As popular as heart rate monitors can be for runners looking to improve their health, they’re often definitions of compromise that require bulky gear or direct finger contact to reliably find the heartbeat. MIO’s newly available Alpha watch may be just the remedy for those who aren’t content to bulk up or slow down to avoid that guesswork. The monitor uses an electro-optical cell and a pair of light beams to track the volume of blood under the wrist, and compensates for the usual jostling through a motion sensor; the result is a purported EKG level of accuracy at up to a 12MPH pace without wearing ungainly extras. For most, the catch will be a narrow-purpose design that leaves GPS and other less cardiovascular measurements to a smartphone or bike computer paired through Bluetooth 4.0. Should most of your exercise involve striving for the perfect BPM, though, the $199 asking price for the Alpha (online for now, at retail in early 2013) could justify itself in short order.
Filed under: Wearables