I got my bia this week! I ordered it a looooong time ago and it finally showed up. For anyone who’s unfamiliar with the bia, it started on kickstarter a little over two years ago and finally went into production and started shipping out this past spring as an alternative to things like Garmin watches.
One of the main selling points for the bia, and what became its tag line, was that “GPS watches just got chicked.” The developers (who are women) gendered their watch female and aimed it at women athletes (and to men, too, but let’s be honest, the bia’s success is heavily dependent upon a uniquely female method of word of mouth between friends, the establishment of a virtual “community” of bia investors, and a heavy reliance on social media to communicate with their customers). Main selling points were that:
- the watch would be able to transition seamlessly from water, to bike, to run
- the watch itself is lighter than a Garmin;
- the time spent locating satellites would be gone because the “go stick” would provide immediate linking to GPS
- bia boasted that instead of plugging your watch into you laptop to upload your workout and look at your splits, bia automatically uploads
All of this is great stuff, but not in and of itself something that I would think warranted an upgrade given that my Garmin still functions. The price of bia has steadily increased from the initial kickstarter offering to the current price of $279.99 so relatively speaking it’s not the cheapest option available and they’re still making updates and working out kinks (but they’re insanely good at keeping people posted on what’s going on).
Keep in mind, I don’t really buy things because their female identified but perhaps the most “feminine” feature of the bia was what sold me: the safety features. When I first moved to DC, I was really nervous about running at night, and even after living here for 2 years now I still get nervous out on the C&O Canal and Capital Crescent Trails. Sure, on the weekends when the weather is nice there are plenty of other people out and about but you can go for stretches where it’s not quite as populated and especially on C&O it’s easy to be stuck out there and not really near anything.
So the option to send people a text message with my location that says I’m dying, send someone to help me, was really appealing. This week I’ll be testing out all my exciting new features (especially the SOS) and letting you all know what I think about it.
Anyone else try it out? What do you love/hate about your watch? Do you have one?