Dizziness and severe shortage of breath is a pretty sure sign of overexertion, but sometimes you won't know you've pushed yourself too far until you're hunched over the park bench gasping for air. The stick-on Moxy Monitor is designed to give athletes a window into how their body is performing during a workout, by tracking blood oxygen levels in their muscles in real time and displaying this along with other fitness data in third party apps and devices.
The Moxy Monitor is a little black box that can be worn against the skin. Measuring 2.4 x 1.72 in along its sides and 0.82 in thick (6.1 x 4.4 x 2.1 cm), the device takes up less surface area than a Post-it note. In contact with the skin is an array of LEDs and light detectors, which transmit near-infrared light through the skin, into the muscle tissue and back out again to extract a reading on blood oxygen levels.
Near-infrared light has proven particularly useful for this purpose, because blood that is rich in oxygen absorbs more infrared light. This means that using detectors to analyze the light that makes it through a portion of skin and tissue can give an indication of how well oxygenated the blood in question is.
This is the approach used in more conventional blood oxygen sensors called pulse oximeters, but recently we have also seen it adapted to more forward thinking approaches. These have included a smart sock that monitors a baby's vital signs, iPhone compatible oximeters and ultra-thin blood oxygen-sensors that can be worn just like a Band-Aid.
But Moxy has geared its solution primarily towards athletes and their well-being, a bit like the BSXinsight lactate threshold monitor we looked at last year. Moxy claims the monitor is durable enough for everyone from motorcross riders to rugby players, and thanks to a sealed case, even those dipping into water sports. It weighs under 40 g (1.4 oz) and uses a radio antenna to share data with other devices using ANT+.
The most noteworthy of these is Connect IQ, (which is software that allows customized apps to run on Garmin watches), but there are currently a total of nine apps and devices that can incorporate data from Moxy into fitness tracking. These include IpBike, an app that converts an Android phone into a bike computer, and various other fitness tracking software.
The Moxy Monitor has a 90-minute charge time and the lithium polymer battery is said to last for at least three hours of use. A Micro USB port allows for charging and retrieving data that couldn't be shared over radio, such as that collected underwater.
The monitor is available now with prices starting US$770 for the sensor alone. Bundles with Garmin watches are also available, though these will cost you $1,200 and up.
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