Polar, the company earlier involved into making heart-rate monitors that one would strap around the chest to work, has confirmed that they are now working on a new wearable fitness product for its users.
Going by the trend of including heart-rate monitors into wrist wearables like other companies, Polaris is now making a wrist-worn wearable having an Optical heart rate sensor. This device is being targeted at gym goers, athletes etc. but according to Polaris, this device is going to be affordable to be used for basic and regular tracking purposes as well.
Polar’s UK MD Malcolm Douglas, speaking to Wearable, said,
“The company’s fitness trackers will finally join the optical heart rate (OHR) trend, but that accuracy remains paramount to the product. The new products will be aimed at consumers rather than elite athletes”.
He added, for being asked why it has taken so long to enter the wrist worn category for Polaris,
“We haven’t moved on because it wasn’t, in our case, universally accepted by everyone as a successful alternative to what we already have,”
Polar has been making chest strap technology which is similar to the medical grade ECG machine, its foray into the wrist worn optical heart rate monitor category will be well accepted. That is only if they can maintain the accuracy which they are credited for in their earlier products like the Polar H7.
Looking at the competition which is ever increasing with many new companies entering the market like Adidas, Apple, TomTom, Mio etc. the pressure has been on Polar to expand their product range. Garmin too has recently come out with the Forerunner 225, their first wrist watch which comes with built-in heart rate sensors running on Mio tech.
“Just like GPS was a trend, just like heart rate was a trend and just like sleep tracking was a trend. I think this (OHR) may well become a trend but from our point of view it will all come down to how accurate it is,” explained Douglas, commenting on the trend which is evolving in the fitness segment.
The new Polar Wristband is what we like to call it now, will be a retail unit as explained by Douglas in his interview with Wearable, and it will be targeted at all fitness enthusiasts and gym goers making it a low end fitness product for consumer who are looking for cheaper alternatives, but not as sophisticated as the Polar V800 which is targeted at professional sports persons.