi is less than half the size of it progenitor.

Creating a home ‘mesh network’

A 3-pack of Google Wifi is $299.

Image: RAYMOND WONG/ MASHABLE

But you’re likely reading this review because you do have Wi-Fi dead zones in your home and want to know if the $299 three-pack of Google Wifi routers will fix things.

And the answer is: yes, Google Wifi will fix them.

All you have to do to attain your poor Wi-Fi go away is place a second or third Google Wifi division in the room you want to extend Wi-Fi to and wirelessly connect it the main unit.

So for example, if my main Google Wifi unit is connected to a modem in the living room, but I want to get a stronger Wi-Fi signal in, say, the basement or garage, I merely need to place Google Wifi divisions in those two rooms and have them wirelessly connect to the one in the living room.

Place additional Google Wifi divisions in rooms the hell is farther away and have weaker signals.

Image: screenshot: raymond wong/ mashable

Image: SCREENSHOT: RAYMOND WONG/ MASHABLE

The two Google Wifi divisions in the basement and garage are essentially acting as nodes for your wireless network. I tried the above setup at my at my sister’s home where the Wi-Fi download and upload velocities are usually half that in the living room.

I operated the Ookla Speedtest app on my iPhone to compare the velocities before( network with OnHub) and after( network with Google Wifi) in the basement and garage and was happy to see the new velocities matched those in her living room.

Living room Wi-Fi speed( OnHub)

Image: SCREENSHOT: RAYMOND WONG/ MASHABLE

Basement Wi-Fi speed( with Google Wifi)

Image: SCREENSHOT: RAYMOND WONG/ MASHABLE

Living room Wi-Fi speed( OnHub)

Image: SCREENSHOT: RAYMOND WONG/ MASHABLE

Garage Wi-Fi speed( with Google Wifi)

Image: SCREENSHOT: RAYMOND WONG/ MASHABLE

If you’ve ever tried connecting to Wi-Fi networks in rooms that are either too far or obstructed by physical barriers that the Wi-Fi can’t pass across easily, you’ll know that your connection can be very spotty. Trying to stream a YouTube or Netflix video is a test of patience as you watch it try to buffer with little success and downloading files is slow as balls.

At some point you’ll probably just give up and move closer to your router.

I noticed no such wireless issues while testing Google Wifi and its additional divisions in what were previously Wi-Fi dead zones. The Wi-Fi was as strong and fast as if I was standing next to the main router. Your mileage may vary, but I’m quite impressed at how Wi-Fi mesh networks are tackling the problem of lousy Wi-Fi performance and coverage.

Google says two Wifi divisions are good for homes between 1,500 and 3,000 square feet. Use three to cover a home with 3,000 to 4,500 square feet.

App control

The Google Wifi app( formerly called OnHub) induces it easy to configure and monitor your wireless network( s ).

Image: SCREENSHOT: RAYMOND WONG/ MASHABLE

No more blinking lights on your router. When your Google Wifi isn’t work right, it’ll send a notification to you via the app.

Image: screenshot: raymond wong/ mashable

The OnHub app set the bar nice and high with its super-friendly interface. It also came with some handy velocity exam and the ability to prioritize bandwidth for a specific device.

The Google Wifi app is just as visually attractive and friendly. It still lets you manage all of the advanced router stuff( DNS, WAN, PPoE, etc .) manually if you’d like and comes with all the aforementioned features that were in the OnHub app.

The Google Wifi app is easy to use and very friendly.

Image: SCREENSHOT: RAYMOND WONG/ MASHABLE

With Family Wi-Fi, you are able to “pause” the Wi-Fi on select devices on your network, blocking them from accessing the internet. Sorry kid, homework first or no YouTube!

Image: SCREENSHOT: RAYMOND WONG/ MASHABLE

One new feature is called “Family Wi-Fi” and it lets you “pause” a device from accessing Wi-Fi. Paused devices are still connected to the Wi-Fi network, but they won’t be allowed to refresh app content or access the internet. Google says this is useful for, tell, mothers who want to temporarily disable their kid’s Wi-Fi for dinner or homework time. I could see it being a good tool for mothers, for sure, but if your kid’s still got a cellular connection, the intermission feature doesn’t block that.

A more useful new feature is “Guest Wi-Fi”, which, as you can probably guess, makes a Wi-Fi network for guests. A guest network is separate from your main Wi-Fi network and also lets you grant guests access to devices you’ve got set up to your main network( i.e. Chromecast ). It’s definitely a nice convenience.

Better Wi-Fi at home

You can dim or turn off the light via the Google Wifi app.

Image: raymond wong/ mashable

Google Wifi is not the first mesh network system out there. As I said earlier, Eero and Luma promise the same exact thing.

I’ve heard largely good things about those products and how they bathe your home with faster, more reliable Wi-Fi. But they’re merely too expensive.

A single Eero costs $199 and a single Luma costs $149. Google Wifi is less than both at $129. Luma is priced the same as Google Wifi for a 3-pack ($ 299 ), but a 3-pack of Eero costs a whopping $499.

Google Wifi is all the more compelling( even if you don’t live in a large home) now that Apple is reportedly no longer attaining its AirPort Wi-Fi routers.

If you want your Wi-Fi to “just work, ” I can’t recommend Google Wifi enough.

Google Wifi

The Good

Stupid easy to set up Simple, beautifully designed app Handy Wi-Fi pausing feature Boosts coverage and Wi-Fi velocities Single device is cheaper than competition

The Bad

Only comes in 1- or 3-pack

The Bottom Line

Google Wifi is a sleek and affordable way to improve bad W-Fi at home.

BONUS: Virgin America debuts First Class shoes with Wi-FI and video display.

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Metropolitan melodies: The audiophile’s guide to New York City

The Big Apple isn’t without its own soundtrack: The hum of millions in motion, the clap of dress shoes and high-heels on sidewalks, staccato beeps of car horns and the occasional jazzy melody of a street performance.

But are these sounds enough to preserve the beauty of the New York experience in your mind? Can a stray cab horn or a fire engine siren truly transport you back to summer day on Park Ave., or are we all doomed to dim recollections of the greatest city on Earth?

It’s no secret that sounds play a role in our memory of events and places, but in 2011, a study at the Academy of Finland took it a step further, concluding that listening to music can heighten brain activity, leading to enhanced recall. That means, adding some mellifluous context to your next New York adventure could help you create more detailed and vivid memories.

Now, technically, you could just throw on your favorite playlist and hope to capture New York in the lyrics of a song you may stop listening to in six months.

But you may be better off opting for something more permanent and more fitting for the occasion something that would challenge your musical tastes and bring a more cinematic and powerful feel to the city.

Yes, that “something” is Classical music.

With the right Classical playlist (this is important; we aren’t talking about boring oldies here) customized for the quintessential New York itinerary, you can memorialize your first New York jaunt or see your home city in a totally new way.

Check out the following location-composition combos to get started:

1. Grand Central Main Concourse

In The Hall of the Mountain King, Edvard Grieg

Most New York City journeys start in Grand Central Station, one of the most iconic and awe-inspiring structures in the world. When empty, Grand Central’s Main Concourse looks like a grand ballroom, and when full, it’s a bustling hub of activity. The aesthetic properties and transient guests of Grand Central make it the perfect setting for In The Hall of the Mountain King, composed by Edvard Grieg, a full-bodied yet mysterious arrangement that will fill your mind with intrigue.

2. Central Park’s Bow Bridge

The Blue Danube Waltz, Johann Strauss II

Central Park is arguably New York City’s main attraction, and the Bow Bridge is its crown jewel. Perfect for engagement photos and climatic scenes in romantic comedies, the Bow Bridge oozes intimacy and demands a song to match. Strauss’ The Blue Danube Waltz, provides a loving, spring-time quality that will have you stepping along the bridge’s artful planks in three-quarter time.

3. The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Preludio, Partita in E Major, Johann Sebastian Bach

The Met contains countless pieces of priceless art, gathered from across the globe. While you may think these works should be observed under the spell of a mellow, contemplative track, true art fans would do well to use music to enter the artist’s mind. Bach’s Preludio features a frenetic yet measured violin melody that feels like creative process a wild barrage of synapses firing in the brain. Preludio the perfect theme for a day spent admiring some of the world’s finest artwork.

4. Times Square

Nocturne in E-Flat Major, Opus 9, No. 2, Frdric Chopin

If you’ve never been to New York, Times Square entrances you; if you live in New York, Times Square disgusts you. Love it or hate it, though, the reasoning is always the same: There’s just so much happening. That’s why Times Square-goers should slow down the pace of things with a low-key arrangement from Chopin. Nocturne in E-Flat Major will give the world the appearance of slow motion, adding fluidity and calm to New York’s busiest destination.

5. Washington Square Park

String Quartet in E Major, Luigi Boccherini

Image: FLICKR, Charley lhasa

Visitors will descend upon Washington Square Park to admire the iconic marble triumphal arch, but they’ll also see an incredible cross-section of New York’s population, from families, to NYU students, to East Village punk-rockers, to philharmonic hopefuls. To put all of Washington Square Park’s diversity into ironic context, check out Boccherini’s String Quartet in E Major, an arrangement often reserved for uppity and homogenous gatherings.

6. Prince Street, SoHo

Concerto for Strings, Antonio Vivaldi

Despite its impressive skyline, New York architectural beauty goes far beyond skyscrapers, and there’s perhaps no greater place to admire New York’s historic Cast Iron architecture than Prince Street in SoHo. Located at the heart of the city, SoHo offers a unique, neighborhood-y feel, and has recently become the home of chic retailers. When walking along the bustling Prince Street, feel the energy while listening to Vivaldi’s upbeat Concerto for Strings, and while you’re at it, check a new set of headphones at Sennheiser’s brand new pop-up shop.

7. The Oculus at Westfield World Trade Center

The Planets, Op. 32, Gustav Holst

Image: FLICKR, Paul Wilkinson

New York’s newest landmark is The Oculus, an ultra-modern structure that resembles and enormous prehistoric ribcage. What’s more, located in “the belly” of The Oculus is a brand new, state-of-the-art shopping center, featuring the Sennheiser Soundscape, an immersive flagship audio experience. The Oculus has quickly become a must-see location, and all of its futuristic glory is best enjoyed with Holst’s The Planets in the background.

8. The Statue of Liberty Ferry

Ride of the Valkyries, Richard Wagner

Image: FLICkr, VISHPOOL

Okay, let’s be honest: The Statue of Liberty may be at the top of your NYC bucket list, but no one looks forward to the ferry ride that precedes it. To spice up the trek to Lady Liberty, stand on the bow of the ferry and listen to Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries it’ll add a sense of purpose to your anticipation and make you feel like you’re about to conquer Liberty Island.

8b. The Statue of Liberty

Moonlight Sonata, Ludwig van Beethoven

Once you’ve finally reached the Statue of Liberty, switch up the track so that you can appreciate the symbol of hope that the monument has become. Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata is a contemplative arrangement shrouded in a feeling of unknowing, much like the feelings of those who saw Lady Liberty as a new and uncertain beginning.

9. The Brooklyn Bridge

Spem in Alium, Thomas Tallis

The Brooklyn Bridge is a signature New York City landmark that offers visitors panoramic views of Lower Manhattan, Brooklyn and the East River below. As you walk along the bridge’s pedestrian path, admiring the architectural beauty and the vast cityscapes that surround you, tune-in to Tallis’ Spem in Alium, a powerful 40-voice motet with ethereal and heavenly composition that will help you grip the magnitude of the city and your place in the world.

10. On your cab ride home

Claire de Lune, Claude Debussy

Image: Flickr, matt spiel

At the end of your long day, jump in a taxi and watch as the city lights up in salutation. From marquee bulbs on Broadway, to the towering colors of the Empire State Building, you’ll see that while your day may be over, the city is just coming to life. To fully enjoy such effervescent beauty, turn on Debussy’s smooth and meandering Claire de Lune (French for “light of the moon”) and let the city slowly transform itself outside your window.

How New York City becomes a magical place

If you’re ready to experience a new side of New York City, make sure you have the proper soundtrack and equipment for the job. Start by ditching your low-quality headphones and letting messy webs of wire stand in your way.

For a high-fidelity listening experience that doesn’t need wires, Sennheiser has you covered. Offering two flagship models, the full-size new PXC 550 travel headphones and the iconic Momentum Wireless, Sennheiser packs Bluetooth wireless technology and NoiseGuard cancelation into stunningly designed headsets.

For more information, or to order your pair today, click here.

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