A new move for MIO.
First some history and then the new product move.
MIO’s excellent optical heart rate sensor was one of the first to set the bar fairly high when it comes to triathletes, cyclists and runners getting good heart rate reading from an optical wrist-based device.
MIO seemed to be making good progress moving forward from their initial 2014 success with the MIO Link (review). Initially they expanded their own product range to include the MIO VELO (review) and the MIO ALPHAs (review) and the MIO FUSE (review). Then they partnered with Garmin to provide the sensor for the Forerunner 225. And finally they announced their latest product, the MIO SLICE band using their activity index ‘PAI’.
However things have been quiet of late and I was hoping for an announcement of something new and exciting. Here are some of the product-related issues they needed to move on from.
- MIO Link – A perfectly good product. Even now. I’d still recommend it for what it is a dual band wrist-based optical heart rate monitor.
- MIO Velo – The same product as the link but it can also do some snazzy ANT+ to Bluetooth conversion of your bike’s speed and cadence signals (not power). This is too niche and for the price of the product you might as well just buy another speed/cadence sensor.
- MIO Fuse – A repackaged LINK with a rudimentary display as well as caching and activity tracking. Again a technically competent sensor but the world of BANDS has moved on.
- MIO Alpha 1/2 – A watch based LINK. Again, smartwatches have moved on. Although to be fair to MIO, other smartwatches HAVE moved on but they have generally moved on to LESS accurate sensors than the MIO. sigh.
- The MIO sensor in the Garmin 225 was used only in the one model and then Garmin moved quickly on, developing their own ELEVATE sensor.
- MIO Slice with PAI – I’m still waiting to see this in a working version, although I have had a hands-on with a ‘dummy’ showroom device. I’m not convinced by the PAI activity index as being at all groundbreaking. The PAI index to me sounds exactly like the same sort of thing that Garmin and Polar and others have been doing for a while. Essentially giving more weight to the results from more vigorous exercise.
At the end of 2015 MIO announced that they were moving into team sports like Adidas and Polar. The following video was all we had
So here we are in July 2016 and finally MIO have announced their link up with FIELDWIZ to provide team data from a GPS-based HR device. (Source MIO Press Release, below)
This is nothing new for professional sports. We are coming to the end of the Euro 2016 in France. From the few games that I have watched there have been copious amounts of HEATMAP type data as well as occasional reference to it being amazing that Gareth Bale has run 11km in the match (OK he would have sprinted a lot of that, so it is impressive)
So when MIO/FIELDWIZ claim to capture speed, distance, acceleration and heatmaps I suppose they are planning to offer that to a broader market as well as, perhaps some pro/semi pro teams (not just soccer/football of course). The novelty will come with the more convenient wrist-based device (good for women’s sports) and the caching of all the data, so allowing post-match analyses.
The heatmaps and acceleration data are much more important to team sports than pure endurance sports like running. Let’s face it, triathletes have little use for acceleration data and heatmaps are only useful for us to find out someone who might use the same bit of forest that we do to run through. with team sports I hope you can see that kind of data can be tactically insightful for coaches.
From a financial perspective too I suppose that selling 20-odd units to a squad can ramp up the sales numbers more easily than trying to reach an equivalent number of retail consumers through the entire supply chain with various additional profit margins being required to be made at each stage in that chain.
Anyway, sorry to digress into team sports. I thought that some of you might have wondered what MIO have been up to. Now you know 🙂
Also in the news is PEAR Sports partnership with MIO Global. PEAR now fully supports the MIO FUSE device. I’m not quite sure why this happened. Maybe this is effectively a new app for the MIO devices as the MIO app was never that great? Maybe it is a chance for you to get a cheap band/app bundle as the two are being sold together, discounted. Not sure.
——————- Press Release Follows ———————-
Mio Global and FieldWiz Partner to Advance GPS Performance Tracking with Wrist-Based
Heart Rate Monitoring
The innovative team training solution will be unveiled at the NSCA National Conference
NEW ORLEANS, LA – July 5, 2016 – Mio Global, known for the most accurate wrist-based heart rate technology, announces at the NSCA National Conference its partnership with FieldWiz, a strategy analysis and physical performance measuring tool for outdoor sports. The FieldWiz tracking device now synchronizes with Mio LINK heart rate + activity tracker, completely eliminating the need for a chest strap.
Mio Global’s collaboration with FieldWiz will allow players to track heart rate through a comfortable wristband, while also monitoring distance, speed, and acceleration on the field through FieldWiz’s unique GPS tracking technology. This partnership marks a major evolution in field sports, such as lacrosse and soccer, as teams can now easily analyze and compare metrics such as maximum velocity, heart rate, and areas covered on the field (heat-mapping) to optimize training. The combined data can help reduce the risk of injury and streamline overall efficiency. Additionally, both the Mio LINK and FieldWiz devices are water and sport resistant, holding up in extreme training conditions to deliver consistent insights.
“We are excited to partner with FieldWiz to provide an accurate wrist-based wearable as an alternative hardware solution to heart rate monitor chest straps,” said Liz Dickinson, Founder and CEO of Mio Global. “By combining Mio Heart Rate Technology with this innovative strategy analysis and physical performance measuring tool, athletes will now be able to train comfortably, while still acquiring the data needed to analyze sessions and improve performance.”
Together, Mio Global and FieldWiz will provide outdoor sports teams with the tools needed to create and exceed training goals.