Adidas, TomTom, Samsung and Mio have been doing it for a long time. Apple and even Garmin recently decided they would do it. And now it seems Polar has decided it’s time to get in on the optical heart rate trend. Speaking to Wareable.com, the company’s UK Managing Director Malcolm Douglas admitted Polar would have an optical heart rate tracker in the market soon.
“Just like GPS was a trend, just like heart rate was a trend and just like sleep tracking was a trend. I think this (OHR) may well become a trend but from our point of view it will all come down to how accurate it is,” explained Douglas.
We’re planning one but it’ll be a retail product, it won’t be a professional sports product at this stage.
“I’m not sure it’s going to get into professional sport but it depends. It’ll have to become more accurate if that’s what people want but you can see products are coming into the marketplace but at a very slow pace. And we’re planning one but it’ll be a retail product, it won’t be a professional sports product at this stage.”
Polar has stuck firmly behind the chest strap. Accuracy is a major part of the company’s brand identity and has quite rightly been unwilling to put that on the line. But as its old rivals Garmin and new competitors like Apple, Mio and TomTom have demonstrated, their is a demand for what some consumers feel is a more comfortable, more convenient one device to do it all solution.
We can expect the Polar product to be aimed at the wallet friendly end of the market, tailored to gym goers rather than elite athletes but there’s no exact word on when it’ll hit the streets.