Tech4O Traileader (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2007)

A pedometer based navigational watch that does away with the foot pod.

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by Alan Dixon | 2007-08-12 00:06:00-06

Tech4O Traileader

The market is flooded with pedometer based performance watches. Why? In the age of ever increasing wrist mounted GPS performance, pedometer based units have a significant cost advantage. They work in areas where even sophisticated GPS units can’t, like under heavy tree cover, in deep canyons. Finally, pedometer based units are lighter and have far longer battery life. Typically you can leave one on for the duration a backpacking trip and not worry about it conking out.

Tech4O Traileader (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2007) - 1
The Tech4O Traileader includes a pedometer/distance function along with the traditional wrist computer navigational functions like a barometric altimeter and magnetic compass. But what really sets the Traileader apart is that it doesn’t have a foot pod. The accelerometer/pedometer is built right into wrist mounted watch.

Note: “Tech4O” appears to be the re-branded electronics portion of Silva. The Silva brand is still retained for traditional magnetic compasses.

These pedometer based units typically have a wrist mounted watch portion that receives information from a foot mounted accelerometer (the pedometer) via wireless transmission. Once you calibrate these units to your stride length they can be reasonably to very accurate depending on the quality of the accelerometer, their wireless transmission technology, and the sophistication of the electronics that process the accelerometer’s information.

But the foot pods are notorious for coming free from your shoe, never to be found again, and they tend to have much shorter battery life than the watch/receiver portion. The wireless transmission between the foot pod and the watch unit is not fool proof.

Finally, hiking speed and distance traveled are important navigational information. A good pedometer is far easier to use and more accurate than counting steps. But for some reason few if any of the wrist computer navigational watches are linked with a pedometer. Thus most pedometer units are relegated to performance measurement and not navigation.

Tech4O Traileader (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2007) - 2
The Traileader 1 left has a polymer band Traileader 2 has a nylon cloth band.

In contrast, the Tech4O Traileader includes a pedometer/distance function along with the traditional wrist computer navigational functions like a barometric altimeter and magnetic compass. But what really sets the Traileader apart is that it doesn’t have a foot pod. The accelerometer/pedometer is built right into wrist mounted watch. A very sensitive accelerometer and a sophisticated program analyze the accelerometer’s output for accurate speed and distance traveled. Tech4O claims 95+% accuracy compared 70% accuracy for a typical pedometer. (My experience with high end foot mounted accelerometer is that they are also in the range of 95-99% accurate depending on terrain.) Even so, if the 95+% accuracy is true it puts the much simpler, wrist mounted Traileader at the same accuracy as high end foot mounted units.

The Tech4O Traileader has the following features:

  • Barometer/Altimeter
  • Compass
  • Speed
  • Distance
  • Pace
  • Calories
  • Steps
  • Thermometer
  • Time Date Alarm
  • Stopwatch
  • 7-day Memory

In addition, the Traileader has stainless steel construction and recessed lens for durability. The unit has a lager face with big digits and an easily read display.

MSRP $140 for the Traileader 1 or Traileader 2


Citation

"Tech4O Traileader (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2007)," by Alan Dixon. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/tech4o_traileader_orsm07.html, 2007-08-12 00:06:00-06.

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Forum Index » Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2007 » Tech4O Traileader (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2007)


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Alan Dixon
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Locale: Mid-Atlantic
Tech<sup>4</sup>O Traileader (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2007) on 08/12/2007 00:11:31 MDT Print View

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