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TECH NEWS

Introducing Omata, the first analogue GPS speedometer

It records all your GPS data and gives key measurements on a mechanical display

Check out the new Omata One, a GPS computer that displays its information on an analogue face. Cool, huh? 

Omata, the brand rather than the product, is a team that previously worked together at Nokia, and it intends to introduce a new category of analogue GPS speedometers, with cycling just the first market. 

OMATA_One_Gray_MPH.jpg

“On the inside of the speedometer is a GPS computer that records everything the most capable tracking computers do at the highest level of precision,” says Omata. “This ensures that cyclists can download their activity data to their preferred training applications or sites. 

“On the outside Omata One has a beautiful, highly legible and mechanical analogue movement that shows you the things that matter most on the ride: speed, distance, ascent and time."

OMATA_Photo_2567 (1).jpg

In the collective view of the road.cc team, it looks pretty damn neat.

There’s bad news, though. It’s going to cost you US$499 (£353) to be one of the first 200 people to own an Omata One. Granted, you can choose between a white and a grey face and between mph and km/h, but it’s still $499.

OMATA_One_Gray_Detail.jpg

If you’re taken by the looks, you need to head along to Omata’s Kickstarter page – where else? – and pledge your $400. Don’t hang around because 132 of the first 200 Omata Ones have been bagged since the campaign started earlier today. 

OMATA_Photo_2948 (1).jpg

If you miss out on one of those, don’t sweat. Pledging a mere $3,000 (£2,118) will secure you an Omata One along with “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ride the roads of the Santa Monica Mountains [California] with our brand ambassador and cycling legend Fabian Cancellara, along with the founders of Omata.”

OMATA_One_White_KPH_Perspective.jpg

All the usual Kickstarter rules apply. Delivery of the first product is estimated for February 2017. 

Omata One will subsequently be available through omata.com, although we don’t yet have a price. 

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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33 comments

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tritecommentbot | 7 years ago
0 likes

Sort of thing that ends up in the drawer.

 

Then eBay.

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pagik | 7 years ago
0 likes

Love it. Cannot wait for this to hit the shelves. I'll put money on everyone asking what it is and saying it's nice whilst all the haters stand back saying how it's 'not needed and how they don't like change'.

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Anquetilslovechild | 8 years ago
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At the meagre speeds I ride it should be re-dubbed 'Omerta'   2

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robertoegg | 8 years ago
2 likes

mmmm so pretty!!! 

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PaulBox | 8 years ago
0 likes

It is possible to configure Garmin 1000's to display data in an analogue format if that's what floats your boat.

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part_robot | 8 years ago
0 likes

If they served up the following for £100-£200 I'd snap it up in a heart beat. The Garmin screens are a real nuisance for me to focus on in order to read the numbers

  1. Speed as a large dial
  2. Cadence as a small dial
  3. Power as a small dial
  4. Distance as an analog counter
  5. Backlight or - better still - glow in the dark markers and dials
  6. Maybe HR as a small dial
  7. Maybe GPS done via a bezel light (hard to explain without sketches)

If they did that and made the dials configurable (e.g. can switch the main one for power or cadence) I'd be very happy indeed. Just imagine how easy that could be to read and how long the batteries would last... plus how it wouldn't crash versus a damn Garmin. 

Now can someone make it please to save me dreaming of doing the same? I'm too busy and don't have the motivation  1

Having said that, what I want is probably doable as one of those new Garmin customizable screen things so...

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StuAff | 8 years ago
1 like

Very pretty. But I can't see the point of having a GPS device that has no way of directing you. An altimeter but no compass? Seriously? Think I'll stick with the Garmin.....

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Pub bike replied to StuAff | 8 years ago
0 likes

StuAff wrote:

I can't see the point of having a GPS device that has no way of directing you. An altimeter but no compass?

GPS is useful because it can estimate your speed, heading, altitude, rate of climb, etc. without additional sensors on the bike.  Turn-by-turn navigation is another application of GPS and would need a digital display.

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StuAff replied to Pub bike | 8 years ago
0 likes

Pub bike wrote:

StuAff wrote:

I can't see the point of having a GPS device that has no way of directing you. An altimeter but no compass?

GPS is useful because it can estimate your speed, heading, altitude, rate of climb, etc. without additional sensors on the bike.  Turn-by-turn navigation is another application of GPS and would need a digital display.

I meant a compass, which works perfectly well in analogue format . I'd rather have that than an altimeter.

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P3t3 | 8 years ago
0 likes

Actually for the price and concept I reckon I'd want it to be fully mechanical from the wheels up... smiley

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P3t3 | 8 years ago
2 likes

I "get it".  It looks great and has a lot of potential but they seemt to be missing part of the point.  I'd suggest they go and look at the display on the dashboard of their car and possibly some photos of aircraft instruments.  

- Speed is a good thing to display one an clock-face.  

- Power and cadence would also be particularly suited to this kind of display since people actually need to ride to those as target outputs during training.  

- Hours ridden and height gain are not good to read out on a clock face and would be better suited to a numerical readout since they ascend over time and don't return to zero.  On a car this used to be a mechanical trip reader (the 0-9 barrel readers) now replaced with digital dispaly.   The former of those two would keep the device's analogue character but be useful and free up the sub dials for power/cadence.  

Maybe there will be a MK2 version that does the power/cadence thing.  

Oh - and it doesn't need a back light since a) it would make it difficult to read in the dark and b) imagine how cool it would be to use it if the numbers/dials were glow in the dark!  

Its a nice thing but they have botched up the most basic ergonomics at the moment!

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Edgeley | 8 years ago
0 likes

Let's hope it stays expensive and niche.

 

It wouldn't be helpful if speedos became mandatory on bikes.  Next thing would be speed limits, and not necessarily the same as for motor vehicles.

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Edgeley | 8 years ago
0 likes

Let's hope it stays expensive and niche.

 

It wouldn't be helpful if speedos became mandatory on bikes.  Next thing would be speed limits, and not necessarily the same as for motor vehicles.

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Christopher TR1 | 8 years ago
0 likes

A ride in California would be nice. And Fabian Cancellara, you are looking good!!

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macrophotofly | 8 years ago
0 likes

Whilst a neat idea for historic bikes, it looks a bit large and plasticy for them - had it been in a machined titanium case it might have justified the price (and looked the part). I also wonder about battery life with all those dials to drive.....

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shutuplegz | 8 years ago
0 likes

No light? Even my Aldi-special has a backlight! Perhaps I'm missing the point ....

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fukawitribe replied to shutuplegz | 8 years ago
0 likes

shutuplegz wrote:

No light? Even my Aldi-special has a backlight! Perhaps I'm missing the point ....

By some distance i'd reckon  3

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nortonpdj replied to shutuplegz | 8 years ago
0 likes

shutuplegz wrote:

No light? Even my Aldi-special has a backlight! Perhaps I'm missing the point ....

Ah, but that rather presumes there is a point....

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jug_23 | 8 years ago
2 likes

Might be worth noting that the Kickstarter price is $499, not $400, so it's actually around £350. 

 

I've been following their campaign and really like the concept of the computer - visibility of the speed indicator is fantastic compared to an electronic display (although I'm sure you will soon be able to get an update with an indicative display if you have a higher end model). If the price had been lower I would have been tempted, but clearly their pricing strategy has been a good one with all the early birds gone in less than a day.

I also realised when thinking it through that I rarely actually want this data when I'm on the move, so not sure I'll mourn the loss too greatly. If there's a cheaper/ simpler etc one along in the future I would definitely be interested. About the time my old garmin will be due for renewal.

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netclectic | 8 years ago
0 likes

Looks pretty and all but all digital with an 'analog' display option that can be configured the way you like would be more practical.

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BBB | 8 years ago
0 likes

I like the concept in general. It would suit my neo-retro black and silver Columbus SLX ride.

The unit could be smaller, display simpler and the price £200 less, though...

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marche | 8 years ago
2 likes

Analog displays have the big advantage beeing easy to read. The hour of a clock gives you the "feel" or the quantity without the need of depicting precise numbers. 

People don't buy watches solely for the time display – it's often about jewellery and I'm not convinced that cyclists are looking for such symbols on the bike.

The best design is the one you don't notice. The different design process concerning the handle bar and the technologic development of all the parts is the real design challenge. Historically 
the handle bar outlasts the computer technology by far. So integrating a unit into the bar or the stem is no designer's priority since the marketing department has advised against it – a Garmin stem or handlebar?

We are left speaking about the neatly made mount, the size of the screen or the shape of it’s body (why round??). But let’s be honest: today there’s not one real convincing unit on the market and this device isn’t a game changer neither!

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MNgraveur | 8 years ago
5 likes

I am waiting for "Omerta", the first analog speedometer that also gives you your reticulocyte count.

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Carton replied to MNgraveur | 8 years ago
0 likes

MNgraveur wrote:

I am waiting for "Omerta", the first analog speedometer that also gives you your reticulocyte count.

I don't know, just thinking about what the mount on one of those bad boys would look like makes me shudder.

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Pub bike | 8 years ago
0 likes

Very pretty...but not very practical.  The display is quite cluttered.  It would help if the display were customisable, even just to change the units from statute to metric, or mix them e.g. mph and altitude in metres, but it would have to be digital for that. Maybe someone will make an app that looks just like this for the fenix 3...

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Yorky-M | 8 years ago
0 likes

I like it and am clean shaven.

A Gin and tonic smooth garmin.

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Ush | 8 years ago
2 likes

It is not analogue. It's using discrete GPS data. Its DISPLAY is analogue. Overall the whole thing is a skeuomorph. It may have advantages for people used to such displays.

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cdamian | 8 years ago
2 likes

I have been waiting for the kickstarter campaign for a while, they had been posting updates on instagram for the last weeks.

I think it is a brilliant product, it is beautiful and functional too.

Of course it isn't for everyone. I would miss the recording of heartrate data and I like to play with lots of screens.

But for people who maybe go for a retro bike like the Bianchi Eroica or are generally in the beard wearing hipster group it is a good fit.

And maybe they release one that does heartrate display and recording in the future. Maybe even some simple compass style navigation like the BeeLine.

 

Also: any GPS computer that isn't a Garmin is already a winner

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Ush replied to cdamian | 8 years ago
2 likes
cdamian wrote:

But for people who maybe go for a retro bike like the Bianchi Eroica or are generally in the beard wearing hipster group it is a good fit.

Hmmm... I thought hipsters rode fixed gears when they weren't eating working class children?

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KiwiMike | 8 years ago
0 likes

QUESTION:

Is there an app out there that can display this sort of thing on an iPhone? Seems it would be very easy to do.

Then I can work out if I need the hardware version smiley

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