You know those Org Charts you see for companies? The ones with boxes with names and titles and arrows and lines connecting employees and managers?
I could draw one for Omata. It’d be pretty simple. Lots of boxes, lots of roles, but just two names, Julian and Cary.
One or each of us would be in every box.
That would be it. Two of us here, dedicated to making products that are focused on the spirit of being outdoors experiencing both humble and epic adventures.
It’d be true to say that besides the two of us, there’s a platoon of ready-to-roll folks just outside of the Org Chart who believe in that same mission. These are friends just down the street from me here in Venice Beach — as well as all around the world. People who have been helping us purely out of their passion for beautiful, well-designed, exquisitely engineered products.
You know who you are. You help us with testing, with software, with making our little brand films and photography. You share your photos on Instagram, which helps generate awareness. We ride and talk together. Perhaps more than anything else you help by encouraging us to continue on, even in these challenging, crazy, unspeakably tragic times.
That’s all a preamble to a long-awaited announcement that we have just released the much anticipated firmware update for the OMATA One to support ANT+/BLE sensor pairing. Finally.
I could bore you with the details as to why it has been such a long, challenging endeavor. But for the sake of keeping this already long email shorter than it would be, I’ll just say that it boils down to this slightly technical detail from our CTO, who is also me: ANT+/BLE sensor pairing is probably one of the worst standard “standards” I’ve ever come across. Ever. In 25+ years of running engineering programs. As a result, it took vastly more work than we initially budgeted and that meant delays and delays.
What this means is that blanket support for every sensor is simply not possible for an operation like ours — two people working out of their backyard garage studios.
To be honest, I even hesitated for a long time about releasing this firmware. I’m still not 100% comfortable doing so — not because it doesn’t work (I’ve been riding with it, testing, for a few months), but because I can’t guarantee that it will pair and record every sensor out there.
But Cary convinced me that our community is relatively small and understands the context under which we operate. So we’re moving ahead with a caveat: the possibility that we’ll become overwhelmed with support tickets is such that we can only release the firmware with the understanding that it may not work fully for everyone who expects the perfect, seamless operation you might get from a ever-so-slightly larger company. Apple, or Google, for example. I hear they’re pretty big. Definitely more than two people, I’d reckon.
This is why the updated release of the iOS App will include a simple notice that, well — it may not work perfectly and seamlessly! (And we appreciate your patience if you do send us a support ticket!)
Another caveat: we are unable to support sensor pairing on the Android platform — you can still do it on iOS. You only need to pair to sensors once, so you could borrow an iOS device to do the pairing. Once the pairing is established — you’re good to go. We simply do not have the resources at this time to develop the necessary functionality on Android. (See my note at the very end of this email. Android development has been entirely by volunteers, which is amazing! If you’d like to help, please contact me here at engineering at omata.com
So enough of that. Here are the instructions.
How To Update Firmware If You Use the iOS Omata Utility App
1. Update the App through the iOS App Store. It should be available now in your region.
2. Use the App to update the firmware. The App should alert you that there is a new version available. If it doesn’t, go to the Settings page — you should be prompted there in the Firmware section of the page. You should update both MCU firmware (to v. 2020.05.02 1) and the BLE firmware (to v. 0.0.22). (If you have trouble with this automatic update because your firmware is quite old — perhaps from 2018 — or you do not use a smart phone, there is also a manual procedure. Instructions are available here: [How can I manually update firmware?]
3. Once you’ve updated the firmware, the latest version of the iOS App will allow you to pair your HRM or Power Meter sensors. You will of course need to have your OMATA One connected to the App. The App communicates with the OMATA One and uses the OMATA One to detect sensors. The App alone cannot do the pairing. You must have your OMATA One with the latest firmware to be able to “talk” to ANT+/BLE sensors. Once you’ve paired, you don’t need the App as an intermediary any more. You can leave your iPhone at home if you want. It is only needed to establish the relationship between your OMATA One and your ANT+/BLE sensor.
4. As mentioned, not all sensors work. And we only support HRM and power meters. We do not support speed sensors at all. Here is a link to the latest table of sensors our Omata Test Team have tested with results.
It seems many of the more popular and modern sensors work, while older first generation devices do not. I’m sorry the list doesn’t reflect 100% coverage. I simply don’t have the resources at this moment — time and money — here to do that. Of course it is my goal to get to 100% just as soon as I am able to focus our attention on this task, operationally-speaking.
5. Our resources are such that we will cannot now support sensor pairing under Android. You will be able to do the configuration to pair your sensors if you can borrow an iOS device from a friend. Once you’ve paired your sensors, you shouldn’t need to do anything else and you can go on your merry way never touching an iOS device again.)
By the way — if you are interested in helping out with Android development, please feel free to contact me here engineering at omata.com. I’ll note that the Android App was done entirely by a volunteer from Australia who just loves the OMATA One and put aside some time to help out. He didn’t have an Omata One — just loved the idea and the product. He said he’d do it in exchange for a device — which is an incredible arrangement!
That’s enough for now. If you have questions, please feel free to reach out to us.
Thanks for your ongoing support and especially your patience!