Native Bluetooth Support for Windows Platforms


(Kyle Roberts) #1

Is this feature already queued up for implementation?  If so, is there an estimated timeline?  If not, please do.  

Having to bridge through a phone, while it works, is not the most efficient solution as three separate devices are required.  

Thanks, I’ve really been enjoying zwift so far!

Update:  ZML has been increasingly crashing on my phone and whether it’s due to the app or OS doesn’t really matter.  It’s _extremely _frustrating because it automatically fails my current workout segment as my trainer and HRM lose connection to zwift.  

If prices are going to continue to go up, zwift should should offer this basic functionality.


(Jon Mayfield) #2

Windows bluetooth is lacking the features we need to make it work.   There are workarounds that would require you to buy a specific usb bluetooth dongle to use, but it seems unlikely many would choose that over the Zwift Mobile Link bridge solution.

We’ve not investigated yet to see if Windows 10 exposes the functionality we need to make this work nicely or not, but as of Windows 8 it wasn’t very nice.

Mac OSX, iOS, and Android all allow us to control device pairing, so we do it directly on those platforms.  

Do you have a BLE-only power meter or speed sensor? Or does it also do ANT+?


(Steve Ricketts (C68)) #3

I’m not sure what BLE functions you need but so far, I haven’t seen much difference in the internals from Windows 8 to 10.  Personally, I find the Mobile Link on my handlebars to be a far better solution than trying to reach for a laptop and punch keys… just sayin’   :wink:


(Kyle Roberts) #4

Steve - you can still control zwift from your phone while your BLE device is connected directly to your laptop if you want, so you wouldn’t be giving that up. Just the data from the trainer would be sent directly to the laptop eliminating the phone as a requirement.  

Jon - Yes, the USB Bluetooth dongle would not be a better option than the phone.  I have a BLE-only power meter on my machine, as does anybody else with the Kurt Kinetic 2.0 trainer, which is one of the most popular trainers on the market.  However, it sounds like your hands are tied until windows gives control over device pairing.  If it does happen i’m sure this would be a popular request.


(Steve Ricketts (C68)) #5

Kyle, good catch!!  I thought it was one or the other.  Just speed and cadence to the PC makes a lot of sense then.


(Ignatias Robot) #6

For some of us (yes, I’ll admit, not that many), you’re giving the choice of buying a new phone rather than buying a specific Bluetooth dongle.  I suspect the dongle would be cheaper…


(David Gibbs (Red Rider)) #7

I assume the Zwift devs have seen this: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/jj159880(v=vs.85).aspx


(Branden Meltingtallow [KRT] #W4R) #8

Jon, if there is a dongle solution why not take that approach?  Sometimes ZML crashes on me during a race and ummm… makes me very angry.  A bt device would be great.  Please let me know if this is still an option or if zwift is closing the doors on this.  


(Shane Garman) #9

I really don’t understand the approach here.  I have a Kurt Kinetic Road Machine Smart Control trainer.  My trainer will connect directly to my PC via BLE.  Because of a dumb decision by Kinetic not to offer ANT+ compatibility, I can’t connect to my PC via my ANT+ dongle.  So instead, I have to use my phone to connect to my trainer and the Zwift Mobile Connect app to connect Zwift on my computer via my home wifi network, all of which allows me to experience Zwift with a multiple second delay between my trainer and the game.  This is kind of ridiculous to have to use a smart trainer, an app and a computer which is then connected to a TV monitor to make this work.

It sure would be nice if one of the most, if not the most, popular trainer manufacturers out there and Zwift would play together better than this.  This feels like a complete junk workaround.


(Ashley Hudson) #10

I believe app-controlled paring was added in Win10 anniversary edition, but I haven’t personally used it.

However, due to the “stickiness” some BTLE peripherals have to the last paired device, it’s honestly less of a headache to use the mobile link app - this way, at least, my HRM and footpod always reliably connect to Strava on the phone.


(Aaron Tornow) #11

I have to agree. I just picked up the Kurt Kinetic Smart Controller and it really makes things difficult connecting it via the smart phone app to the desktop app. The location in the house where I have to setup my trainer has the least reliable wifi connection, and that coupled with the notoriously poor reliability of the iPhone wireless connection keeps interrupting the workouts when the phone drops off the wifi. The laptop I run the Zwift app on has the Bluetooth built into it, so eliminating as many of the multiple failure points would certainly make the Zwift experience better.


(Anthony Nassar) #12

I also have this trainer. I despise ZML. I have my trainer in the basement, at a maximal distance from the router. If Zwift won’t work with a BLE dongle on the laptop…I won’t pay for Zwift.


(John Holland) #13

My power data comes from a Kinetic inRide, so Ant+ is not an option for me.

I have a MacBook Pro and ZML (on an Android handset.) I can always pair via the MBP, and occasionally, the ZML will pair, but often it will not. As many others have mentioned, ZML is at best a kludge and a lot of the time it just doesn’t work. Every time Zwift or ZML get updated, I have an absolutely hellish time getting everything synced again. It’s a huge PITA, let me tell you.

I am upgrading to a Dell XPS 15 - which has far more horsepower CPU- and GPU-wise, but obviously w/o BLE support in Windows, I am going to be stuck using ZML.

In the 5 or 6 attempts I’ve tried so far, I can pair, but within seconds, the signal drops and I’m pedaling like mad while my avatar sits in the pen, watching another race/ride go down the tubes. In a week or so, I’m wiping my MBP and some poor CSR in my office is going to get stuck using it. Once that happens, I’m ZML only, and I have to say I’m not looking forward to it.

I love Zwift, but w/o a reliable bluetooth connection to Windows, I’ll going to quit. My only consolation - and it’s a small one at that - is that it’s May and I won’t really miss it until the weather turns cold again in 5 or 6 months


(Jordan DuVall) #14

I would be willing to buy a specific BLE dongle for my windows PC if I had to for a faster, more reliable connection. Nearly every ride I have issues connecting BLE devices thru ZML. A big reason I use Zwift is for convenience, but due to the connection issues it isn’t always convenient. There have been a few instances where I gave up trying to get things connected and frustratingly stormed outside for a ride instead.

Please do something to allow us Windows users to connect BLE directly thru a computer, Zwift. For $10/mo ($120/yr) I expect a more reliable BLE solution.


(Paul Allen) #15

Jordan,

What are you connecting to Zwift? Is it possible to use ANT+ (most devices that transmit in BLE also transmit in ANT+).

 


(Jordan DuVall) #16

Paul, I could connect my Wahoo HR/BlueSC devices through ANT+ (I’ll have to buy the ANT+ dongle), but I cannot connect the power meter that goes with my Kinetic Road Machine (it only transmits BLE). Although at this point I’m thinking about sticking with just the Wahoo HR/BlueSC over ANT+ since BLE has been so frustrating.


(Paul Allen) #17

Jordan,

I gave up on BLE a long time ago.

You can use this link to help troubleshoot the BLE issues you are having: https://support.zwift.com/hc/en-us/articles/115000111566-My-Bluetooth-signal-is-Dropping?section=201145295

 


(Steve Ricketts (C68)) #18

Had trouble with BLE about 6 months ago.  We use two systems (mine and my wife’s) in the same room.  After trying a ton of different options, my wife switched to ANT+ directly to her Mac and left me the only BLE user, connecting to my laptop through ZML to either an HTC 10, LG G3, or a 4th gen iPad… have had no trouble at all ever since.  I do have a solid wireless connection.  I also don’t notice any difference whatsoever between her connection and mine, latency is essentially the same.


(Jordan DuVall) #19

Thanks Paul. I replaced the batteries in my BlueSC and TIKR three rides ago and the up front pairing thru BLE/ZML seems to be a lot faster. I am still getting split second dropouts here and there. Wireless connections on both my laptop and phone are solid (my Zwift setup is in the same room as my wireless router, only about 15ft away). I may try hard-wiring my laptop into the network just to cut down on another wireless connection (can’t hurt to try…)


(Jim Mattson) #20

In my experience, BLE/ZML offers a superior connection to ANT+, but it’s still too flaky for my tastes. I’m assuming that I’d get an even better connection with native BLE on Windows (and I’d be happy to buy a dongle, if that’s what it would take), but maybe that’s just a fantasy.