If you want a fitness tracker that's more of a workout companion than an around-the-clock accessory, Moov is one company that's looking beyond the wrist. It's just announced the Moov HR, a head-mounted AI fitness coach and heart rate monitor.
But don't picture a bulky apparatus that looks like a virtual reality headset or a space helmet. Like its predecessor Moov Now, the "brains" of the Moov HR are in a small plastic-cased pod. Insert the pod into either a nylon-spandex sweatband or swim cap. Synced with your smartphone, the pod will track your heart rate while issuing verbal instruction, feedback and encouragement.
Not only is this good news for the bracelet-averse, it's also a welcome option for those who are duly skeptical about the heart rate tracking capabilities of wristbands but are disinclined to wear a chest strap. In light of recent studies indicating that wrist-mounted heart rate monitors are largely inaccurate, this is an increasingly growing concern. At least one study has shown that wrist monitor accuracy decreases as workout intensity increases.
Moov HR's precision measurements are made possible through LED lights and optical sensors that measure blood density around the temples. In terms of accuracy, Moov says it rivals professional EKG equipment, and it won't balk through high-intensity workouts. In fact, Moov highlights its suitability for high intensity interval (HIIT) workouts, making it one of the few fitness accessories that supports workouts beyond walking, running, or swimming.
Moov HR is available for pre-order now and will ship in February 2017. Two variants are available: Moov HR Sweat (headband) and Moov HR Swim (swim cap). They retail for US$99 each, but are currently available for a special launch price of $59.95.