Announced MyZone Corporation announced the MZ-Switch fitness tracker for your chest, arm and wrist, and the company says: It is the first device in the world to monitor PPG (photosynthesis) and ECG (electrocardiogram) readings to more accurately monitor activity with fewer blind spots.
The key point here is how the accuracy of wrist-based heart rate monitors (i.e. most wearable devices) can be affected when gripping an object, affecting blood flow in a way that is not related to your effort.
MyZone says the wrist-based MZ-Switch should remain 95 percent accurate for any activity not restricted by repetitive movements, such as swimming, and typical activities such as high-intensity running and stretching.
Tracking technology is standard, with an optical flow sensor that shines an LED light in the skin to measure blood movement in the arm.
This flow matches the heartbeat that pumps blood throughout the body to determine the user’s heart rate.
For exercises involving heavy wrist movements, such as: weightlifting or rowing, the MZ-Switch can be attached to your forearm.
The forearm monitor uses an optical blood flow sensor (as when wearing the device on the wrist).
And the chest still provides the most certainty, with an ECG of 99.4 percent accuracy and the most responsive heart rate monitoring.
The device has a built-in 36-hour memory to track workouts away from your phone or gym networks and can be connected to Android Wear, Strava, Garmin, MapMyRun and Apple Health.
The MZ-Switch is a separate fitness terminal from the wearables you might use to track your workouts.
The company plans to target the new tracking device through corporate health and education programs, as well as large gymnasium chains.
According to the CEO of MyZone, the MZ-Switch aims to extend the appeal of the company’s high-precision fitness tracking, and it’s simplistic enough to understand for non-athletes.
And considering it only tracks (no screen), battery life is unlikely to be a concern.
MyZone estimates that you get 140 hours of battery life on a single charge if used for chest-based tracking, while it should last for 35 hours while using it across the wrist or forearm (using PPG technology).
The MZ-Switch is available to buy directly from MyZone starting today, at $ 160.