July 12, 2007 Heart rate monitors have become an almost ubiquitous tool in fitness training, allowing athletes to ensure they're operating in the right BPM range to maximize the effectiveness of their cardio training or weight loss programs. The chest-strap used to take heart rate readings isn't universally popular though, as many find it uncomfortable and annoying. Adidas tried to solve this by building the sensor into a tight training shirt, NuMetrex built the sensor into a sports bra for women - and now Beurer has come up with a new system that fits as half a glove and reads heart rate from your index finger. The PM 100 beltless heartrate monitor uses photoplethysmography to determine your heart rate - it's effectively a flexible, soft equivalent of the plastic finger clip you get in hospital. While it won't be perfect for sportspeople that need to use their hands, those involved in running or other pure cardio exercise will likely find it a comfortable and no-fuss way to keep a constant tab on their heart rate.
Beurer's PM 100 beltless heartrate monitor is among the first devices out there using photoplethysmography to read your heart rate straight off your index finger. It works by shining a red LED on the surface of the finger, and measuring the reflected light back to a photodiode. The changes in reflective light reflect the changes in the volume of the arteries beneath the skin as they distend slightly with each heart pulse - it's the same technique used in finger-clip pulse oxymeters used in hospitals.
While traditional systems use a chest strap that communicates via radio to a watch, the PM 100 simply fits like half a glove, showing you your heart rate and calorie consumption as well as time, alarms and a stopwatch with eight lap splits on the large LCD screen that fits on the back of your hand.
It looks very stylish, which won't hurt Beurer's sales at all in fashion-conscious gym circles, and while no pricing information is currently available, we can see it taking off like wildfire at the right price point.
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