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Xplova shows X5 smart cycling computer at Taipei Cycle Show

Published March 22, 2017

TAIPEI (BRAIN) — Xplova isn't yet widely known, but this Taiwanese maker of computers and power meters is hoping to crack more major markets — including the U.S. — later this year. The company launched its latest updates to its X5 computer at the Taipei Cycle Show this week.

The X5 is no ordinary cycling computer. It combines live tracking, GPS navigation, social networking and a camera into one compact device.

Eric Lee founded Xplova in Taiwan in 2009. The brand initially sold into Asia and some European markets, but since it merged with Acer computers in 2015. Since then, the company has expanded its distribution and with additional resources, Xplova has also broadened its product line.

“Our original computer was a basic cycling computer,” said Lee. “We can incorporate knowledge and resources from both ends — from Xplova and Acer — to create different products.”

Xplova first showed the X5 at Eurobike 2016 and began selling the system last fall. The unit features a wide-angle camera that captures 3, 6 or 9-second video clips at 720p resolution. The computer can stitch together up to eight clips to create a video, which the user can share directly to social media from the device.

The X5 also has a live GPS tracking feature that allows riders to keep sight of friends also using the X5 during group rides or events. Xplova's SmartSign Guidance syncs and stores routes on Xplova.com (http://xplova.com/) to allow riders to create detailed training plans or events.

Acer's Ray Lin said that about 90 percent of event organizers in Taiwan are using Xplova.com (http://xplova.com/) to plan and publish routes because they are easy to share and customize to include water stops and aid stations. Routes or courses can also be embedded on the organizers' websites and easily shared with participants. The computer also alerts riders on set routes when they are about to approach a hill and how long the climb will be.

Xplova recently added the Challenge Me feature to the X5. Riders can compare their performance on current rides with previous rides on the same ride in real time.

Like a traditional cycling computer, the X5 displays performance data in real time, including metrics like speed, heart rate, power and cadence.

“The X5 is very unique. We think it's the only one in the world. Most other cycling computers are focused mainly on training, where this is focused on the whole experience,” Lee said. “It's really a three-in-one device. You can do your planning before your ride, use it to navigate during your ride and then share your video after the ride. It's very different.”

Xplova is currently looking for a U.S. distributor. When the X5 lands in the U.S., Lee said it would likely retail for $499.

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