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New SMS Audio Biosport heart rate monitoring earphones

New SMS Audio Biosport heart rate monitoring earphones

by Salil Tembe2014/09/04
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A lot of major consumer electronics based companies are starting to realize how big the fitness niche is as more and more products are being made that couple the fitness and entertainment market. Infrared heart rate monitors which are compact and accurate have been available since the 90s but they were limited to clinical use. With the entire electronics industry moving in the direction of ultra compact semiconductor designs, the biomedical industry is no exception. A lot of medical sensors which were quite big in today’s standards are now so compact that they can be integrated into our portable computing devices like smart watches. LG has already taken it further by implementing a very accurate heart rate monitor into it’s earphones and now SMS audio has also followed in the same direction.

SMS audio and Intel partnered together with an intention to produce devices for the wearable gadgets segment. Intel is quite serious about the wearables industry just like most of the other companies like Sony, Apple and Samsung. The SMS audio heart rate monitor earphones are designed in a unique way to feel comfortable for your ears. According to the feature sheet, the design allows better noise isolation allowing clear sounds to hit your ear drums. Back at the CES 2014 event, Intel displayed some amazing earphones which generated tones based on your heart rate data. They have now joined hands with SMS to combine the expertise of both the companies to produce something interesting. The ear pieces are built to be water-proof and sweat resistant as they are intended to be used during intense workouts. SMS audio is known for making water resistant, sweat resistant earphones. They have somehow mastered the technique to keep your headphones dry and have them smell good for long time. The STREET by 50 is one example of this.

These earphones are not wireless. They connect to your phone’s 3.5 mm audio jack and that also seems to power the heart rate sensor in the ear piece. The data is continuously logged in your smartphone. What good is the heart rate functionality if you do not have the application on your phone. LG provides a great feature filled application for their headphones, but it has its own problems. Popular app RunKeeper is specifically built for the fitness freaks. It can let you track how much you ran and even plan your workouts. The app is almost bug free and Intel plans to add support for their heart rate monitor headphones by collaborating with the RunKeeper developers.

Unlike the LG’s heart rate earphones which require charging, the SMS audio earphones do not need to be charged. The LG headphones had a weird looking box hanging down the wires which contained the battery and the wireless circuitry. The SMS audio does not need any kind of battery and nor is there any kind of hanging equipment. The earphones have the usual inline microphone as well. Intel and SMS have planned to make a wireless version available but there is no news on that yet. As of now, the pricing of this device is expected to be £110 and would be released in the Q4 this year.

The price of wearable devices is quite high at this point in time, but as more and more companies get involved in this, we can see the price sliding down.



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About The Author
Salil Tembe
Salil is an electronics engineer who has a passion for expressing his love for technology through writing. He firmly stands for open sourcing everything that makes our lives better.
  • Glenn
    2014/12/14 at 6:44 pm

    Are you certain Intel was the SMS partner for these headphones? I believe the company behind the monitoring technology is Valencell. Check out the technology and their partners in the products page at valencell.com

    • 2014/12/14 at 7:47 pm

      They are probably both partners, Valencell is a partner with intel and smsaudio so they must provide certain components. Apple iphones which are made out of multiple parts of existing technology probably have many partnerships which are not publicized, as with this case.

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