If you take your smartphone-assisted exercise seriously, you'll probably want both ANT+ sensor support and a power pack to offset the increased battery drain that follows. It's a good thing that Selfloops is tackling both needs at once with its new Android ANT+ Accessory, then. The USB add-on isn't tiny, but it can grab data like cadence and heart rate from a nearby ANT+ device while keeping a phone topped up through its 2,000mAh battery. The peripheral is also one of the few to bring ANT+ to Android 2.3 -- if you're still using an older handset, you've found an ideal fitness companion. Just be prepared to wait for it. While Selfloops is currently taking pre-orders for the $115 Android ANT+ Accessory, it's not starting shipments until October.
Selfloops Accessory Brings ANT+ Capability to Over 400 Million Active Android Smartphones
Android ANT+ Accessory enables Android devices to connect to ANT+ sport, fitness and health
sensors while charging smartphone at the same time
Cochrane, Alberta – July 2, 2013 - Selfloops, an Android-based innovation company, and ANT+™, the world's leader in ultra low power (ULP) wireless technology, have announced the release of the Android ANT+ Accessory - a smartphone charger that enables Android connectivity to the ANT+ ecosystem of sport, fitness and health products. The Android ANT+ Accessory allows the millions of existing Android devices (with versions 2.3.4 and higher) to display data such as heart rate, foot speed and distance, bike speed, power and cadence from any certified ANT+ sensor. This links Android applications to the millions of available ANT+ products manufactured by top brands such as Garmin, Timex, and Geonaute.
"We're extremely excited to now offer this innovative accessory to consumers," said Selfloops co-founder, Christian Del Rosso. "This is the only smartphone accessory that will enable ANT+ in Android devices with versions 2.3.4 and higher, which covers over 85% of the Android installed base. Existing solutions only cover Android 3.1 and upward (43% of the installed base) so we are thrilled to offer a device that brings ANT+ to the mass population of Android users."
The Android ANT+ Accessory connects to an Android device via USB and also functions as a charger, extending the battery life of a connected smartphone. The accessory adheres to the Android USB Accessory Protocol and supports devices that do not have USB OTG (on-the-go) capabilities.
"The Android ANT+ Accessory has created a new innovative category of devices we call 'smart'
smartphone chargers," added other Selfloops co-founder, Piero Ribichini. "In this case, the accessory enables ANT+ in the majority of existing Android devices all while charging the phone at the same time."
"It's very evident that consumers want ANT+ in their smartphones," said ANT Wireless Vice President, Rod Morris. "We're pleased to have an ANT+ Alliance Member bring a product to market that gives existing Android app developers and users an option to connect to ANT+."
Applications created using the official Android ANT APIs from ANT Wireless will automatically be
compatible with the Selfloops Android ANT+ Accessory. Selfloops has developed two ANT+ Android apps (Selfloops and Selfloops Group Fitness) that are currently available on the Google Play Store.
The Selfloops Android ANT+ Accessory is available at a cost of $115.00 US and can now be pre-ordered at www.selfloops.com/products/accessories.html. The device is expected to start shipping in October.