Wearables are slowly becoming crucial in our everyday life. I mean, why wouldn’t they – they allow us to stay healthy, improve our performance in various fields and sport, help us keep track of our progress and, most importantly – let us share the whole experience with others. Because there is nothing more motivating than competing with yourself and/or others.
With more and more useful wearables coming out regularly, surfing market is experiencing a boom in this field and to decide on THE one will soon become quite tiring. To save you all the surfing time (on-line), we went on and researched why Glassy Zone beats the budget competition. So you can enjoy your surfing time (in the water) – more and better!
NOTE: We have included those wearables that were both affordable and in a broad use in the surfing community at the time. We also omitted Windows OS at the expense of Android and iOS as the main two operating systems.
Having in mind uniqueness of surfing, we’ve decided on the following criteria:
- Operating system compatibility
What is it: Most of the mobile phones out there operate on either one of the two main OS’s – Android and iOS. And while the first one is an open-source technology and the most widespread one, the latter obtains the largest profit. This duopoly affects many other tech-related markets that have to comply in order to satisfy their customers’ needs.
How does it help you: Regardless of which mobile phone you use to track your data, you should keep in mind that it’s up-to-date and supports the app you want to run, together with the device you want to use. If your phone runs Android or iOS, you are most likely NOT to have that problem
What is it: Marketed towards novel application, Bluetooth Smart (also known as Bluetooth Low Energy) should considerably decrease your power consumption and the cost, while not affecting the communication range.
How does it help you: Bluetooth allows your device to sync with your phone either instantly or after your sessions. Using Bluetooth smart, you will be saving some of the energy allowing you to spend longer time in the water!
What is it: The largest amount of portable devices use rechargeable batteries (like Li-ion and NiMH) – it minimizes the waste and saves you money, on the long run. Which is what can happen with an excessive use of primary batteries. However, rechargeable batteries tend to “wear off” with time.
How does it help you: Although rechargeable batteries are a good choice for an eco-friendly surfer, they usually have to be charged weekly. The advantage of the primary batteries is that they can power your device for months before running out of strength, which is perfect for those surfers that are forgetful.
What is it: Micro-machined accelerometer, it allows you to measure proper acceleration (“g-force”).
How does it help you: It can work in 3 axis (x,y and z) to give you a better reading of your movement: while in mobile devices it can tell you orientation of your phone, it also measures linear acceleration of movement.
What is it: There are three levels of water resistance: water-resistant, water-repellent and waterproof. It is usually measured in units of pressure (atm) where 1atm equals 10m/33 feet of water resistance.
How does it help you: Probably one of the most important terms when talking about surfing as it determines up until which point can you submerge your device in the water. While water-resistant devices (usually called splash-proof as they can suffer mild splashes) are often used in fitness, surfers should opt for waterproof devices that could perfectly work even under water. That means no worries when you’re trying to catch that perfect wave!
What is it: LED is a flat panel display that uses light-emitting diodes as pixels for a video display, while LCD uses light modulating properties of liquid crystals for the same reason. OLED (Organic-LED), on the other hand, works better without the back-light and it’s often use in mobile devices.
How does it help you: Allowing you to read into your sessions while still in the water can be quite an important aspect. But it largely depends on the size of the wearable – smart watches are usually bigger because of the screen while bands give you a limited amount of info during your sessions.
What is it: Prolonged and unprotected exposure to UV lights can damage your skin and eyes, which can potentially lead to some serious health problems. UV sensor doesn’t offer you the protection but it can read the intensity of UV lights.
How does it help you: If you prefer surfing in warmer waters, chances are you are quite often exposed to the direct sunlight. Although, surfers already do take quite a good care of their health, having an extra protection sensor can make a difference.
What is it: Gyroscope supplements accelerometer by giving you a clearer reading, in this case the angular velocity.
How does it help you: As a part of your band/wearable, gyro will be measuring the movements of your wrist.
What is it: GPS device will accurately give you your location by getting that information from GPS satellites. Although developed by US military, it is available for everyone to use.
How does it help you: Seeing your sessions on the actual map? What’s better than that?!
That all being said – it is up to every individual surfer to decide what is the most important thing for them. However, wearables targeting the surfing community, do offer more specific information and accompanying app that will make you relive your sessions as much as you want – after you’re done.
What Glassy has been trying to do for many years now is to help both beginners and those experienced surfers to improve and elevate their performance: first by offering a complete app that allows everyone to track their session in order to record best experience and analyse their own abilities and then by creating Glassy Zone – a wearable that will let you do all of that and even more, with less of work for you.
What distinguishes Glassy Zone from other wearables is the combination of following:
- Price – it’s currently a budget wearable and, as that, quite affordable to many.
- App – the quite popular Glassy Pro app already has over 9000 surf spots and thousands of registered user for you to befriend or compare with
- GPS – a pricey addition found only in more expensive devices is a vital part of Glassy Zone and one of the must-have’s in surfing
- UV sensor
Regardless of your surfing level, maybe it’s time to stop settling down for wearables that are not letting you reach your full potential but instead to focus on those that are made FOR surfers, by surfers.