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The Wired World of Sports

Steve Morgenstern
From the Print Edition:
Edgar Bronfman Jr., Mar/Apr 03

The thrill of victory…the agony of defeat…the comforting glow of an LCD readout…we went spanning the globe to bring you the best of digital athletic and outdoor gear. And even if all that cool performance-enhancing "Six Million Dollar Man" gear is still just a laboratory dream, and those infomercial ab-building electrical gizmos received mixed reviews at best, don't give up hope. Here are a dozen digital devices designed to make your athletic training more effective and your outdoor activities a lot more fun.

Super Satellite Guidance

Whether you're a sailor, fisherman, hiker, hunter or just a sap like me who habitually loses his car in humongous mall parking lots, a GPS (Global Positioning System) receiver can be an aggravation-reduction device or even, quite literally, a lifesaver, pinpointing your position and direction wherever you wander by reading data from overhead satellites. The top-of-the-line Meridian Color from Magellan boasts an easy-on-the-eyes, high-contrast color screen -- a huge improvement over the typical black-on-gray screen found on most models. But beauty is more than skin-deep in this case. There's also an extensive built-in North American database of highways, waterways, roads, airports and more, plus the option to add a memory card and download detailed street-level or even topographical maps. Controls are surprisingly simple, operation is speedy, and the system is accurate to within three meters (i.e., less than the length of my hide-and-seek-playing car).

$500,, 800-707-5221


LED Lamp

For nighttime excursions -- hiking , biking, rock climbing, camping, you name it -- the Photon Fusion LED Lamp from L.R.I. is the most practical, powerful way to see where you're going. Using LEDs instead of conventional bulbs means lighter weight, brighter light and much longer battery life; figure about 24 hours of continuous illumination at medium brightness on a single set of three AA batteries. The Fusion lamp features four brightness and three strobe settings, plus a single, red LED to be to protect your night vision. Weighing just over six ounces with batteries, and equipped with a headband and a mounting clamp, the Photon Fusion makes leaving your traditional flashlight at home a very bright idea.

$82,, 877-584-6898


Wrist Heart Monitor

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