Technology

Xplova’s X5 ‘Bikes’ Your Ride

An X5 computer mounted on a bicycle (Xplova/Acer)

Xplova Inc. started sales of its X5 ‘cycling computer’. The device features a quality camera, an ease of connectivity to other devices, and durability required for a device that is mounted on your bicycle.

 

A Computer for Your Bike

First presented in April 2016, the X5 is a “cycling computer” that is able to live stream or record user’s activities using a camera with 120° wide angle lenses. The camera supports HD quality of video and pictures.

The X5 keeps track of speed and riding distance, and monitors user’s heart rate, among other things. It can tell a degree of a road elevation, while at the same time checks the environmental temperature. An X5 allows for a connection with a mobile phone, so a progress in ride or race can be remotely monitored.

It also can be connected to a smart watch for an exchange of data such as user’s heart rate. When fully employed, it can discern rider’s power output and tell in what gear (or cadence) bike rides in at any given moment.

This tiny computer for the people on the move resembles a smartphone in the way it looks, since it has a relatively small screen. It is visibly thicker to house the camera and battery for prolonged usage. The X5 is mounted on the bicycle’s handlebar, putting it in the middle of the rider’s lower view, while not distracting cyclist while riding.

An X5 screen shows multiple operations it runs during a ride (Xplova/Acer)

An X5 screen shows multiple operations it runs during a ride (Xplova/Acer)

A Device for Tough Tasks

A closer look, however, reveals that many commands are easily accessible using physical buttons, such as “start/stop” and “record.” Additionally, some features are accessed via designated fields surrounding its relatively small screen, designed to allow for user to access menu as quickly as possible.

It goes without saying that an X5 is a waterproof device, packed and shock-resistant. Its transflective colour screen boasts sharp, rich and very light picture to compete with sunlight, and is – expectedly – resistant to scratches.

The X5 computers can track and record location of a rider using the free OpenStreetMap (OSM) mobile application. Using simple quad code output, a user can share their planned route with other cyclists: they are scanned using its camera and can be synchronised for a group cycling.

The X5s currently have many free apps, including social networks, for beginners, Xplova plans to offer professional-level apps with membership charges. The Taiwanese company now has 30,000 members and has ambitious plans to double the number offering new services.

A user taps on screen of an X5 mounted on handlebar (Xplova/Acer)

Future Devices

At the moment, the X5 computer is a product for niche market. It is dedicated to bicyclists, but it can find its application in other activities such as triathlons, according to Ben Wan, chairman of Xplova and president of Acer’s e-Enabling Business Group. Acer Inc. acquired Xplova in September 2015, with X5 seen as an initial step into other niche markets such as devices and applications for traffic and interactive pet monitoring.

What is more important, devices like X5 may point towards future development in mobile and wearable technology: mobility, integration, specialised tasks are all required from a device that may fit a lifestyle of a user. At the same time, an X5 can be seen as ‘one of devices’ people can have and use in various occasions. They all should be able to exchange data and be integrated with other devices such as smartphones and notebooks that people can use as a part of a modern everyday life.

Video: Xplova X5 Smart Video Cycling Computer (Xplova Inc./YouTube)

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