onTracks: when one “smartwatch” isn’t enough

A couple of days ago I had a double pleasure to discover onTracks and to speak to Philippe Leca the CEO of the onTracks brand about his rather unusual gadget. I got on board really quickly. I love new tech, cycling, hiking, and motorbikes. I may not be the biggest fan of running, but interesting tech like the one behind the Run Free Pro Bio – will get me out there. onTracks targets active part of the population, and I had a chance to ask all the burning questions.

Garmin Descent G1 - Other features
Garmin Descent G1 - Other features

What is onTracks?

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Imagine a cross between a smart-watch and a sport-tracker, placed in a much more convenient place on your arm and multiplied by two. Why by two? Because onTracks is actually a pair of round displays wrapped around your palms. These 1.2″ TFT screens are capable of haptic feedback, visual clues and fully fledged sports navigation system.

More than a tracker, different than a smart-watch

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onTracks bracelets come in 3 different packs ranging from €179-219 and each set contains 2 displays with various accessories for hiking, running, cycling and motorbiking (gloves are in development for cycling and motorbiking). It’s worth noting that only the €219 set comes with a heart-rate monitor.

Having both, the LG Urbane and Mi Band 3 I can totally appreciate the positioning of the displays. As much as I would like to use my gadgets, it’s not comfortable to do so and time required to get to the preferred notification is not worthy of taking my hands off the handlebars. The onTracks come with proprietary software. Bracelets don’t try to be Wear OS, and they are there to get the job done.

Buzz, signal, show…

I hope to trial onTracks once they are out as the navigation system sounds really great. Bracelets will not only vibrate but also light up (in case you travel on rough terrain) to indicate the directions of travel and if that’s not enough you can also see more traditional arrows indicating where to go.

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Unfortunately, the native Android notifications are not supported, but I got assured by Philippe that the most popular apps are already integrated. You will never miss a text, call, or a message from the most popular social apps.

The hardware

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It’s hard to talk in details about the onTracks. In the interview, Philippe assured me of 2-5 day operation (device connects via BT). I’m more likely to run out of the phone battery. In addition to the phone connected tracking, I can also wear a single bracelet and use it as a sports tracker. The charging stand supports both bracelets at the same time and the magnetic snap on transforms the gadget into a desk clock.

Impressions?

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I asked a couple of cycling friends from my favourite bike repair shop about their impression and I’m not the only one to think it’s cool. Granted, some of them had previous bike courier experience, but I’m not alone in my interest. In all honesty, I was tempted to call onTracks expensive at first, but I do get both bracelets and I spent nearly 30% more on a smartwatch I use less and less.

onTracks, get set, go…

onTracks is not just the bracelets. It comes with an app, where you can store, import and share your workouts. You can create your tracks by drawing, and should something unfortunate happen an SOS button will send info about your location to 3 of your friends. onTracks is to expected hit the market this year before summer. Interested?

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Mat Zolnierczyk

I am passionate about technology, cycling, and art. This would explain why my bike has more computing power than your average office. I own notenoughtech.com and I write for xda-developers.com and pocketables.com NotEnoughTECH | Facebook | Twitter |YouTube |Instagram | Google+ |Donate |Patreon

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