Discovery News: A HEART RATE MONITOR HEARD IN THE POOL

Analysis by Scott Tharler
Tue Jul 12, 2011 02:30 PM ET
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AquaPulse final

Finis AquaPulse Heart Rate Monitor: $149.99

What’s the opposite of a ‘fish out of water’…a cat in water? Anyway, that’s what heart rate monitors meant for dryland (using a watch or chest strap) are like when you throw them in the pool. AquaPulse, by California swim products specialist Finis, secures to your goggle strap and softly clips to your ear. As you swim, an infrared sensor detects your heart beat via capillary activity in your earlobe. AquaPulse then audibly reports your heart rate using bone conduction, the same technology used by noise-canceling headphones.

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Thus you aren’t stuck messing with earbuds or fussing with electrodes as you swim. AquaPulse user and seven-time Olympic Medalist Jason Lezak says, “As an elite swimmer, the more I know about my body, the better I can train.” But even if you’re not swimming competitively, you can still benefit from swimming at your target heart rate. You can configure AquaPulse to automatically report your current heart rate in regular increments from ten seconds to five minutes. More than adequate for most recreational swimmers, its USB-rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery lasts from five to eight hours.

Credit: Tyler Cuddy

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