Oct 182012
 

Today, we are reviewing the 4iiii Sportiiiis Heads Up Display. Sportiiiis is a cutting-edge, heads-up audio/visual device designed to give you performance feedback without distracting you from your activity. Colored LEDs and verbal prompts guide you to targets for heart rate, speed, pace, cadence and power.

Before we get started with our review, we should tell you a little bit about us and how we perform product evaluations. We have a group of 4 people who do the evaluations of all of the stuff. One person is the lead on a piece of gear, but everyone gets an opportunity to evaluate the product. We have 2 guys and 2 ladies, so it’s a good mix of people. It gives us better insight, and we get a better review overall. Everyone has an input to the review, and if there is a major disagreement, we will note it in the review. If you want to know who these people are, check out our About Us page. Four of us are seasoned triathletes, and 2 of us are are also full time Pilates instructors. Jennifer Lynn, who is a guest blogger, is a full time Pilates/spinning instructor. All swim, bike, run, do Pilates and Yoga, and use all of the gear on a daily basis. Many of you have read the FitnessElectronicsBlog disclaimer, but here it is in case this is your first time reading one of our reviews. For the record,  we are in no way connected with Sportiiiis or any of the companies whose gear we review. We love playing with the latest technology, and we couldn’t keep our hands off this stuff if we tried. We typically don’t take gear for free, and there is never give-us-gear for a favorable review, or anything like that. Typically, if we like the product, we spend our own money to make sure we have it around to use. it helps us answer questions, and compare products, and check out the latest software updates. Let’s get to the review.

What’s in the box?

Here is the Sportiiiis packaging:

Here is what’s inside:

There is the 4iiii heart rate monitor strap, the Sportiiiis heads up display, a USB cable, and two mounts for glasses with zip ties:

Some Basics

For those of you who are not familiar with the Sportiiiis, here is an introductory video that shows some of the basic functions and features:

Here is another video covering some of the functions and features:

So what are the features?

Here is a nice image taken from the Sportiiiis website that shows how it is mounted, and some of its features:

Here is a list of the Sportiiiis features:

  • Built-in speaker provides spoken audio prompts with detailed levels of performance
  • Multi-colored LED boom provides instant visual feedback of critical workout and racing data (Heart Rate, Cadence, Power, Speed, Pace, and other ANT+ compatible data)
  • Lightweight unit (<10g) with adjustable boom easily attaches to virtually any pair of glasses
  • Configuration App is available for both Mac and PC
  • LED display profiles are available and programmable for HEART RATE,  POWER, CADENCE, and SPEED
  • TipTap™ technology allows changing between paird sensors and receiving audible zone updates by simply tapping on the unit
  • Tapping the side of the Sportiiiis case once will audibly announce your current heart rate
  • Tapping the side of the Sportiiiis twice will switch between sensors
4iiii-eye Sportiiiis Specifications
Unit dimensions, LxWxH: 12.7 x 1.5 x 2 cm
Weight: <10g
Battery: rechargeable lithium-ion
Battery life: 9 hours, typical
Battery charge time: 75 minutes (fully discharged)
Operating temperature: -20°C to +60°C

 

Accessories

Here are the accessories. The device communicates using ANT+, so theoretically it can communicate with other ANT+ sensors.

The heart rate monitor comes as a standard item, but you can buy it separately for $59.00:

 

  • Utilizes two, high precision 3-axis accelerometers for the most accurate, real-time distance precision
  • Suitable for running, walking and hiking on any terrain
  • Easy, secure attachment to shoelaces with included lace cradle
  • Sends and receives signals up to 10 feet
unobstructed
  • Waterproof up to 5 feet
  • replaceable 3 volt CR2032 coin cell battery
  • Wireless
ANT+ ultra low power technology
  • Dimensions: LxWxH – 56 x 37 x 13.6mm

 

The bike cadence sensor is an option that can be purchased for $59.00.

 

  • Tethered, independent speed and cadence sensors for optimal placement of each
  • Small with low drag profile
  • Sends and receives signals up to 10 feet
unobstructed
  • Waterproof up to 5 feet
  • Replaceable 3 volt CR2032 coin cell battery
  • Wireless
ANT+ ultra low power technology
  • Weight: Unit: 18 grams, Accessories: 12 grams
  • Dims: Speed 38x35x12mm, Cadence 40x18x12mm

 

The foot pod sensor is optional, and can be purchased for $59.00.

  • Utilizes two, high precision 3-axis accelerometers for the most accurate, real-time distance precision
  • Suitable for running, walking and hiking on any terrain
  • Easy, secure attachment to shoelaces with included lace cradle
  • Sends and receives signals up to 10 feet
unobstructed
  • Waterproof up to 5 feet
  • replaceable 3 volt CR2032 coin cell battery
  • Wireless
ANT+ ultra low power technology
  • Dimensions: LxWxH – 56 x 37 x 13.6mm

 

 

 

 

 

Using the Watch

Before you can use the Sportiiiis, you will need to download the software from the Sportiiiis site. You can find the software at http://4iiii.com/support.html:

Click on the Mac or Windows installer and follow the instructions to install the software. Once the software is installed, you can run the program. Plug the Sportiiiis into the USB port of your computer using the supplied cable, and run the Sportiiiis software. Once the device is plugged in and the software is running, you should see the PROFILE screen:

Once your PROFILE is complete, you are ready to setup your device. Clicking on SETUP allows you to change the default parameters on the HRM and any other sensors you have purchased. You can see that you have total control over the display and audio in the Sportiiiis. In the SETUP screen, the brightness, blink rate, and left or right eye choice can be chosen:

Here, audio VOLUME and AUTO ANNOUNCE can be adjusted:

SENSORS displays the currently paired sensors. On this screen, you can see that there are no paired sensors:

Here you can set the sensitivity of TipTap. Making it more sensitive makes it more likely to be triggered during a run. Making it less sensitive means you need to tap harder:

Next, Check out the ZONES setup screen. Here you can change your target heart rate zones, and match each heart rate range to an LED. There are seven LED’s corresponding to seven adjustable heart rate zones. You can also save different zone setup settings by clicking on the down arrow and naming your setup:

You have independent control over Run and Bike settings:

After all of this has been set, click the READY TO UPLOAD button to upload and save your settings.

Installing the Sportiiiis on my sunglasses took about 5 minutes the first time I did it. It took about 2 minutes after that.. The toughest decision was which side of my glasses to attach it to. I chose the right side.

There are extra zip ties included in the box in case you decide to move it to the other side. Also included is an additional mount, so that you can easily use it on multiple pairs of glasses.

After letting it charge for about 1 1/2 hours, our Sportiiiis was fully charged from from a totally discharged state.

Now we’re ready to go!

So How Does It Work?

Pressing the button and holding for two beeps turns the Sportiiiis ON. My first workout was a run, and the device quickly picked up my heart rate and displayed it on the LED bargraph. The default brightness setting was fine. I had to increase the volume, and decrease the sensitivity of the TipTap a little. When I first start running, I tend to hammer my feet some until I warm up. Tapping the device (using TipTap) gave me an audible reading of my heart rate. With the volume set at a higher level, I was able to hear my heart rate over my headphones, which surprised me for such a small speaker. This was great!

Switching between Run and Bike mode is easy. Hold the button until you hear 3 beeps, and the Sportiiiis will switch modes. It will audibly tell you the current mode.

Here is a pic of what it looks like through the glasses. My pic didn’t turn out as well, so I’m using their website picture:

It is literally this easy to see. You can put the display arm inside or outside of your glasses. It worked well in either position on my glasses, but I preferred having the arm on the outside of my glasses.

The claimed battery life is 8-9 hours. We typically recharged ours before using it was totally dead, but it was still working after 6 hours of continuous use. Increasing the LED brightness and audio will reduce battery life.

 

Thoughts, Opinions and Summary:

Pros:

  • Easy mounting
  • Battery life is good between charges
  • Very loud audio
  • Easy to use
  • Quickly switchable between sets of glasses with the two included mounts

Cons:

  • No way to log your workout
  • If you don’t workout with glasses, this might be an issue (as in a dark spin class)

Conclusion:

The Sportiiiis retails for $149.00. Overall, I think this is a great product. If you are a bike rider and don’t want to take your eyes off the road, this is a great way to train. Since most bike riders use glasses when riding, this is a great option. With two mounts, you can use one on your sunglasses and one for your evening glasses. The only down side is that you can’t log your workout for later review.

So our usual question that we ask ourselves is, “After using it for two weeks, would we spend our hard earned cash on one?” Well, the answer is “yes”. The four of us will definitely use the Sportiiis until we wear this product out. It’s easy to use, and it’s always on your glasses ready to go for a quick run or ride.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>