Absolute Positioning Technology
The Absolute Cycling One can track your location in real-time with an accuracy within 2 meters. Even after losing satellite connection. This makes it the most accurate cycling computer in the world. In this article we’ll explain how we manage to do that.
How does it work?
All cycling computers use GNSS (the catch-all term for GPS, Glonass, Galileo and others). Once every second (1hz) these cycling computers will try to capture multiple satellite signals and use them to locate its position. The problem here is that the computer needs to be in visible contact with the sky to make it accurate. This means that you may lose connection when cycling through a forest, a tunnel or near open waters.
Current Situation (GNSS)
Every 3 seconds these cycling computers take an average of your last locations and uses them to predict where you’re going. This usually results in unrealistic real-time tracking of your current location. You’re probably trying to push yourself to the limits, going as fast as you can, quickly turning these small tracking errors into a difference of multiple meters. This is why most cyclists connect external sensors to increase their accuracy. Unfortunately this adds weight, ruins aerodynamics and requires setup and calibration.
What we do differently
By combining GNSS with a combination of sensors inside our cycling computer it’s able to track your position more often and more accurately. The sensors check your location 20 times a second. That’s 20 times faster than relying on GNSS alone. This means that even if you’re racing at high speeds the margin of error remains very small; within 2 meters. And if you lose satellite connection our dead-reckoning algorithm will keep calculating your position using just the sensors. Whether you’re cycling through a tunnel, a forest or near open water.
We call this APT: Absolute Positioning Technology.
Test results vs competitors
For our proof of concept we did a testrun using an extremely accurate RTK measuring tool. It can track your location with an accuracy <1cm and will keep on working for a very long time after losing satellite connection. You might be wondering: “why don’t you just implement that technology in the Absolute Cycling One?” Excellent question! The technology used for this test is extremely expensive (about €250.000) but more importantly; it would make your ride look something like this:
Alright, on to the test results:
Using an expensive GPS technology
In this graph you see the €250.000 reference compared to the tracking done by a different expensive GPS-only measuring device. It uses Internet to increase its accuracy. The average mean margin of error is about 0.8 meters making it very accurate. You can see where the device lost satellite connection because it simply stopped measuring that part of the route. Another downside is that this technology requires a constant connection with the internet and it’s far too expensive to implement in a cycling computer.
Next up is a competitors cycling computer technology.
Same route measured by competitors technology.
In this graph you see how the competitors accuracy compares to the reference created by the extremely expensive but accurate RTK measuring device. The competitors technology calculates a route based on measured GPS locations. Since it lost connection with a satellite a couple of times, these measurements are off by about 5 meters. That’s quite a distance, especially when you’re cycling at high speeds! Next up is our own Absolute Positioning Technology:
We have a winner!
As you can see in this graph, our Absolute Positioning Technology is off by about 0.75 meters. That’s less than the GPS technology that requires constant connection to the internet. More notable is the fact that it never skips a part of the route. Even if it loses satellite connection it uses its internal sensors to calculate your speed and location (amongst other data). Since it doesn’t need an internet connection it stays reliable, even in rural or harsh outdoor terrain. Our genius developers at Inspiro are working very hard to increase the accuracy even more before the crowdfunding campaign launches.
Why we do this
When you’re out there pushing yourself to the limit you want to be able to rely on your data. If you know exactly how fast you were going today you know precisely what to improve tomorrow. And let’s be honest, you’ve probably spent a lot of time, money and love on your beautiful bike. You don’t want to ruin those perfect looks by attaching ugly sensors to it. The Absolute Cycling One removes the need for external sensors since all the sensors you need are integrated inside of it.
Accurate real-time data means:
- No tracking issues near tunnels, open waters or forests.
- The data you see is your actual performance data, not an estimate.
- More accurate results in Strava & TrainingPeaks.
- Better real time navigation, no more errors during your routes.
No more external speed sensor means:
- You don’t have to spend extra money on a speed sensor.
- You save 30 grams of dead sensor-weight.
- Better aerodynamics your bike.
- Less cleaning and maintenance.
- No dead sensor batteries.
- No calibration or re-calibration needed.
- Better looks for your bike.
Better GPX & TCX navigation
You can upload your favourite routes to the Absolute Cycling One using the (free) app. Because of the increased accuracy there are little to no re-calibrations necessary when traversing your route. No more error messages mid-ride.
Simply start the app, select or plan your routes and send them to the One. No need to wait for maps to load, just hop on your ride and start cycling!
APT is an acronym for Absolute Positioning Technology. It’s the patented sensor fusion technology used in the Absolute Cycling One that gives it its amazing accuracy.
The Absolute Cycling One uses internal sensors combined with a smart algorithm to calculate its position and other data. It does this 20 times a second which makes it far more accurate than GNSS and most external sensors. However, you can still connect your favourite external sensors using Bluetooth and ANT+.
GNSS requires direct contact with a satellite in space. Everything that blocks this connection, such as tunnels and forests, will cause an interference. Open waters are a different story because they reflect the signals used by satellites, causing a different kind of interference. Because The Absolute Cycling One uses internal sensors to calculate its position and speed (amongst other data) it still works properly for 10 seconds even after losing satellite connection. This gives it enough time to find a proper connection with a satellite.
Yes, the Absolute Cycling One accepts GPX and TCX routes. You can use the (free) app on your phone to quickly upload a map and route to the cycling computer. Read the full article about our user experience here.
Yes, you can connect all your favourite external sensors using Bluetooth or ANT+. An external speed sensor is no longer necessary.
No, the Absolute Cycling One will use a smart algorithm to get the best performance and most accurate data out of the internal sensors. It’s just plug and play. Click and ride.
When using the Absolute Cycling One on full power and screen brightness we promise a battery life of 20 hours, even when it’s cold outside. We do ask that you charge the battery as described in the manual for better long-term performance. Want to know more about the battery? Read the article here.
Absolute Cycling One
~ 5 meters
No calibrations needed
Internal sensor tracking