MyZone is the fitness company you’ve seen or heard of but possibly never used. Its chest-strap heart rate monitors have tracked (often high-level) fitness types during their gym’s HIIT classes while using connected treadmills. You’ve probably seen its MZ-3 chest strap before, but today MyZone has announced an upgraded model that doesn’t have to your workouts. The company that monitors both PPG (photoplethysmography) and ECG (electrocardiography) readings for more accurate activity monitoring with fewer “blind spots”.
The crux here is how the accuracy of wrist-based heart rate monitors (i.e., most wearables) can be affected when you grip an object, affecting blood flow in a way that isn’t truly connected to your effort. That said, MyZone says the wrist-based monitor should still be 95% accurate “for any non-gripping activity with repeatable movements,” which includes swimming alongside more typical activities like running and HIIT. The tracking technology is standard, using an optical flow sensor that shines an LED light into the skin to measure
blood movement in the arm. That flow matches the heartbeat pumping blood around the body to determine the. The forearm monitor uses an optical blood flow sensor (like when you wear the device on the wrist). For exercises that do involve heavy wrist movements (think activities like weight training or rowing), the MZ-Switch can be attached to your forearm, or you can break out the trusty chest strap. The chest still provides the most certainty, with 99.4% ECG accuracy and more responsive heart rate monitoring.
The device has a built-in memory of 36 hours for tracking workouts away from your phone or gym’s networks, and it can hook into Android Wear, Strava, Garmin, MapMyRun, and Apple Health. The MZ-Switch is a fitness peripheral separate from the wearables you might already use to track your workouts. (MyZone’s software will even integrate with Apple and Samsung wearables.)
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 comprehend. The company plans to target its new tracker at corporate health programs and education alongside its usual stable of big gym chains. MyZone has long distilled your physical exertion into easy-to-comprehend color codes (green is easy, red is hard), and this is an attempt to make a chest-based battery life is unlikely to be a concern. MyZone estimates you’ll get 140 hours of battery life on a single charge. If used for chest-based tracking on the wrist or forearm (using PPG technology), it should last 35 hours. Once you’ve sweated that much, you can attach it to the USB charger.that’s less intimidating. Because it just… tracks (there is no screen), the