All of this technology is pretty cool and there is no doubt that consumers have embraced iPhones and apps so this is just the further extension of that into fitness
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Bozeman, MT (PRWEB) June 02, 2012
The Heart Rate Watch Company blog testers recently conducted tests of heart rate chest straps for iPhone 4S and Motorola Razr Smartphones.
Polar recently released the Polar H7 chest strap which uses Bluetooth 4.0 LE to communicate directly with an iPhone 4S or Motorola Razr. While those are the two phones that possess such capabilities at the present it is likely that many more will adopt the Bluetooth 4.0 LE standard over the coming year. Wahoo Fitness also released its own version called the Wahoo Blue HR.
What these straps allow is for your Smartphone to directly receive heart rate from the chest strap, there is no receiver dongle required like there is for ANT+ so the advantage lies in the cost savings. One other advantage is lower energy consumption and these chest straps will last about 350 hours per battery whereas regular heart rate chest straps last only 175 hours.
"Polar H7 and Wahoo Blue HR are forging new ground and in doing so are giving us a glimpse into the future of coming heart rate technology with Bluetooth 4.0 LE," says Rusty Squire, President of the Heart Rate Watch Company. He continues, "Right now the Polar H7 holds an advantage because it is integrated with roughly 90% of all the gym equipment out there which means you can just take the strap to the gym and most machines recognize it." Squire explained that Wahoo recently hired a former Polar employee who is working on further integration for the Wahoo Blue HR so this integration should improve.
The Polar H7 strap also works with the vast majority of Polar's wrist units for heart rate.
Both straps were similarly comfortable and used fabrics with an external transmitter so they are much more comfortable then the older chest straps made from rubber and they are lighter too. At the present time only user of the iPhone 4S and Motorola Razr can take advantage of these straps. Wahoo has further created ways to integrate these two phone types into a bike computer using a Protector bike case and extended life battery, so you can turn your phone into a fully functioning bike computer.
"All of this technology is pretty cool and there is no doubt that consumers have embraced iPhones and apps so this is just the further extension of that into fitness," says Squire. He adds, "Today's youth don't wear wrist watches but they have their Smartphones with them 24/7/365 so the dye has been cast."
Indeed, most people who run or bike outdoors take their Smartphones with them so turning the phone into a fitness device is just a natural extension of the phones own capabilities. The consolidation of devices into a singular device that does everything has been a trend that has been underway for several years now.
"In the rating of the new Bluetooth 4.0 LE chest straps for heart rate we would give the edge to Polar H7 right now for better gym equipment integration and useability with Polar wrist units," says Squire. He adds, "The folks at Wahoo are pretty resourceful and make good products so I don't have any doubt they will catch up and, with respect to certain applications like cycling, even surpass Polar in certain aspects."