Apple Watch heart rate monitor is a beat ahead of the competition

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Update your fancy wrist computer to the latest watchOS.
Apple Watch blasts your wrist with green light to read your pulse.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Fitness fanatics that want a good heart rate reading from their wrist better get an Apple Watch.

A new study of the four most popular wearables on the market found Apple Watch to be the most accurate smart watch for tracking heart rate. And it wasn’t even close.

Former Apple Watch architect reveals heart-rate sensor design process

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Apple Watch sensors
Getting accurate heart rate sensors here wasn't easy.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The Apple Watch is known for having one of the best heart-rate sensors among smart watches, but according to former Apple platform architect Bob Messerschmidt, getting a super accurate reading wasn’t an easy task.

Messerschmidt joined Apple in 2010 after Steve Jobs acquired his company and set him to work on the Apple Watch team. In a new interview that reveals some of the design process that went into Apple Watch, Messerschmidt says he originally wanted to put the heart rate sensor in the Apple Watch bands.

Get your workout fix in 7 minutes on your Apple TV

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Get your heart rate pumping in seven minutes.
Get your heart rate pumping in seven minutes.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

The holy grail of the home workout is something that you can get set up for quickly and easily, doesn’t require a lot of gear, and will only take as short a time as possible.

Wahoo Fitness thinks they have this down. The developer of the Wahoo 7 Minute Workout app has brought its science-based, high-intensity interval workout to your big screen via the Apple TV app store, so you can get your workout on quickly and easily.

The Apple announcements that really got our hearts pumping

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If you look closely you can actually pinpoint the exact moment the Apple Watch heart rate monitor stops working.
You can actually pinpoint the second when Apple announced a stylus.
Photo: The Simpsons, Twentieth Century Fox

We’ve seen Wednesday’s Apple keynote dissected every which way, but how about analyzing the moments where viewers’ heart rates jumped at the latest news from the Good Ship Cupertino?

That’s what the developers and beta testers of heart-monitoring Apple Watch app Cardiogram did, as they set their devices to workout mode for the anticipated event to find out what really tugged at their heart strings.

The results are … interesting.

Get ready to run: The first of Wahoo’s next-gen Bluetooth heart-rate sensors is here

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Wahoo’s first heart-rate sensor was of the pedestrian ANT+ variety, and connected to the iPhone through a 30-pin ANT+ dongle. Around a year later, the Atlanta-based outfit introduced the first heart-rate sensor that connected to a smartphone through Bluetooth; specifically and only to the iPhone 4s, since that was the only phone at the time with Bluetooth 4.0 under the hood.

Wahoo upped the ante again in January at CES, when they revealed a radical departure from traditional heart-rate based fitness tracking: Their new highly sophisticated, three-model TICKR sensor squad, combined with an all-new app that turns conventional fitness-tracking on its head. Now the first of the TICKR trio, the TICKR Run, is hitting the street.

The Tao WellShell Measures Your Isometric Fitness Strength, With Your iPhone’s Help [Kickstarter]

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The sleek lines of the just-redesigned Tao WellShell.

The Tao WellShell is probably unlike any iOS-connected fitness device you’ve ever encountered. It doesn’t simply track steps, or heart rate, or weight, or any of the other standard metrics tracked in dozens of other connected fitness devices. Instead, this little guy actually acts as the fitness device itself, rather than simply a tracker (though it does indeed also track heart rate, steps and sleep patterns).

Kinda Serious, Hardcore Or Crazy Fitness Maniac: Wahoo’s Trio Of New TICKR Bluetooth Heart-Rate Straps [CES 2014]

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The little dots on the sensor's face are lights that tell you whether the sensor is connected, or if the battery is low. Photo: Eli Milchman

Cult _of_Mac_CES_2014_80x80 LAS VEGAS — Rather than come out with a more casual-oriented wearable fitness tracker like everyone (and we mean everyone) else, Wahoo stuck to its athletic roots and took the more serious route of improving the heart-rate monitor strap and accompanying training software the company introduced a few years ago.

In fact, Wahoo has created three new versions of its Bluetooth HR strap. The company even tried to restructure the way athletes think about training with the new “burn or burst” approach for the Wahoo iOS app.

HeartMath Now Counts Your Calmness In The Cloud, New Inner Balance Lightning Dongles Coming

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The not-yet-released Inner Balance Lightning dongle. Image courtesy of HeartMath.

 

The Inner Balance system pairs a $99 dongle/earclip sensor with an accompanying app with the goal of training its users to de-stress themselves (probably an over-simplification, but that’s the gist of it) through gamified breathing exercises.

To further this goal, HeartMath, the company behind the Inner Balance kit, has just launched a cloud-based service called HeartCloud to further gamify the Inner Balance sessions with the introduction of social aspects. HeartMath has also announced that new Lightning dongles for the earclip sensor will be available at the end of this month.