PulseOn, founded in 2012, has grown from a group of engineers and experts with Nokia backgrounds into an innovative technology company of its own, having created its proprietary sensor solution and algorithms for measuring heart rate accurately and reliably without the need for a chest strap. CEO Tero Mennander recaps that the initial idea got its start within Nokia, to be blown into full fruition after PulseOn was founded:
"When we left Nokia, we started to design measurement products suitable for sports. Eventually, we realised that the accurate optical heart rate measurement allows for more than just sports performance measurement, such as stress measurement and recovery and sleep effect", tells Mennander.
Wrist device measures performance, application helps to develop
PulseOn's small and lightweight wrist devices are particularly applauded for their simple Scandinavian design language. The competitive advantage more important than design can however be found under the surface, in the sophisticated technology. Mennander says that PulseOn's proprietary technology is based on sensors using optics and light sources at multiple wavelenghts, which can measure heart rate by looking at a person's blood flow at different depths of the skin. The sensor technology has been developed as a part of the Tekes BioIT programme.
"Optical heart rate measurement enables comfortable and unobtrusive measurement from the wrist. The traditional chest strap-based heart rate monitor requires, for example, a moist skin to work, where as PulseOn can be comfortably used at any exercise activity and even beyond. Our accuracy is based on the patented sensor solution that has been optimised for accuracy and reliability. We developed this aspect of the sensor and algorithm in the Tekes BioIT programme. The final product originated from the programme was the technology that verifiably extracts the best signal", states Mennander.
The algorithms to secure the reliability and accuracy of the measurement are an integral part of PulseOn's product package. Mennander says that the level of accuracy of PulseOn is similar to that of the traditional chest strap-based heart rate monitors. The measurement results are also transmitted from the wrist device to a mobile device where a user can monitor their progress and gain meaningful training feedback from the installed application.
"The data from the wrist device is automatically transmitted via Bluetooth to the app where you can see the statistics and get relevant information about your own performance. During training, you can also check the wrist device, which can help to improve the performance and motivate", says Mennander.
Growing markets expand the company's goals
The world is currently experiencing a boom of the different types of body measurement devices. According to Mennander, the trend will intensify, and he believes the sporting goods market to grow strongly in the coming years. Since the markets are global, PulseOn is also playing in the international arena.
"At the moment, we strongly focus on Europe and the United States, and we have also opened a subsidiary in Switzerland. As the market is expected to grow even more strongly, the goal is to get a significant market share for PulseOn and to increase the distance between competitors through further development of our technology", says Mennander.
Tero Mennander, CEO
Tel. +358 50 487 3731
tero.mennander (at) pulseon.com
Text: SST Viestintä