Are you an exercise nut? Do you long for specific information that will help you reach aggressive fitness goals? If so, you’ve probably got a lot in common with the team at Spree Sports. Frustrated by unreliable wrist tracking devices and chest heart monitors that constrict breathing during workouts, the team set out to create the planet’s most intelligent fitness monitor. This week they unveiled the fruits of their labor in Las Vegas for the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The product is a headband that, for the first time ever, combines 3 vital sensors (motion, heart rate and body temperature) in one single, easy-to-use device.
According to Spree, the headband is designed for men or women who engage in physical activity and are interested in receiving real-time feedback that will help them build strength, burn calories, and/or increase endurance.
The team went with a flexible silicon rubber headband because the forehead–not the chest–is the most accurate place to reliably measure body temperature. Additionally, the unique lattice pattern imprinted into the rubber can help channel sweat away from your eyes. Still, if you’re not a fan of the headband style, it’s easy to customize. “Spree is actually just a small module that snaps into the headband, so it can also be integrated into other wearable devices. Spree can also be worn as an arm-band, or for tracking motion, can just be put in your pocket,” explain the designers.
And what about accuracy? Unlike other devices, which use step count or heart rate to guesstimate caloric burn, Spree combines data about your heart rate and motion, as well as age, weight, sex, height, and other personal metrics to understand how many calories you’re using during a workout. “We have the nuance of also understanding your body skin temperature to help us understand more accurately the level of heat being developed by the body (muscles) which also increases accuracy,” state the designers.
The technology is no less sophisticated when it comes to heart rate. Spree contains a plethysmograph, which is able to track changes in blood vessel size by shining a tiny light through the skin and reading the reflection with a light sensor.
And, as we’ve come to expect, all the information gathered is fed wirelessly to an app on your smartphone. Since you can view an analysis of your progress in real time, fitness goals become much clearer and more tangible.