Garmin Running Power Footpod – Where is it?

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2022 STRYD PODGarmin Running Power Footpod – Where is it?

It’s been somewhat of a mystery to me why Garmin has not produced either a copycat Stryd pod or a copycat Whoop Recovery wristband. Those two omissions really have troubled me 😉 and I now understand why, at least, we have not yet seen a copycat Stryd running power pod.

Often the most obvious answer is the correct one. The answer is quite simple: Patents.

SHFT.RUN stryd garmin footpod
The old Garmin Footpod & SHFT

Stryd Inc Patents

 

Stryd has been granted 4 original patents dating back to 2017 and a further 3 more that cover its incorporation of wind resistance to their power model in 2020.

Following a few conversations with industry insiders, I’m now reasonably sure that Stryd has made efforts to protect its patent rights, as it should; and that this is why Coros no longer makes a running power pod and why Garmin never made one.

new Coros Pod 2 Review – the wonder pod?

Presumably, that’s why Polar never improved on their original Stride (non-power) running pod? and went instead for a solution that calculated power on the wrist plus supported Stryd natively.

Presumably, that’s why Suunto calculates power on the wrist but never used the excellent sensors in Movesense to create a power metric.

And presumably, that’s why Garmin made the RD-POD that simply captured the running dynamics inputs (waist) for a running power calculation on the wrist in their watch. Perhaps Garmin was annoyed about Stryd’s patent and perhaps that’s why no running power ANT+ standard has ever been developed.

Apple Watch calculates running power on the wrist too but I would have thought an Apple footpod is way too niche for Apple to worry about.

Polar M430 Detailed Review stride sensor footpod
Polar Stride and M400

That only leaves us with the need for an explanation for SHFT, Runscribe and maybe some other niche players who also produced power metrics at some point. Indeed Runscribe still produces a simple power metric but competes in a different market to Stryd and SHFT doesn’t really compete in any material way.

So. That’s why. Stryd has probably told its significant competitors not to infringe its patents.

Q: Will we ever see a Garmin Running Power Footpod?

A: No

 

Stryd Exit Strategy

Now that all the major running watch companies’ strategies for running power are firmly in place, the exit strategy for Stryd’s investors is a little clearer to me in the sense that the Stryd pod and its patents are unique…someone, somewhere will probably want to buy it.

I highly doubt that the raw metrics sensed on a chest strap, waist pod or wristwatch will ever be as accurate as those from a footpod. Thus Stryd will probably always have the potentially most accurate running power solution (there is no accepted standard for comparison).

If Stryd could also find a way for its app (sans pod) to work on a subscription basis with Apple Running Power then I reckon there’s an excellent revenue stream there.

Patents, pods and multiple revenue streams definitely have value.

I reached out to Stryd for comment.

 

 

 

 

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28 thoughts on “Garmin Running Power Footpod – Where is it?

  1. Coros have a new running pod that does power coming out this week thoug 😉

    The reason IMHO is a pod to do running power simply isn’t needed – a Coros Pace 2 gives extremely close results to Stryd and at £170 in the UK costs £50 less than Stryd too, even before getting into addional subscriptions.

    1. I didn’t realize about the patents, but now it all makes sense. Makes sense that all the companies are trying to work around the patents to figure it out sans pod. I love my STRYD foot pod not just for the running power stats, air resistance, etc. but also the more accurate mileage.

      My 2 cents: Garmin will buy STRYD (or my wishful thinking)

    2. yep, TODAY Coros WILL launch sthg.
      They sent an e-mail about the event few days ago and called the event:
      “Run Beyond GPS On October 27th”.
      Time: 9:00 EDT

  2. I just don’t think it’s necessary, and Garmin could see that. They’ve given in and done wrist power and that’s probably good enough. More power when cycling means more speed in a given situation, but that’s not the case for running whether it be humans or horses. Often running slower requires more power due to less efficient mechanics of the runner at low speed. Having a Rube Goldberg machine mashing numbers together into new numbers doesn’t necessarily help as we’ve seen with the various other running dynamics stuff. What they produce certainly isn’t actual power whether we call it that or not.
    I’m as excited as the next person about new toys and tech, but I remain unconvinced by running power. Heart rate is slow to update but it’s a great way to view relative efforts for running and arguably less likely to cause injury as people chase numbers on a screen.

    1. there are different mechanics when producing higher power levels when out of the saddle and pedalling inefficiencies can exist at extreme end of cadences thus making the type of metabolic cost potentially different to the power cost according to a PM. More power when out of the seat means more air resistance but, admittedly, probably more speed.
      yes there is a hr lag but hr is also affected by fatigue and hr zones are technically daily affected by fatigue depending on how you calculate them (eg if based on HRreserve as HRrest will change daily)

      yes clearly the pod is not necessary but then neither are sports watches for olympic athletes. but i take your inferred point that a footpod should have more accurate raw inputs but does it make a difference? if a bike power meter is out by 1% or 2% it probably doesn’t matter either to most people.

      1. The issue with running power and particularly when you have people pushing it with an almost religious fervour is that they will tell you to ingore HR and run with power.

        However no credible coach or athlete would evet suggest that – HR is measuring the ‘engine’ while power is measuring the output of the engine. Cardio fitness is a key driver of performance and power is just another way of measuring effort.

        This can be done well from the wrist as everyone has shown – Garmin will not make a running power pod I’d wager confidently. Nothing to do with patents and everything to do with common sense

      2. I hope I’m not coming across as the one with religious fervour (gulp), I certainly don’t think that’s me.
        it would have been interesting, a few years back, if stryd had produced the rebased pace metric as well as power. i wonder how many people would have then jumped onboard with running power as pace (and hr) obviously have their place. for triathletes/cyclists there is virtually no learning curve, maybe that has been one of the drivers.
        when i first reviewed Humon HEx (SmO2) they were convinced that SMO2 would become a prime training metric for the masses, i don’t think supersapiens think quite the same way but oxygen and fuel should really be considered as much by athletes as hr/power/pace-speed.

      3. I don’t see HR as a good metric to race by, just look by how much it drifts over time. You’d end up starting quickly then slowing over the course of the race. Literature suggest an even or slight negative split is the most optimal. On a flat course, you can run by pace, if you’re confident on your goal pace. On a hilly course, what’s the best strategy? Most runners use perceived effort in this situation I recon. Great if you’re an experienced runner. You just have to enter a club race over a hilly course to see how variable that strategy is.

        Run power is a tough metric to sell to many runners. I know triathletes who understand it due to bike power meters. I think this is why Coros have gone done the Grade Adjust Pace – it’s intuitive and talks the language of runners, pace. Good luck to them. But as many reviewers have pointed out, the Pod 2 is only compatible with Coros watches. That’s an odd decision for sure.

      4. yes!
        hr drift: depends on the race duration and your fitness i guess.
        coros: i think they had no choice! their ‘idea’ of a modified GAP in real time is a good one for the reasons you say. implementing it correctly in real time s another matter entirely

      5. You’re right, I don’t think the Stryd pod calculates actually power. Neither does the RD pod. And I don’t think most cycling power meters actually calculate ‘power’ but rather ‘force’. But no need to split hairs. The end result is accurate data that is very close to what you’d get with an official, expensive, calibrated bike (or treadmill for running)

        I’ve used Stryd for 3 years, and I like it, but I didn’t like their move to a subscription model. It was obvious that they wanted additional revenue (can’t blame them) and were trying to position themselves to be bought out. I think they just made the move a year too late.

        Does anyone need a foot pod to measure power these days? Every major brand of activity watch measures power (well, acceleration, but you all know what I mean.) When you compare Power graphs across Stryd, Coros, Garmin, Suunto, etc. you see they all trend closely. Only their absolute values are different, and I think that’s just their algorithms.

        Now, if you run on a treadmill a lot, and need precise distance and pace data, and don’t trust the treadmill’s display, then a foot pod will be useful. But I don’t think that specific demographic and use case scenario is getting any larger than it already is.

        Do I NEED my Stryd pod anymore? I got a new Garmin watch this year that can do Garmin’s version of Power, but I still wear my Stryd pod. I sometimes do my workouts with the Stryd Workout app (on my watch) and when I do, I get a LOT of data, including the Stryd Power graph AND the Garmin Power graph (I also have a RD pod.) But with 3 years of Stryd workout history, and now several months of Garmin Power data to refer to, do I need to keep putting my Stryd pod on my shoe each run? It would save a minute or two of time when I get ready to run…

        Does anyone NEED Stryd anymore?

  3. Now that Apple is invading (more) into the sports fitness hardware field, it makes sense Garmin start a subscription (software) revenue stream like STRYD. Whether they acquire it or build it themselves.

    1. but what would come with the subscription?

      they’d probably have to develop something like stryd powercenter (too niche) or Training Peaks. that’s far from core business for them.

      i think garmin does have some subscriptions services around LTE/satellite safety services, probably also other in marine/aviation that we don’t know about in our sporty world.

    2. Oh, Garmin does VERY well in the Aviation and Maritime industries.. VERY WELL. As in, they should almost be ASHAMED of themselves. 🙂

      They also do have the InReach devices that need a subscription to work and send SOS and text messages via satellite when you have no cell service.

      I don’t think Garmin will ever make a subscription service for their ‘wearables’ division. (I sure HOPE they don’t!) Garmin Connect already spits out so much information, I don’t think anyone can legitimately use ALL of the data! 🙂

      And, with how good the competition is getting, Garmin would probably start to slowly lose market share if they started charging for their infrastructure. Hopefully brands like Coros, Suunto, Polar, Amazfit and even Apple will keep Garmin ‘honest’ by creating great watches and NOT charging a subscription.

      Anyways, the “Garmin” premium, to me, wasn’t just about the Garmin name, but paying a premium for their services. I do believe Garmin adds in some money to the price of each watch as a way to pay for the customer’s use of the Connect platform.

  4. Interesting. These patents seem rather dubious as you cannot patent math. Patent examiners are notoriously easily bamboozled by patent filings and allow invalid tech patents all the time. They can patent the pod itself but the prior art of pre-existing dead reckoning foot pods is lengthy. Gross, Stryd.

    On a more basic level, I don’t know why the motion of 1 food it inherently better than the motion of the center of mass. Stryd originally did that but moved to the foot. I assumed it was for practical considerations of comfort and convenience. Garmin now gets pace data from the center of mass using the HRM-Pro (but not the RD-Pod for some reason).

    The motion of one arm intuitively seems not ideal.

    1. I think you can patent math that you ‘discover’? I could be wrong tho.
      I belive you can patent a method, so if that method includes ‘stuff that happens in a pod’ then Stryd fill their boots there.
      I don’t think you can patent public domain stuff either.

      tho I’m not quite sure why someone just can’t collect every raw metric on a pod and then process it with standard maths in the watch. Dunno.

      1. You can patent a specific, novel, tangible application of mathematics such as an ALGORITHM, method, or technique

        i think we’re talking about the algorithm in the context of this discussion rather than the inherent ‘truth’ of mathematics

        i spoke with one of the hrv guys YEARS ago and they have patented 20lnRMSSD as a way to rebase and index HRV. However i was never sure of the value of that as surely someone else could then use 20.01*ln*rMSSD as their index which would effectively be the same or they could tweak it more than that whilst still achieving the same effect as a natural log applied to the number.

      2. Maybe for Coros as they have “copied” stryd algorithm and methodology but I’m not sure why Garmin could not produce a power running pod as the methodology and the numbers produced are different.

      3. i think as said elsewhere, i’m not sure that stryd has patented it in that way. i think that the two different formulae for defining power are out there and known. so garmin would be doing it with the same method (eg on the foot or eg in a pod)

        that said they could collect the raw data/numbers in a footpod and calculate power on the wrist. i think those nuances go beyond what we can speculate on as a way to avoid the patent…lawyers know better!

  5. Stryd exit Strategy.

    Idle thought, but I wonder if a shoe manufacturer might buy Stryd.
    Nike used to have its own pod after all.
    Not sure Nike would buy Stryd, but maybe New Balance, Adidas, or ASICS. Some brand wanting to challenge the dominance of Nike with a unique selling point.

      1. Say shoe Brand X buys Stryd. They get access to 100k (?) performance focused runners and their data (where they run, distance, training plans, and if shoe tracking is used, that too!)

        They would offer Stryd runners focused adverts based off that data, including discount codes etc and vice versa with buyers of Brand X shoes access to discounted Stryd pod and/or subscription with training plans, analysis etc.

        You’d see current Brand X pro athletes run with Stryd pods on their shoes -> drive sales.

        It would all be wasted on me as I mostly buy last year’s model shoes 30-50% off RRP. But judging by the shoe collection I see some YouTubers have it looks like some spend thousands on shoes.

    1. Adidas also had their own pod, and they build compatible shoes with cut outs designed to hold the pod.
      Would be nice to have a Stryd wind pod built into a shoe.

      1. If Stryd could mimic the “mymo gait analysis” pod aswell, then further shoe specific insights could be given.

      2. i’m not sure there is much money in gait analysis except for labs/elites and the occasionally curious injured runner
        running power is where the money is, at least for now!

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