Mio to launch a sports watch & biometric earbuds with real-time coaching

Mio is working on a sports watch and biometric earbuds that will feature real-time coaching and advanced fitness metrics. The first will be called mioEXP with a target launch date in November 2020, the second mioAIR scheduled for March next year.

Essential readingTop fitness trackers and health gadgets

The information was revealed in a Valencell webinar with Head of Marketing and Sales at Mio Labs, Marcelo Aller. The two companies have a partnership.

Those of us who have been following wearable tech for a while know of MIO. The company has been creating performance wearables since 1999. In 2011 they developed the first wrist-based optical heart rate for tracking athletic performance in partnership with Phillips. Two years later they introduced the first continuous, real-time heart rate monitor on the wrist – the Mio Alpha.

Their presence in this space was important, until they decided to leave this part of the digital health market. Towards the end of 2017 MIO announced it was pulling back from hardware to focus on developing software. But it seems they are now looking for a way in again.

In September 2019, Mio launched mioPOD. This is a heart rate monitor that can be worn on the upper arm or forearm. The device features the latest Valencell optical sensor technology to deliver a cleaner signal with less noise than typical heart rate straps. It performs particularly well at high intensity exercises such as HIIT and weight lifting.

But it seems, this is only the beginning. Mio has revealed in the webinar that it is working on a whole new line of performance sport wearables with real-time coaching.

Timeline of forthcoming products

July 2020

mioCUE – this will be a mobile app and training program which will feature an Audio Coaching feature. The goal here is to utilize biofeedback to dish out personalized, actionable insights. Mio says, the app interacts with the individual and helps them understand their data points.

This will include workout programs such as training for a marathon, half-marathon, 10K and 5K and receiving appropriate guidance. Mio says more sports will be added with the launch of the sports watch.

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mioCOACH – is a web-based tele-coaching program for Coaches and Personal Trainers. The web-based platform will allow coaches to invite clients to the program, create curated workouts, send the workouts to clients and follow their progress. The company refers to this as the Mio Coaching Loop.

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Image source: Mio

November 2020

mioEXP will be a high-end sports watch. It will pack a full-color display, along with built-in GPS, PPG, a barometer, gyroscope and accelerometer. The accompanying image reveals a very sporty looking device, which reminds very much of the Garmin Forerunner range. The thing will be built as an all-encompassing triathlete solution – geared towards endurance athletes.

The timepiece will have heart rate variability (HRV) statistics, as well, so the company will be looking at that data for recovery insights. Currently the mioPOD does not have HRV.

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mioEXP will also display Firstbeat Analytics. This includes info on Performance Benefit, Training Quality, Adaptive Training Guidance, Sleep Analytics and Race Time Prediction & Readiness. Another feature will be Cardio Pilot. These are glanceable color zone prompts that alert you to real-time heart rate intensity, keeping you in the appropriate cardio zone for your goals.

March 2021

mioAIR are true-wireless earbuds with biometric sensors for Audio Coaching. Marcelo Aller says that this type of tracking is the future, as a biofeedback tool built in the inner ear canal is better able to acquire an accurate PPG signal.

There’s a coaching button on the buds so at any time users will be able to hear analytics such as Training Effect, Training Load, heart rate, distance and more at a push of a button. The goal is to provide a total wireless type of solution. Just like the sports watch, the buds will also be able to measure HRV for recovery insights.

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All of this is exciting news

When it was very active in the wearables market, the Canadian company was known for developing quality fitness related wearables. With their Link and Alpha products, Mio had reduced the need for cumbersome chest straps through developing a comfortable, heart rate monitor watch that can accurately provide users with feedback on their training efforts.

The company is also known for utilizing something called the Personal Activity Intelligence (PAI) index that you were meant to keep above 100. This mostly focuses on how hard your heart works. In fact, PAI is validated by one of the largest health studies ever conducted in history. Some other brands have also adopted the metric, such as Huami in some of its Amazfit watches. Currently, PAI is spun off of Mio and PAI by itself is its own company.

We are glad to see the wearables pioneer is making a comeback. The timeline above makes it clear that Mio is looking to do so with a whole ecosystem of exciting products.

Source: Mio

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