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Garmin 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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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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