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Optical Heart Rate Sensor from Polar

October 17, 2015

Polar confirmed in August that they’re working on a wrist-based optical heart rate tracker and just today they posted an IG publicity shot of this new device’s heart rate sensors. Such a tease.

With companies like Apple, Microsoft, Basis, Mio Global, Adidas, Fitbit, Jawbone, Garmin, Sony, TomTom and even the Xiaomi hedging their bets on optical heart rate sensors, it wouldn’t be incorrect to say that the convenience of wrist worn optical sensors far outweigh the  gold standard accuracy associated with chest worn heart rate monitors.

I personally thought it was a matter of time before Polar joined the optical heart rate sensor crowd. To paraphrase, they’re late to the party. Then again, I would think Polar’s direction is a relief for its fans. While I personally enjoyed the Polar M400, I regularly used it with a Scosche Rhythm + wrist worn heart rate monitor out of convenience. Marrying the 2 functions of the devices just made sense.

According to Wareable’s interview with Polar UK’s MD Malcolm Douglas, we shouldn’t be expecting a V800 with optical heart rate sensors. Rather Polar’s new product is less sophisticated compared to its flagship and aimed at gym goers. I’m betting it’s the likes of the A300 with optical heart rate sensors.

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Keen to have an idea what the new device looked like, I adjusted the exposure levels of Polar’s publicity shot on the new optical heart rate sensor using Photoshop. While I’m still unable to get a clear view of the device, I did caught a glimpse of what looked like a 3rd sensor within a squarish ring.

Optical heart rate sensors have always had the issue of accuracy depending on how it’s worn. If this can be effectively fixed either by design or software updates, you can be sure optical heart rate sensors won’t  merely be a trend but the new standard. Welcome to the party Polar.

Sources: Polar.com, Wareable

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