MyZone is the fitness company you’ve seen or heard of, but probably never used. His chest strap heart rate monitors followed the types of fitness (often high level) during HIIT classes at their gym, while using connected treadmills, etc. You’ve probably seen its MZ-3 chest strap before, but today MyZone announced an improved model that doesn’t have to wrap around your torso to keep up with your workouts. The company says the MZ-Switch is the world’s first device that monitors both PPG (photoplethysmography) and ECG (electrocardiography) readings for more accurate monitoring of activity with fewer “blind spots”.
The crux here is how the accuracy of wrist-based heart rate monitors (i.e. most wearable devices) can be affected when you grip an object, affecting blood flow in a way that doesn’t it’s not really related to your effort. That said, MyZone says the wrist monitor should still be 95% accurate “for any non-gripping activity with repeatable motions,” which includes swimming alongside more typical activities like running and HIIT. Tracking technology is standard, using an optical flow sensor that shines an LED light into the skin to measure the movement of blood in the arm. This rate is matched to the heart rate pumping blood through the body to determine the user’s heart rate.
For exercises that involve heavy wrist movements (think activities like weight training or rowing), the MZ-Switch can be strapped to your forearm or you can pull out the trusty chest strap. The forearm monitor uses an optical blood flow sensor (like when you wear the device on your wrist). The chest still offers the greatest certainty, with 99.4% ECG accuracy and more responsive heart rate monitoring.
The device has 36 hours of built-in memory to track workouts away from your phone or gym networks, and it can connect to Android Wear, Strava, Garmin, MapMyRun, and Apple Health. The MZ-Switch is unequivocally a fitness device separate from the portable devices you may already be using to track your workouts. (MyZone’s software will even integrate with Apple and Samsung portable devices.)
The company plans to target its new tracker on corporate health and education programs, alongside its usual stable of large gym chains. According to MyZone CEO Dave Wright, the MZ-Switch aims to expand the appeal of the company’s high-precision fitness tracking, simplified enough for us non-athletes to understand and understand. MyZone has long distilled your physical exertion into easy-to-understand color codes (green is easy, red is difficult) and this is an attempt to create a chest-based fitness tracker that is less intimidating.
Because it’s just … tracking (there’s no screen) battery life shouldn’t be an issue. MyZone estimates that you will get 140 hours of battery life on a single charge if used for chest tracking while using it on the wrist or forearm (using PPG technology), it should last 35 hours. Once you have sweated so much, you can just connect it to the USB charger.
The MZ-Switch is available for purchase directly on MyZone starting today, priced at $ 160.