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.