We had the opportunity to get our hands on a ZoomHRV 2.0 by LifeTrak, retailing at $139. This impressive fitness wearable is capable of continuous activity and heart rate monitoring even under water. It is unequivocally designed for the multi-sport athlete obsessed with data about their health and fitness.
When asked about the underlying technology behind Zoom, LifeTrak says, “…[it] is both a unique and proprietary sensor, developed by LifeTrak’s parent Salutron Inc.” While the Zoom’s optical sensor utilizes the principles of photoplethysmography (referred to as PPG technology), it is significantly different than other PPG-based sensors found in various existing wearables.
The most noticeable difference is the use of four separate optical sensors vs. the typical single sensor approach. This gives Zoom an advantage of a broader ‘sensor area’ when interfacing with the skin and the underlying capillaries, allowing for more in-depth signal analysis for both heart rate and heart rate variability.
As well, the Zoom uses a single LED as a light emitter vs. multiple LEDs often used, which supports an extended battery life of five days during normal usage of one hour of active workout per day with heart rate readings every 10 minutes over the entire day.
LifeTrak has not published data on the accuracy of the system, however, we know that PPG is widely used across the industry with acceptable accuracy for its use case. It does seem that the implementation of this sensor set has been perfected by LifeTrak, allowing it to be used on different parts of the body and under water, which are use cases that many cannot promise.