The Karoo Story
Karoo will be a platform of continuous enhancement and improvement. The guiding light in this process will always be a combination of our own vision, along with copious customer feedback. After all, Karoo is as much your as ours.
You can join the general conversation and request features in our community forum, or give us direct feedback through our dashboard. We are telling the story of Karoo through our blog, and we would love you to follow along with that too. Finally, on this page you will find our product and software timelines, our support video series, and a log of the recent and upcoming software changes.
Product Development Timeline
Throughout 2018:See the Software tab above for more!
- Shipping of product begins to customers who pre-ordered after mid-September of '17
- Final government certifications awarded
- Large numbers of Karoo units released to majority of pre-order customers
- Two-week production halt for Chinese New Year (Feb 5-19)
- Production and distribution resumes
- Production stable and ongoing
- Staging of worldwide distribution
- Ongoing government certification paperwork
- Ramping up production
- Staging of worldwide distribution
- Ongoing government certification paperwork
- Beginning of assembly
- First production units submitted for government product certifications
- Caracal feedback program initiates with demo units
- Screen assembly validation
- Slight tooling revisions for fit and function
- Final validations of revised antenna
- Pre-certification of revised antenna
- Receiving parts for assembly
- Electronics manufacturing staging
- Plastics manufacturing staging
- Validating final assembly processes
- Vendor delays between handoff of parts / production rescheduling
- Final certifications of product
- Revision of charge circuitry for battery life
- Revision of connectors for reliability
- Packaging revisions
- Battery certifications for shipping
- Antenna revision finalizations
- Order of second batch of screens
- Manufacturing of final plastics tools
- Allocating majority of materials and parts for production
- Completed plastics tooling designs
- More software focus groups
- More software refinement and QA
- Final testing and validation of production model
- Bracket foot redesign
- First packaging samples
- Battery orders
- Design changes rolled into housing and electronics design
- 900 pages of technical documentation compiled at this point
- Screen parameters
- Software and UI refinement
- Materials finalization
- Negotiating supply chain contracts
- Negotiating international logistics provider contracts
- Decision to implement totally new antenna design / production rescheduling
January - June, 2017
- Pre-orders begin
- Even more design constraint study
- Even more competitive analysis
- Even more focus groups (software)
- Mechanical design (virtually redesigning unit for mass production feasibility)
- Preliminary Engineering
- Electronics testing
- Materials testing
- Factory vetting and negotiations
July - December, 2016
- Initial electronics bring-up and validation
- Initial Electronics testing
- Electronics - Development boards manufactured
- Electronics dev board design completion
- Industrial Design
- Refinement of design constraints
- Button layout
- Screen dimensions
- Weight goals
- Software team relocates from Chennai to larger facility in Bangalore
January - June, 2016
- Competitive analysis (hardware and software)
- Spin Classes!
- Rob Martinez - head of hardware - moves from San Francisco to Shenzhen to survey scene and lay groundwork for production.
July - December 2015
- Setting technical and design goals
- Initial focus groups
- Conceptualization of shape, screen, and other design elements
January - June 2015
- Taking Stock
- Compile lessons learned from H1
- Surveying the market’s landscape
Karoo is designed to adapt. Like a smartphone, laptop, video game console, some automobiles, and many other pieces of connected technology, Karoo will be a platform of continuous enhancement and improvement. It will never be “finished” – and we never want it to be.
From the time Karoo leaves the factory to the moment it reaches your door, its Android-based operating system will already have been made better. The device will publically debut with our “Goshawk” software. Approximately six weeks later, our “Lynx” version will be released. After that, the iteration called “Genet” will come forth. Karoo will establish itself on a tradition of relentless refinement: each version will bring greater function, depth, and stability. The guiding light of these enhancements will be a combination of our vision and designs along with copious customer feedback. After all, Karoo is as much yours as ours.
And yes, each software generation will be named to honor the flora and fauna of the Karoo region of southern Africa. Two out of Hammerhead’s three co-founders grew up exploring this region (usually by bike). The Karoo cycling computer is intended to impart the same sense of wonder and vastness of possibility that the Great Karoo did then, and still does – because knowing where you’ve come from is often as important as knowing where you’re headed.
The section below provides a high-level roadmap of the features of Goshawk, Lynx, Genet, and beyond. Of course, some adjustments will have to be made as we move forward, but a strong start is important. Here’s where Karoo begins its journey:
Karoo’s debut Goshawk software will include:
Superior Route Creation
Pin-drop locating and pinch-and-zoom functionality will make designing or altering routes on your Karoo easy. While connected to the internet via WiFi or 3G, you’ll also be able to search for destinations like bike shops, cafés, or points of interest (although this search functionality won’t be available for offline maps yet).
Customizable PAGE SETS
Karoo will allow you to create an unlimited number of riding “page sets” in the Pages app, which can be customized to display different types of data for different types of riding.
You’ll be able to login to any Karoo with your Hammerhead account and automatically sync your pre-paired sensors, routes, page sets, Strava account, and more.
ANT+ and Bluetooth Connectivity
Virtually universal sensor connectivity will be possible with Karoo. Pairing via ANT+ and/or Bluetooth will enable Karoo to provide data readouts on heart rate, cadence, speed, and power output.
Strava Integration & Ride Recording
Karoo’s operating system has integrated seamless upload to Strava virtually since the beginning. You can even edit the ride type, ride name, and other info before uploading. Regardless of whether you upload to Strava, however, your Karoo will store all of your rides in the “Activities” app.
Whether or not you install a SIM card in your Karoo for 3G connectivity, you’ll be able to download up to 8 GB of detailed, zoomable offline maps – enough for thousands of miles of riding.
Cellular 3G Connectivity
With a data SIM card installed – available from most wireless providers either for free or at very low cost – Karoo’s connective functionality will be enabled in vast areas all over the planet. (Please note that a SIM card is not included with Karoo.)
THE KAROO DASHBOARD
Login to the Karoo Dashboard on your computer to more quickly design and alter routes. You can also easily import routes as URLs from a wide variety of services, such as Strava, MapMyRide, Trailforks, and more. All routes on your Dashboard seamlessly and instantly with your Karoo.
Early Spring, 2018
The first major update to Karoo’s software will be released approximately six weeks after the device’s debut, and will include:
EXPANDING SENSOR SERVICES
Elevation, temperature, and more are coming. This will be a significant and ongoing project, with other immediate focuses including power meter calibration (ability to calibrate your PM yourself), sensor state (battery life, etc.), and more.
In-Ride Graphic Data
From its initial 30 or so data types, we’ll be continuously adding different metrics which users will be able to track (Karoo will eventually have over 150, all customizable in the Pages app) and riders will be able to augment these metrics with in-ride graphic visualizations for data like power, cadence, heart rate, and more.
Based largely on the feedback we get from our community after Karoo’s release, a focus of our first major software update will be addressing stability bugs in the core experience that may yet be found.
Navigation Alert Formatting
We are working on making navigation alerts as intuitive as possible, and will make additional improvements to Karoo’s alert system when and if necessary, based on our community’s feedback.
GENET, and beyond
Late Spring, 2018
Features not included just yet, but in the works for implementation starting later in 2018, will include:
More Sensor Data Types
At first, Karoo won’t be able to tackle data for some types of sensors, like electronic drivetrain information, lighting, radar systems, or muscle oxygen. Power meter data will be limited to power only, but we’re working on calibration functionality and additional PM data sets, such as balance, torque efficiency, smoothness, etc.
More In-ride Data Fields
Of the 150 metrics Karoo will eventually host, we’ll be prioritizing the inclusion of new ones based on customer feedback, and every update will have a new subset.
Ride Data Analysis
At present, Karoo stores all the ride data it records in the “Activities” app. Your raw data auto-syncs as downloadable .FIT files to the Karoo Dashboard. You can export this data for analysis via other programs, but we are also working on on-device data analysis, and we expect this to be ready in the next few months.
Training features are of major importance to our customers – and as avid cyclists ourselves, we share this focus! Incremental introduction of these features will occur in conjunction with feedback we’ll be getting from our community. We are working hard on integrating the existing ecosystem of training tools with Karoo, including adaptive on-device training analysis, so that Karoo can tell you what changes you need to make in order to meet your training goals.
Mapping & Navigation Improvements
We are building the most capable route creation and route management dashboard that exists. It is excellent now, and will only get better with time, as we enable more powerful tools and more intricate cycling-specific data layers to the maps. And it will always seamlessly sync with your Karoo.
Karoo’s Android-based interface and 3G connectivity will enable several social features we’re developing, including new classes of live data, competitions, alerts, group ride visualizations, sharing capability, and integrations with other platforms.
We are working to make Karoo compatible with as many cycling-related services as possible. We have started with Strava, but this is only the beginning.
The Karoo App Store
On the horizon is the Karoo App Store, in which many of your favorite cycling brands and services will build their own software experiences for the device. While we can’t get into specifics just yet, we will share that since Karoo has been introduced, we’ve been approached by a wide variety of companies, from drivetrain, suspension, and bicycle manufacturers, to professional cycling teams, coaching systems, and touring organizations. Some of the ideas they’ve brought forth for development have been very, very cool, and we can’t wait to share them with you in due time.
We want Karoo to be the best, and the Karoo Feedback Portal
was designed to help you help us get it there. Use it to give us
your thoughts on how Karoo can be improved:
Hands On: Feature Videos
Karoo is a device unlike anything else in its class. Preview the device's hardware, software, features, and user experience with these videos, and check back as more are added.
Karoo Software Build Version: 18.104.22.168
Release date: March 16, 2018
Improvements and Enhancements:
– Animated (visual) data fields for power and heart rate zones introduced
– “Endless” app screen scrolling (when you hit the last one it cycles back to the beginning)
– Reduced size of the navigation icon
– Fine-tuning of ascent/descent (more accurate now but still being improved)
– Fine-tuning of auto-pause to resume faster and with more accuracy at low speeds
– Elevation datafields added: including Min Elevation, Max Elevation, Average Elevation and Lap Data - Min, Max, Ascent, Descent
– Power datafield added: Training stress score and intensity factor
– Pedal smoothness, L/R balance, and torque effectiveness (efficiency)
– Battery icon now displaying charge percentage
– Preference to enable/disable navigation cues (still working on on/off track notifications)
– Fine-tuning of average power readings for laps
– Normalized power calculation improvements
– HR Zones now connected to your Karoo user account
– Device MAC address is now consistent for secure WiFi
– Added device info into FIT file
– Specific ride app crash cases
– Speed drops from certain ANT+ sensors
– Time format changing globally from 12/24hr based on user preference
– Navigation showing “Waiting for instruction”
– Navigation stopping and not restarting
– Navigation instruction incorrect resizing
– Fixed a strange crash type seen when recording a ride for 30 min + 12 hours of deep freezing the Karoo
Known issues remaining:
– Stages, Power2Max, and 4iiii power meter connectivity / data issues
– Overall improvement of ANT+ power data handling and logging
– Reboot issues are still being investigated for a small customer subset.
– Karoo account details may show N/A or “Unknown User” (This is not an issue with your account, only a syncing display problem on the Karoo – all your data, including Profiles, Activities, Zones, Routes, etc., will sync just fine once logged in.)
– Unpairing all Bluetooth sensors while in-ride can cause the Sensors app to restart.
– Address search is not localized enough.
– Issues with left-side roadway/roundabout navigation instructions
– Need for more navigation alert datafields and changes in urgency
– Adaptive brightness can be a battery hog in high brightness.
– Cadence and speed sensors that have the wheel magnet removed may not work properly.
– Current auto-pause menu functionality is annoying.
– Maps sometimes need more graphical contrast.
Karoo Dashboard Version: 0.9.8
Release date: March 16, 2018
– Can click on an activity to view its route on a map
– Can add the route of an activity to your list of routes, either from the Activities list or when viewing the map of the activity
– 50 waypoints added to all imported routes, rather than adding them if/when the user edits them
– One-click upload of an activity from the Activities list to TrainingPeaks
– One-click upload of an activity from the Activities list to Strava
Changes and Fixes:
– When inserting editing waypoints into imported routes to facilitate later editing, now able to add them at the most important points (e.g., at turning points in the route) rather than uniformly
– Can now set your metric/imperial units in the Dashboard's Settings (previously this could only be done on the Karoo)
– Fixed Route Builder marker click bugs in certain web browsers
– Fixed Openrunner route import issue
Karoo Software Build Version: 22.214.171.124
Release date: March 8, 2018
– Bug fix to display correct Lap Average
– Bug fix to display correct Average HR and Max HR
– Bug fix around laps causing ride crashes
– Some fixes around average speed calculation
Karoo Dashboard Version: 0.9.7
Release date: March 6, 2018
– Route Builder now uses a different service to choose the routes between points, which makes better routing decisions.
– We have added a "Gravel Riding" option that sits between "Road Cycling" and "Mountain Biking" and offers a mix of roads and unpaved paths.
– Route Builder now lets you insert a new waypoint into a route simply by clicking on the route line.
– You can now have up to 100 waypoints per route (up from 80).
– When you start editing an existing route, the original route line is shown as a light gray line behind the normal red line of your current route. This is useful when you have imported a route from a GPX file or from another planning service and want to make small changes to it while seeing the original route as a template.
– When editing an existing route, the first time you move the start or end marker of the route, a new waypoint will be automatically be inserted where the marker used to be. This is useful when you are planning on joining a group ride or event but you want to add a route segment from your house or parking lot, to and from the main route.
– When you import a route and edit it, we now insert 50 waypoints into the imported route line to edit it with, not just 20.
– Downloaded FIT files now have file names with the date/time of the activity in them, such as Karoo-Mar-02-2018-165649.fit
– Fixed a bug with the elevation gain and other elevation values of longer routes coming out as zero.
Karoo Software Build Version: 126.96.36.199
Release date: March 2, 2018
– Capture HR zone data
– New data fields: Power % of FTP, HR % of max
– Elevation data fields Current elevation/ Ascent / Descent (Still in beta)
– Corrections on FIT file Strava uploads
– Migrated offline regions from mapping client DB to user DB
– Downloading navigation information available as a part of route creation
– FIT SDK: update to latest
– Auth service regularly going down
– Change minimum battery restriction for updates from 50% to 30%
– Manual elevation value keeps changing — conversion precision addressed
– Verify recovery text mode updated
– Need validation on elevation value addressed
– Turn-by-turn navigation pop-up is not appearing when entering the ride app
– When Location is turned off, waiting for GPS message comes before five minutes and doesn’t show instructions after re-enabling location
– Ride function failing to launch addressed
– Fixed profile picker on launcher app disappearing after double clicking on route link
– Strange navigation instruction layout renderings in map screen page addressed
– Strava data showing zeros for all data after ride upload addressed
– Enabling all lap data fields on same page causes in-ride lap page to be blank
– Instructions from navigation service don’t stop after saving/discarding the ride
– Appropriate message not shown when no instructions received from mapping client for navigation
– Power zone calculations have errors in zones 4/5/6
– Turn-by-turn instructions not available on edited routes
– Ride/routes crashing when offline downloading in background
– Mapping client bug randomly stops giving download status updates and exceptions
– Routing preferences not being synced
– Turn-by-turn navigation randomly pop-up when re-entering the ride app
– Killing ride/routes app from task switcher ends offline service
– Deletion of a downloading region in regions app is not getting propagated properly
– Download getting re-triggered for downloaded offline routes
– Refactor queuing logic for offline tile cache
– Elevation gain showing zero on routes list
– Auto-calibration function of elevation data not working properly
– Fixed many cases of: Status changes to “waiting” after download completes 95%
– Deleting a route through dashboard is possible, while downloading offline route on Karoo
– If two devices are connected with same H account, then downloaded route goes to waiting state and can’t download
– Re-downloading happens when already offlined route name is edited
– Offline download still progresses if disconnected from/reconnected to Internet
– Offline route — turn instructions unavailable on many routes
– “Map tile limit reached” pop-up showing up unnecessarily often
Read more about this update on our blog here here.
Karoo Software Build Version: 188.8.131.52
Release date: February 22, 2018
- Video showcasing Karoo's story.
- Capture and display Heart rate and power zones as data fields.
- Average computation improvements.
- Exclude zeros during halts in Avg Cadence
- Include zeros during halts in Avg Power
- Correcting lap power reading.
- Normalized power as data field.
- Ride time, total time and paused time added as datafields
- user login and account creation
- map screen blanking issues
- route editing and saving in dashboard is fixed
- prompt before saving a ride to prevent accidental saving