Wearable Tech Show – A ‘new’ optical HRM and other stuff

suunto Movesense

Today’s WEARABLE tech show was interesting:

  1. It was MUCH smaller than previous years in terms of both exhibitors and attendees;
  2. It seems to have morphed to include HEALTHCARE – well that was more prominent; and
  3. Only a few sporty companies that took my interest.

So that’s interesting in the WRONG kind of way. I won’t be going next year.

Here are the highlights for me, apologies as my camera stopped working and so I had to use my smartphone.

suunto MovesenseSuunto announced their MOVESENSE sensor last year. Essentially it looks like the Suunto HRM pod but is a hardware platform upon which new hardware/software applications an be built. Essentially reducing risk, cost and time-to-market.

So that IS a good idea. Well, I thought so.

MOVESENSE is: waterproof; swim proof; suitable for most sports; low profile; low power consumption; replaceable battery; light (10g); 9-axis motion sensor; accelerometer/gyro; magnetometer; temp; memory cache; REST/API; BTLE 4.0 not ANT+. Or so the spec sheet said 😉

Image Source: Tri Coaching Finland

What was of particular, timely interest to me was that I had inadvertently mentioned it last week in my post on “6 triathlon products to watch out for in 2017” as it is used by trainesense.com as ONE of the sensor sets in their upcoming swimming power meter (well, that’s what I’m calling it until someone tells me not to).

Then there was the new optical sensor from PulseON.com.



I have a soft spot for this product in my sporting heart as it was the first optical HR sensor company I came across a couple of years ago. Unfortunately they were outflanked by MIO (Phillips) and Garmin. Well they have taken a sensible new tack. They have improved and updated their product to a higher level of accuracy (HRV whilst at rest/sleep -with university research to ‘prove’ it). They are now offering their product to corporate-branded healthcare solutions. So YOU AND I won’t see a new PulseON HR band BUT INSTEAD WE COULD BE WEARING one if we work for a large corporate like BARCLAYS who might have their own wellness initiative. (I made the Barclays example up). This could involve the sale of MANY THOUSANDS of units to each corporate client. Cool!

They had a working watch, suitably devoid of branding (for reasons just outlined).


This also highlights a change in the market as corporates realise that a simple motion sensor is not good enough for what they are trying to achieve (employee wellbeing). There needs to be some form of HRV/HR in there to at least try to do it properly. I won’t specifically be covering any changes in corporate wellness in future, it’s not REALLY sport related. But if a ‘proper’ solution for overnight adaptation/recovery inadvertently comes up then I’ll be on the case (it won’t).

Apparently Phillips are also ‘big’ into this sort of thing.

Firstbeat were there en-mass and very excited about the addition of their metrics in new products like the upcoming Huawei Sports Watch and Fenix 5. (eg Anaerobic training effect, TE 2.0).

That was it really.


One final thing was LECHAL.COM. They offer an insole-based navigational device! That was being sold as offering some sort of calorie-counting/navigational/steps related stuff. seemed very peripheral to me and I can’t imagine many people would use it to run anywhere with. HOWEVER it did strike me as being a pretty awesome idea for blind people in a new city. Perhaps with some form of augmented-google map for partially-sighted access/crossing points??? Worth a mention.



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5 thoughts on “Wearable Tech Show – A ‘new’ optical HRM and other stuff

  1. Ah, so first oHR with HRV ? Too bad it won’t be available to end users…since it was functional did you get a reading from it ? Not that HRV values can really be compared in my experience but should normally trend the same.

    1. well i’m just about to publish a review on another with HRV 😉 Problem is tho that for both the pulseOn and for the WHOOP (review soon) the HRV component is whilst at sleep only. That’s great of course (partially !!) as that is when there is a big win for recovery measurement.

      1. Looking forward to the review ! As for HRV, well I suppose we can still take it each morning with a smartphone and a BT chest strap 😉

  2. >HOWEVER it did strike me as being a pretty awesome idea for blind people in a new city

    Wow, you’re right. Although I worry if the technology gets too good, many seeing eye dogs will be put out of work… 🙁

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