Nokia Spin Off PulseOn Launched in IndieGoGo

There’s a certain point in fitness training after which getting higher results becomes increasingly difficult. From there on, attaining physical goals will require more dedication and rigorousness but that alone might not be enough: planning and insights into your own training will help you better understand which aspects of training you need to pay more attention to.

Thanks to technology, this no longer means you’ll need to hire a personal trainer that will stand by you during exercise while taking notes and telling you what to do. Portable devices, such as the wristband launched by PulseON, can do the same analysis by measuring your heart rate during training and afterwards transmitting this data into a mobile application that translates it into tangible information.

The core-team responsible for designing and developing PulseOn initially got the idea while working for Nokia and after sensing the foundation for an independent project was set, the team spun out in 2012 to found their own start up. Today the company has a team of 13 and they’ve launched pre-order for the wristband through crowdfunding platform IndieGoGo where the goal is to reach $150,000 by the end of July. Nearly two weeks into the launch, the campaign has rounded a promising $30,000 or in other words, 21% of their target.

The PulseOn wristband seems to seek consumer trust through three main aspects: the development team’s background and expertise, meaningful content and benefits of the wristband as well as the aesthetic looks of the product.

It’s no joke when a team’s each individual has several decades of experience in tech development and history in high ranking Nokia positions. If nothing else, it means that quality is to be expected and the app won’t be all about mumbo jumbo but stuff that will matter. At least that’s what we really hope for.

In terms of content the PulseOn wristband relies almost solely on heart rate measurement. It might not sound that fancy, but given the right measurement method and some big time algorithmic inspection, a simple heart rate graph can derive a surprising quantity of information that in turn can be used to create easily understandable conclusions.

Key features of the wristband include:

Continuous heart rate
Training intensity
Training effect
Fitness level
Distance and speed (with smartphone GPS)
Recovery time
Exercise coaching
Wireless connectivity to mobile application

The technology used by PulseOn is definitely worth a separate mention. Unlike you might’ve thought (as I sure did), the wristband does not, in fact, measure your pulse by feeling it pound against a sensor. Instead, it uses multi-wavelength measurement through an optical sensor. The sensor includes different wavelengths of light which illuminate your skin in different depths and a photodetector that detects the tiny modulations of light intensity caused by pulsatile flow of blood in the tissue. The combination of sensor design and it’s algorithms selects the optimal signal in different depths of skin to get your heart rate reliably in a wide range of conditions.

In the end, regardless of the sophisticated technology used, PulseOn puts a great deal of emphasis on the design of the wristband, which is a shame. Not because the design is bad but because when training, it’s the effectiveness of the device that should really count. Not that there’s anything wrong about putting some effort into looks while you’re at it.

Tero Mennander, CEO of PulseOn, pretty much sums it up by saying:

“PulseOn is designed for people who exercise in cardio-intensive sports and want to understand the effect that their training has on their body better. It’s small and stylish, and provides accurate continuous heart rate measurements, allowing the users to replace the awkward chest strap that we see so much of. A key driver of our development has been to provide superior comfort and usability to heart rate monitoring”