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Find your digital training partner

Computer Aided Drafting: 5 Innovative Training Technologies for Cycling

You can’t manage what you don’t measure. That is true for endurance athletes tracking caloric expenditure and substrate utilization or weekend warriors just looking to stay fit. It is nearly impossible to know if you are getting stronger, faster and leaner without some tools for measurement. Thanks to our rapacious demand for data, we’ve seen an explosion in the number of devices and services to help improve performance, from GPS to power meters to physiological testing services.

But even with all these advancements, we still find ourselves asking more of the the same questions: What should I measure? What do I do with the data? What technology should I actually buy? To help answer these questions we’ve got five training technologies that will help give context to your rides, improve your performance and best your training buddies.

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Wear your heart on your chest

Under Armour Armour39 System

It’s apparently no longer enough to wear one’s heart on one’s sleeve — or wrist. Under Armour’s new Armour39 system attacks the digital performance monitoring question with a new “bug” device, which comes with a special sleeve that straps to the chest; like other bluetooth-enabled fitness computers, it records exercise data and stores it in the cloud.

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Your dining room is now an obstacle course

Obstacles XRT App

Obstacles XRT ($2) (XRT stands for extreme reality training) isn’t particularly exciting from an innovation standpoint, and it won’t have Quantified Selfers jizzing in their Under Armour. What it does provide is a genuinely useful tool for motivated exercisers to do unique high intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts from the comfort of their home or, more importantly, in the office common room, wearing a tank top.

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Soup up for the Superbowl

THX Tune-Up App

Properly calibrating your TV and sound system is essential for getting the best picture and sound out of your gear — but few do it. Short of hiring a professional to take the work off of your plate, DIY solutions are grim: buying special discs and wading through various complex menus to get the job done. The THX Tune-Up App (Free, for now, $2 later) is a welcomed update to the process in a smartphone-dominated world.

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Still running

Temple Run 2

What could you have possibly done to make the monkey so mad? Temple Run 2 (free), much like its predecessor, is insanely addictive and madly difficult. Yes, you’re still fleeing through a sparse, badly maintained network of paths, using your fingers to slide, leap, turn and tilt. These sorts of games have a definitively juvenile…

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That's one hot (home media) librarian

Seagate Central Shared Storage

Hard drives are about as exciting as, well, hard drives. Seagate Central ($190-$260) aims to change all that as the world’s first shared storage device with a Smart TV app, enabling you to access files on your flatscreen and just about every other device in your home. In short, the Seagate Central allows access to…

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A Plant Tracker To Root For

Parrot Flower Power Plant Monitor

For obsessive but absent-minded tech geeks whose thumbs are jonesin’ to go green, the Flower Power app by Parrot is the perfect gardener on the cheap. Using a wireless bio-dongle — a kitschy divining-rod-shaped device that plugs into the soil next to your budding buddy — the app monitors plants’ stats in real time. Data…

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A different kind of POS

ShopKeep iPad POS by Griffin

Forget the confusing title, and remember this: the ShopKeep iPad POS by Griffin is going to make a lot of small business owners very happy. The new point-of-sale iPad mod — consisting of a protective case with built-in magnetic card reader that works in conjunction with the ShopKeep app — makes manning the cash register…

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An app for the dark night

Rise Alarm Clock App

Something needs to be done about our gadgets, because they’re getting to be too much. Toasters with wi-fi, espresso machines with built-in Instragram — every gadget today is trying to do everything for everyone, all while accomplishing absolutely nothing. It needs to stop. Out of the tangled wires and Bluetooth antennas, a hero, well, you…

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Grow a Pear

Pear Mobile

The holidays are here again. Time for family, friends and wondering what to do when Grandma pulls that five-stick-o-butter apple pie hot and fresh from the oven. Finding ourselves wedged between the gorging holidays with New Year’s resolutions right around the corner, we’ve all hopefully considered some version of an exercise regimen. Personal trainers, however,…

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Carpe Vita!

1 Second Everyday App

If the world really does end on the 21st, this app will be useless. But if Zero Hour doesn’t hit, 1 Second Everyday could be a life changer. Using your iPhone camera, this personal hobby turned TED Talk turned funded Kickstarter project chronicles your life one second at a time. Its creation story is blessedly…

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Road trippers of the world, celebrate

Google Maps for iOS 6

It’s safe to go out on the streets again. No more following driving directions into a lake a la “The Office”. Google Maps for iOS 6 (free) is the same quality tool it’s ever been, with a new streamlined look and a deliciously intuitive UI in addition to search, voice guided turn-by-turn navigation and street…

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App't Pupil

MR PORTER Tux App

Tis the season for galas, charity balls and swanky get-togethers galore, which is why MR PORTER’s new Tux App (free) is impeccably timed. The free iPad app is packed with plenty of tips for navigating black-tie events, starting with lessons on how to wear a tuxedo and tying a bow tie. The lifestyle-minded team at…

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Dinner under the Aurora Borealis? Done.

Philips Hue LED Light Bulbs

Indoor lighting technology is on the move, and the more we see, the more we’re impressed. Philips has just announced their new Hue LED Light Bulbs ($200+) and taken one more step toward the awesome, terrifying Ray Bradbury world of utter automation. Needless to say, we’re pleased. Each $59 bulb ($200 for three bulbs and…

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Pile-driver

Alto by AOL

If being heckled by your friends for using AOL makes you think you should get with the times, well, you’re right. But Alto, AOL’s rebooted attempt at relevance in today’s email provider market, looks to be downright useful. The formerly ubiquitous provider describes their newest web-based mail client as the result of frustration with “the…

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Enginious

Torque App

We love our cars. We love our smartphone apps. Torque (free+), an app that measures all the driving data your heart desires, is the perfect marriage of the two. Essentially an OBD2 (On Board Diagnostics) tool, Torque provides data such as mpg and fuel usage, GPS (with HUD mode) and essential vehicle data like fault…

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Not just a fantasy

NFL Game Rewind

If your fandom/fantasy addiction borders on the insane, NFL Game Rewind ($35+) will only steepen a downward spiral of screaming at the television. The online service allows subscribers to replay any game from the 2009-2011 and current regular season on their computer or tablet. If you only bleed blank & blank colors, you can also…

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An App for your Aorta

Cardiio

Nowadays, there are more health-monitoring apps than we can shake a Powerbar at. The Cardiio ($5) uses accurate (and somewhat mind-blowing) MIT innovations to give you a simple, easily obtained BPM heart rate. Just point your iPhone’s front-facing camera at your face, and Cardiio measures the light reflection on your skin (which is directly affected…

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Call me, maybe

Burner App

We’ve all experienced the regret of giving out our number only to be hounded with unwanted attention from a temporary business, clandestine, er… romantic acquaintance. Apple’s new Burner application provides iPhone users with an anonymous, disposable phone number for “one off” interactions at a safe distance. Like a mobster or international man of mystery using…

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Rosetta Phone

Word Lens

Remember those foreign language credits you needed back in the day to graduate? We didn’t think so. Luckily for you globetrotter, Word Lens, is a free iPhone and Android App that allows users to view language translation via augmented reality in (get this) real-time. But what does that mean? After unlocking your phone, click on…

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National Parks? There's an app for that.

National Geographic National Parks App

A wise man uses his smartphone on vacation for rare occasions only — ok, and maybe some Angry Birds slingin’, too. The National Parks app by National Geographic (free, $1 per park guide) has us reconsidering that though. With its comprehensive and stunningly beautiful design, exploring 20 of America’s most popular parks has never been…

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What’s over there? Tilt to find out.

Condition One Immersive iPad App

If you’re really into watching or making movies, immerse yourself even further with the Condition ONE app. The startup’s groundbreaking video technology allows users to explore capturing full motion video at 180-degrees using the iPad, with full panning and tilting ability. Backed by some bigwig investors (like Mark Cuban), interaction with the video is an…

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Svbtle Achievement

Svpply for iPad

The gatekeepers are dead, and the Internet is to thank. It’s true, anyone can stake their own piece of online real estate, yet few mesh purpose and appeal as effortlessly as Svpply. Whether you’re already an addicted user, or you’ve seen our film with them, we’re pleased to hear they’ve announced the Svpply iPad app…

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There's an app for all that

Allstate Digital Locker

GEAR PATROL SPONSORED POST If you asked me a few months ago what organizing, insurance and my iPhone had in common I probably wouldn’t have been able to give you a decent answer. But for the past few months, I’ve been using the Allstate Digital Locker app to catalog my belongings and in particular my…

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A megabyte saved is a megabyte earned

Onavo Extend Data Compression Application

In the age of smartphones, data plans are a mobile provider’s ticket to profits and margins. It works because we sign up for generic buckets of bits, without a clue about how much bandwidth we actually blow through in a month. Onavo Extend originally launched back in 2011 for iOS users with the promise of…

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Look Ma, no ruler

MagicPlan

Need a floor plan? Well, you could mooch off your architect friend, track down the original contractor (good luck), or heaven forbid, grab a tape measure and do it yourself. Or you could just whip out your iOS device and download MagicPlan (Free), a clever augmented reality app from Sensopia, which leverages the camera on your…

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Adobe Kitchen Sink 6

Adobe Creative Suite 6 & Creative Cloud

Addressing every last shred of your right brain, the new Adobe Creative Suite 6 is the definitive collection of creative apps applications. Whether you design, code for the Web, cut video, sketch, or crop-stitch-and-sharpen photos for your blog, the 14 applications that make up CS6 leave nary a creative stone unturned. The flagship, of course,…

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Ready, Set, Train!

Bit Timer

Interval training is a widely used fitness technique that has generated measurable benefits for many dedicated enthusiasts. While the concept is simple (intermittent bursts of high-intensity work followed by low-intensity work), the resulting workout session is anything but. Apart from a large towel and a CPR kit (you never know!), the most effective tool for…

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Math Faster

Rechner Calculator App

Bean counting has never been our strong suit, which is why we studied our 12c and TI instruction manuals like a boss back in the day. As technology progressed, we thought our math skills on the iPhone were still pretty snappy, until we came across the Rechner Calculator. The uber-sleek design is what draws users…

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Don't miss a shot

NCAA March Madness Live

Your bracket is filled. Your jersey is washed. You’ve grafted a Camelback onto your spine to counterbalance the upcoming spike in weekday drinking. It’s March Madness time and the NCAA’s March Madness Live service is the best way to catch literally all of the action. Ponying up for the $3.99 subscription gets you access to…