The Next Level Of Pedometer
Ordinarily when you see or hear the words radar and speed together it inflicts a deeply-rooted fear and resentment. If you're in the vehicle, those two words are grounds for instinctively stepping off the gas and tapping the brakes. However, if you're on the ground, radar speed calculation is actually a good thing. The Radar Tacho RDS II, developed by Germany's Fraunhofer Institute and manufactured by Siemens, promises to be the most accurate pedometer, or more accurately speedometer, ever. Yes, even more accurate than the Ronald McDonald pedometer you're sporting now.
The Tacho uses the same radar-based technology that is used to track tornadoes and entrap motor vehiclists, emitting microwaves that are bounced off the street or travel surface and used to track your speed. With a +/- 1% accuracy, the radar-based unit will provide information like max speed, average speed, total mileage, daily mileage and workout time. The device even has four separate settings to calibrate it for different activities: walking, jogging, inline skating (in case you want to track the speed of a bladin' trip back to 1994) and high speed. At first read, high speed appears to be a fancy way of saying "running", but the pedometer will measure speeds of up to 62 MPH so you can use it for other activities like biking, horseback riding, and skiing.
Perhaps the least heralded advantage of this technology is that since the speedometer uses microwaves to measure speed, it eliminates the need for manual measurements of steps or bicycle wheel cadence, making it a simple, versatile solution for a multitude of sports and activities.
The Radar Tacho RDS II weighs just 2.3 ounces and clips to your belt or shorts just like any other pedometer. The battery provides about 50 hours of run time and a charge indicator keeps you in the know when it comes to replacement. The device retails for $205, a bit more than the pedometer you pulled out of Cap'n Crunch, but it's also a bit more accurate and less embarassing.