Recently, Katie at BLAST Outdoors sent Julie one of DropZone Corporationâ€™s new HangTimer extreme sports watches for review. Of course this review required the services of The Gadgeteerâ€™s extreme sports and aberrant behavior specialist â€“ Seth (my son). Seth gravitates towards activities known to cause skin loss, bruises, and the occasional broken bone. In a nutshell â€“ he is nuts.
DropZone Corporation was co-founded in 2004 by a veteran Microsoft product developer of X-box, Jeff Alexander and high tech product development engineer Ted Griebling. The HangTimer is a carabineer style watch with the typical date/time function.
It also includes stopwatch functionality â€“ nothing too terribly exciting so far, but it does get better.
Now, for the new design twist: this device records the ten longest airborne intervals (hang times) for snowboarders, wake boarders, skiers, etc. â€“ thus the name.
It also displays the best hang time, total accumulated hang time, and average hang time. As any extreme sports aficionado will tell you, these are critical stats!
As an added bonus, the HangTimer displays the current temperature.
Along with the current temperature, the HangTimer records the high and low temperature.
I was not able to hit the slopes with Seth during his testing of the device, so there wonâ€™t be any cool extreme sports photos with this review.
Seth reported that the HangTimer was very easy to use. On this particular trip, he decided to ski, rather than snowboard. This was his first time skiing. I was a bit disappointed when he recorded a best hang time of just under one second. I wondered if he was going soft. After researching the device online, I discovered the best hang time recorded during testing by the pros in the Rocky Mountains was just over three seconds. Since Seth was skiing for the first time at Paoli Peaks in Southern Indiana, I guess it would be unreasonable for him to record times in the two to three second range. I have decided to cut him some slack this time. Next time the expectations will be a bit higher.
Now for your science lesson: The HangTimer uses a built in tri-axis accelerometer to sense when the wearer leaves the ground â€“ measuring the time until gravity works its magic. OK. I think we have learned enough for one day.
There are five sensitivity settings ranging from 0.25 to 2 seconds) to adjust for sport and level of disregard for oneâ€™s personal safety. Ted says that at DropZone Corporation, â€œWe donâ€™t condone insanity. But weâ€™ll time it for you.â€
For more information, check out the simple two page manual for the HangTimer.
The device works best when attached to a belt loop, belt, or pocket in the waist area. The carabineer has a drilling that allows you to securely attach it using one of the small included wire ties. DropZone recommends using two AAA alkaline batteries. I can attest that the device did not function properly for me when using NiMH rechargeable batteries. A pair of batteries is supposed to last for an entire season.