Published on November 22nd, 2013 | by Greg

Bowblade: Archery Meets The Smartphone Era

Whether it’s Duck Dynasty or Duck Hunt, there are plenty of modern diversions that bridge modern life with one of mankind’s oldest activities. And though there are plenty of simulated guns and firearms for most every gaming system- if not yet for the just-released Xbox One and PS4- there are few if any archery accessories.

Better yet, we’ve found one that works for your smartphone- iOS or Android- and with a wide array of applications for these devices. There are some rough edges, and some downsides, but the Bowblade is a fun, engaging way to get a little bit of extra exercise and work out your arms while also having fun. Simply put, the action of the bow triggers a fake stylus that touches your phone. During setup, you align the “stylus” correctly, and mount your phone to the adjustable clip.

Of course, this means your expensive device is attached to the bow, which can be a bit nerve-wracking, and means you need to be careful when setting it all down or trying to move with it. It works for both lefties and righties though with no configuration needed, and we tried switching hands regularly to balance our practice. It’s best to stand up when using the Bowblade, but this means getting off the couch, which is probably a good thing on it’s own.

We tried several apps, including Thanksgiving-themed Turkey Blast, goofy Lazer Tag, and some sniping titles as well. The Bowblade offers a good amount of resistance- 12-17 pounds- enough to feel the burn, but not nearly as much as the 30 or 40-pound bows you might have used before. Invented by an ex-stuntman, gamer, and chiropractor named Ron Green, he envisioned using games to help people get physical and healthy. Sure, the Wii Fit is nifty, but this is one of the few fitness peripherals that is portable and usable on the move.

We did find that it could be hard to keep the Bowblade aligned properly, and that you had to get used to the small delay- your finger is more responsive than the accessory. We enjoyed working on our upper bodies, but much like any other single-purpose device, it can’t replace a real workout (or help your accuracy with a real bow). Some of the techniques are similar, but it’s more like Rock Band or Guitar Hero- which is to say, the Bowblade is fun, potentially educational or helpful, and worth trying out if you’re at all interested in archery. You might not end up in The Hunger Games, but you’ll likely end up having a good time. Available now, online directly, for $120- make sure you select the right size for your height.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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