Epson enters the sport, health and wellbeing sectors with new wearable monitors
Epson sets out European vision to improve people’s health and fitness
Fifty years on from when it revolutionised timing accuracy at the Olympic Games by developing the world’s first printing timer, the company has revealed two new ranges – Runsense, GPS sports monitors, and Pulsense, heart rate and activity monitors – that boast market-leading technology.
A new way of monitoring activity
With Pulsense, Epson has created a new category in the wearable health and wellbeing technology market. While there are a number of products available that measure heart rate and numerous devices that display a user’s activity, Pulsense combines data from a unique Epson developed optical heart rate sensor and accelerometer to accurately measure both, 24 hours a day.
The optical sensor, which measures tiny changes in light reflecting through the skin as blood passes through the vessels, allows the Pulsense devices to measure heart rate accurately tracking calories burned, sleep quality and exercise across five heart rate zones. Users can also use the sleep phase alarm to wake them up at the optimal time and track how their state of mind affects heart rate.
Designed for individuals looking to lose weight for personal health reasons, those who want to improve their body shape and people who simply like to keep track of what’s going on in their bodies, the highly accurate Pulsense devices not only measure heart rate, but recommends daily goals to guide users towards their weight loss target.
Accurate GPS sports monitors with long battery life
For runners, Epson has developed a new, highly accurate, long battery life GPS sports monitor that allows wearers to analyse, manage, compare and share performance data.
To improve accuracy, Epson has developed an intelligent smart stride sensor for Runsense1, which precisely measures stride length and pitch while learning individual running techniques. The power and frequency of body and arm oscillation is analysed and calibrated with GPS distance data using a unique algorithm. If GPS becomes weak during exercise, this technology is used to replace the missing data, delivering accurate pace and distance measurements.
Having been one of the first to bring GPS chips to market, Epson has refined the technology, creating a more energy efficient GPS chip that is 37% smaller than the previous generation, meaning that the Runsense products have up to three times better battery life than comparable competitor products2 The SF-810 also includes Epson’s optical heart rate sensor, freeing users from heart rate chest straps.
Runners can use Epson’s Runsense View portal and download their workouts to monitor, analyse, compare and even share stats to maximise potential. The free Run Connect app can also be used to upload and review data, plus saving and sending settings making customisation very easy. The app also enables AGPS (Assisted GPS) to download GPS satellite data directly to the device for faster initial GPS connection.
Wearable technology is not a new area for Epson. While maintaining its well-known printer and projector businesses, the company has continued to invest in unique wearable products for some time – the company was one of the first to develop smart glasses, when it unveiled Moverio in 2011. However, this is its first venture into the sport, health and wellness devices arena.
Mark Reynolds, consumer director at Epson UK, explained the move: “Wearables has been one of the hot topics of the consumer electronics industry for some time and consumers are increasingly demanding products that they can wear to enhance their everyday lives. It is important that Epson innovates and moves with these exciting times. Devices that monitor a person’s activity are growing in popularity and we see great future potential in this market that is predicted to be over worth $100m in EMEA this year.
“Since we first began developing optical heart rate sensing products in Japan, we have been able to refine and minimise the technology to create a range of products that can outperform and offer more benefits than those currently on the market. Through our rich manufacturing heritage, we have developed a truly unique proposition that will contribute to the long-term success of Epson,” added Clark.
Epson’s Pulsense will be launched with the PS-100 and PS-500, while Runsense will include four products – the SF-310, SF-510, SF-710 and SF-810. Both ranges will be available in the UK, France and Germany from September 2014.
1 Available on Runsense SF-510, SF-710 and SF-810 models
2 Compared to Garmin and TomTom devices checked on 1/7/2014