but … it’s only a HRM.
Bear with me though, I’ll try and make it interesting.
But. I re-iterate. It is only a HRM.
So this is labelled as a Polar H7i (released as H10). Thank you @lustyd for the original detective work. However the H7i is already included in some Polar H7 manuals on Polar’s website (use Google). So this could just be an aesthetic re-hash. Or…..
Well it’s always good to speculate as that will be far more interesting than likely reality.
Firstly it clearly does look different to the H7 and it’s on the FCC site as of recently. So it almost certainly is a new product planned for sometime in the next few months (Jan 2017 released).
- It’s got an unusual square box on the logo. Could something be blanked out here? Could that ‘something’ be an ANT+ logo? I’ve checked the FCC bandwidth it’s applied for and that does not help either way. So it COULD BE dual-band ANT+BTLE (nope). That would be a game-changer for Polar, journalists have repeatedly told them to do it and they repeatedly have not. I hope it is. But I think not (nothing in the thisisant directory yet, BTW)
- It’s an H7 variant and not an H8. so it could just be VERY similar for some trivial reason – like rectifying GPS/underwater HR interference in OWS.
- The FCC docs seem to imply a pull off battery cover rather than the existing coin operated lid (which I do find a PITA). An improvement but….
- It should be a ‘caching’ device as LUSTYD hopes for. However I would ask “WHY?” Polar do not need that for underwater HR as they transmit dual band already…albeit the other band is a rather old Polar signal that DOES travel through water (see earlier GPS point).
- answer: But caching has other uses outside of swimming. It might herald some support for team sports where a watch is not worn for safety reasons eg soccer/football. MIO announced something along those lines the other week.
- It could be running dynamics a-la Garmin. This is quite possible as Polar do love their running and, as Robert Black points out below, there IS an accelerometer built in. I would have hoped that Polar would instead team up with one of the many shoe insole or shoe add-on units for a more holistic solution in the running dynamics area – eg RUNSCRIBE. It’s less likely there is a more comprehensive, multi-sensor running dynamics solution.
- There could be some swimming dynamics or bike dynamics but that is VERY unlikely and probably quite boring to even think about.
- Let’s come back to ANT+. It could be a band conversion device like the awesome 4iiii Viiiiva which I have to use whenever I use my Polars – ie to read my ANT+ PMs. IE it receives ANT+, converts it and broadcasts back out in BTLE – in addition to working with BTLE normally. I reckon there is a good chance of this. As it is NOT broadcasting ANT+ then it would not requires FCC approval for that and MAYBE (??) it might not need ANT+ approval with Dynastream/Garmin (doubt it). This would be a good commercial move giving them access to many more sensors that broadcast ANT+. (nope)
- Having said all of that the Polar M600’s processor, MediaTek MT2601, supports ANT+ FWIW (doesn’t mean the M600 does)
- It could be an upgrade to support Bluetooth 4.2 (someone correct me on this) which I think offers more simultaneous pairing opportunities than just the one option with v4.0 or earlier (something along those lines). I’m sure there is a coach+athlete scenario where this would be useful. (edit: yes this was the case allowing a connection to GoPro)
- I have come across HRMs that purport to measure LTHR. I never quite believed that. On the grounds that it couldn’t MEASURE it. Estimate, maybe, somehow, perhaps. Just run hard for 30 minutes…sigh. Or buy a BSX Insight, that’s cool for LTHR.
- That then brings us to increased levels of accuracy. Even though the H7 is already super-accurate and fully supports HRV maybe more granularity of data can give something extra to read into a heartbeat or R-R? I think 4iiii were working on something along those lines a couple of years back.
- There could also be increased sensitivity. Some people often have problems getting a chest strap to read HR because of various anatomical reasons, increased sensitivity could rectify that.
- It looks smoother. Perhaps it’s something like the HRM-SWIM which is better at staying in place underwater especially if combined with a new strap. That’s plausible. (Edit: strap seems to have more sensor pads like the Garmin HRM3-RUN and there are more grips on the strap)
- Clutching at further straws it could have a new extra large battery for even unnecessarily longer life. Sigh.
- You’ve all been VERY patient to get this far. Well done boys and girls. Of course the elephant in the watch shop is that it could be the new HRM to go with the new Polar V850/V900 that may well (or most likely NOT) be announced in KONA in October. There I said it. I knew you wanted me to. And no. I have no idea if there will be one. Polar are MUCH better at secrets than Garmin. (nope; it was for the release of a caching sports t-shirt-cum-wearable)
The last one is obviously the most interesting and is probably also true. I hope the dual-band thing is true too. Any dynamics stuff probably won’t be interesting.