Heart-rate sensors are becoming de rigueur in fitness bands, because having that data leads to more accurate workout tracking. But while sensors on the wrist have improved in terms of accuracy, they’re still not quite up to the gold standard of consumer-grade heart-rate monitoring devices: chest straps. For some (picture me raising my hand here), chest straps aren’t exactly fun to wear. Now fitness band maker Moov is putting a sensor on a more comfortable spot: your head.
The new Moov HR can be tucked inside the HR Sweat headband or the HR Swim swim cap, each costing $60 or $100 for both, and measures your heart rate through your temples. I saw a demo video of the Moov HR sensor in action on a treadmill runner who was hooked up to an EKG machine, and the heart rate data was consistently spot on. (I haven’t yet tested the Moov HR for myself, so I’m taking the company at its word here.)
“After extensive research and testing, we’ve determined that the best location for accurate pulse reading is the head,” Moov CEO and cofounder Meng Li said in a press statement. “That’s why we’ve developed technology around these findings, so that anyone, regardless of their fitness level or goals, can get the most out of every workout for a fraction of the cost other wearables and gyms charge.”
The Moov Personal Coach app for iOS and Android will take that heart rate data and use it to coach you through high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts such as running, indoor cycling, and bodyweight circuit programs. If you select another workout in the Moov app, like swimming, outdoor cycling, or cardio boxing, the Moov HR sensor will still track your heart rate but won’t offer the voice coaching available with the HIIT programs.
Moov is on the right track by making affordable and powerful fitness trackers, like the popular Moov Now. Diving into heart-rate tracking could be a risky move, but at $60 a pop, Moov’s new HR sensor is unbeatable on price. (We’ll have to see about accuracy.)
I can’t wait to test out how heart-rate tracking on the head compares to the sensors in chest straps and fitness bands, so stay tuned for a full review of Moov HR and its voice-coaching capabilities.