Image source: Pelaton

Pelaton’s new heart rate monitor is meant to be worn on the forearm

Pelaton has released a new Bluetooth heart rate monitor. Unlike its previous effort on this front which is meant to be worn on the chest, Peloton Heart Rate Band is designed to be worn on a user’s forearm.

The company has been in the news quite a bit recently. And not all has been positive coverage, some through no fault of its own. First came the fictional Sex and the City character Mr Big dying of a heart attack while using a cycle machine. Then there was a similar brush with death in the TV series Billions.

On top of that Pelaton has not fared well during the pandemic. It underestimated demand at the height of the crisis, then overestimated it in the later months which resulted in supplies sitting in its warehouses. All of this has contributed to a crash in the company’s share price. There are even rumours Apple might buy Pelaton. But at least for now, it’s business as usual.

For those not in the know, the company’s main product range consists of bikes and treadmills. The outfit also offers fitness content that works with its gear, TVs, tablets and smartphones.

Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets

The new heart rate band is its second effort on this front. The first is a “traditional” chest strap that is primarily designed to work with Peloton products.

Both products contribute to Peloton’s proprietary Strive Score metric, but this one is a bit easier to put on and more comfortable to wear as it goes around your forearm. Plus you don’t need to wet the contact point as it relies on optical sensors instead of electrodermal ones (which use electrical currents) to capture heart rate readings. While this adds to the convenience of use, the caveat is that accuracy is going to suffer slightly as compared to what you’d get with a chest strap.

Peloton heart rate band
Image source: Peloton

Interestingly, the Heart Rate Band costs around twice as much as the chest strap. But it does offer more in certain aspects. For example, the band sports five multi-color LED lights which can be used to quickly understand which heart rate zone you are currently in.  

The LEDs also display battery level and Bluetooth connectivity status. You can expect about 10 hours on a full charge, which is pretty decent battery life.

There’s a small and large size to choose from and both will set you back around $90 on the company’s website. This is pretty pricey for such a product and there are lower cost third-party alternatives.

For now you can purchase the band in the US, UK, Canada, Australia and Germany. The company says the device will also work with third-party applications. As long as they support normal Bluetooth heart rate monitor profiles.

But unlike the chest strap, Pelaton’s armband does not have ANT+ connectivity. This means that you will not be able to connect it to third party equipment such as a Garmin smartwatch.

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