Here at Namics, we love to play around with IoT stuff. littleBits tinkering, private tinkering, PixelRun, church bells concert, IoT service design workshops at conferences, analyses, speeches, new interaction stuff for wearables, hackathons, and so on (most of it in German, sorry).
So I got extremely flattered when the team presented the ten years anniversary gift for me: Woohoo, Bragi’s „The Dash“! The world’s first wireless smart earphones – no more cables while running – yay!
As I’m aiming for running 1000 km this year (currently at 650 km – check), this was the perfect present. So the love story started with a huge first kiss.
Unboxing worked like a charm, the experience with being led through the physical multi-stage box and discovering the world of The Dash was really great. Certainly, there are a few industries that could take this step of the onboarding process as a benchmark. ;-)
The device itself is just sexy. Round, well designed, good looking – I fell really in love with it.
Then the fitting: well… must be my ears. L is too large for the right ear, M is too small for the left ear. And when getting sweaty, they fall out from time to time. But the love is still strong.
When it comes to pairing with my smartphone and the Bragi app, the love gets jeopardized the first time: there is this cool touch interface called EarTouch on each Dash and it works perfectly for the right Dash to connect via Bluetooth. Connecting the left Dash simply doesn’t work – and resetting doesn’t help. It should, obviously, work the same way but only one time out of ten I manage to get it paired via BLE. Sometimes hitting the finger on the touch area for several times helps. Sometimes not.
Then, while running, it run out of power a lot, although I’ve charged the Dash properly before. At least I thought so. But it’s hard to tell because of all the colors shining and blinking on the Dash, indicating a power status in some way. It looks very nice but I still don’t get the message, especially because putting them into the charging case should do the job 5 times, according to Bragi’s website, and that’s what I do before running. Running out of music while running sucks. Really. The love is completely gone in those moments.
Next, if I put the smartphone in my back pocket while running, next to the sacrum, the connection disappears. Is this too far away for a bluetooth connection? I guess not but The Dash loses it completely. Hello, my love? I’ve got no other pocket in my summer running shorts. Dammit.
Lastly, the activity tracker is just good-for-nothing, at the moment. Compared with the sensor data of other devices used on the same tracks, accuracy of distance and heart rate is – let’s say – rather peculiar. And an audio coach telling me every 5 minutes the total number of steps (steps!) is useless. Distance as main measurement would make much more sense, with the time as main criteria.
Although I love the macros (e.g. nod your head to take an incoming call, shake to reject) and the sound quality and the audio transparency mode and and and, I’m still slightly disappointed with many apparently unready or still-to-come features. Our love will definitely get a second chance, and I’ll hopefully enjoy the next updates (but will not enjoy to do them via manual file-move – hello, it’s 2016!).
Conclusion: yet another IoT example that’s sexy at first sight, but has a huge amount of room for improvement.
P.S. Hey Bragi, what’s happening over here at Samsung? You’d better hurry up, luv! ;-)