Spotlight: Suunto MOVESENSE

Finally! I’ve done it.

I’ve managed to find a real reason to include a picture of a cute pet. OK it’s not a cat and so I won’t be able to get thousands of pointless likes on Instagram, but a dog will do. A win’s a win.

Relevance: I’m going to talk about Suunto’s MOVESENSE and this image IS from the site where it is specifically shown against KAUNILA which monitors animal well-being.

MOVESENSE is a great platform for new ideas to bypass some of the time-consuming and expensive annoyances of hardware development. The MOVESENSE pod looks eerily like Suunto’s own SMART SENSOR heart rate monitor and the name MOVESENSE is a little too similar to MOVESCOUNT which must somewhat add to a dilution of the brand impact from Suunto’s side, although MOVESCOUNT is being migrated and the name discontinued.

Back to the product

This is what the pods look like out-of-the-box but new partners add their own branding as the images and links further on show.


and MOVESENSE comes with a built-in and integrated set of sensors, namely; a 9-axis motion sensor, 3 x accelerometer, 3 x gyroscope, 3 x magnetometer, Heart rate, 1-wire extension bus interface through Movesense connector, In-built memory for logging data, BLE compatible, Software tools for developing applications that run inside the sensor, Wireless firmware update with BLE. Phew ! Got that?

Here is a selection of the existing products that MOVESENSE already showcases on their site.

Or this pretty video gives some ideas of all kinds of potential for the sensors


Suunto’s MoveSense has been available for just over two years. I thought it was great technology when I first heard about it and then my interest was further piqued at a Suunto presentation in early 2017 when I found out about TraineSense who were evaluating MOVESENSE to make a swim-based product that also produced power-stroke (power meter) data. I had the chance to meet up with TraineSense last summer but it never quite worked out in the end. So apologies for the radio silence on that one.

Then with RunScribe’s recent repositioning towards the pro market for running kinematics/gait products, I revisited some of their lesser-known competitors. One of these being another company I have half stayed in touch with over the years since 2015 ie Runteq – we kept mutually promising each other to look at their ZOI footpod but that never worked out either and now Runteq seem to have abandoned ZOI to concentrate on a chest-based solution built on MOVESENSE (perhaps similar to STRYD‘s previous Gen 2 product?).

Runteq are specifically NOT going to be using ANT+, which I suggested to them could be a mistake. Nevertheless, it was interesting to recall that COMB+ significantly invested in Runteq last summer, so COMB+ obviously know something I don’t.

The takeout here is probably that this is some interesting and potentially useful start-up tech. It doesn’t seem to have fulfilled its potential so far but perhaps we shall hear more from them as 2019 progresses.

Update from MOVESENSE

  • Over 800 developer kits have been shipped out already !
  • In 2019 expect to see ’10s’ of new products hit the market (Source: TL @Suunto)

Information Resources:

Further Reading:


Edit: reference to trainesense removed, they evaluated movesense but never used it in the end


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5 thoughts on “Spotlight: Suunto MOVESENSE

      1. I *believe* what Takura is asking is if there is no ANT+ because the hardware can’t do ANT+, the hardware physically supports it but the firmware hasn’t been written to use it, or if the top-layer software simply doesn’t implement latent capability.

      2. OK, sorry. Yes a good question and i don’t know the answer.
        Let me ping my movesense contact. i don’t know him as well as the suunto people tho. so i am not sure i will get a response

      3. Suunto say “The main reason for not supporting ANT+ is technical: the additional memory capacity needed for ANT+ would reduce too much the available memory for custom sensor apps. Further, the amount of software work to make it possible doesn’t seem to pay off as the expected sales impact is not that big”….”So far all projects seem to be with direct mobile connection where BLE is the default.”

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