I am a Dad who likes gadgets and likes to run. You would think I would be the perfect candidate for the plethora of fitness gadgets that were on display at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2012). The problem is, many of the fitness gadgets we saw at CES 2012 were overly complicated and required that you strapped various monitors all over your body and look like a cyborg…granted a jogging cyborg at least.
The myTREK Wireless Pulse Monitor ($99) by Scosche promises to reduce the wires, discomfort and complications that often accompanies fitness gadgets. The concept is very simple – strap the myTrek to your forearm and via bluetooth it sends heart rate data to an app on your iPhone. The pulse monitor, combined with the myTrek app, provides feedback on heart rate, calories burned distance traveled and speed.
Let’s take a quick look at our video review of the myTrek Pulse Monitor -
Why Do You Even Need To Monitor Your Heart Rate?
I used to think the idea of a heart rate monitor was just to let you know if you were about to drop dead from a heart attack. I was all into knowing my top speed and distance – but really, why wear a very uncomfortable heart rate monitor strap just to learn if I was about to pass out?
After doing some research and talking to some personal trainers, I learned that training by heart rate zones was probably the most helpful way to better your workout. To simplify greatly, the idea is that depending on what you are looking to do – burn calories, build endurance, build muscles – you want to train in different heart rate zones. By having a heart rate monitor like the myTREK telling you when you hit different zones, you can have a very efficient and effective workout. Oh, and if you do start getting into heart attack zone, the myTREK can warn you to take it down a notch.
The myTREK Wireless Pulse Monitor, Keeping It Simple and Useful
The myTREK Wireless Pulse Monitor by Scosche is our favorite type of gadget – one that uses sophisticated technology to make your life easier, but hides it all in a super simple, not over designed, package. Sometimes it feels like tech companies fall in love with technology and forget to make products that are effective and easy to use. Luckily Scosche did NOT fall into this trap with the myTREK.
I am sure there is some sophisticated technology involved in passing light through your skin to measure your heart rate and then sending it to your iPhone, but all that matters to me is that I no longer need to wear an uncomfortable chest strap heart rate monitor. The myTREK, with just three buttons and two lights manages to provide all the feedback you really need. In our testing, the monitor could go about 5 hours of continuous use before needing to be recharged. To recharge the unit you just connect it to any USB jack.
This image shows how they very efficiently provide feedback with just two lights –
The myTREK App Brings Everything Together
While blinking red and green lights are nice and do remind me of Christmas, in truth I never really looked at the lights when testing the unit. By using the myTREK pulse monitor with the myTREK app, you get all the information you could ever want right on your iPhone. Track your heart rate, distance traveled, calories burned and all the other standard health data right in the easy to use myTREK app.
Of course, there is no need to look at your myTREK or your iPhone, you can just listen to the friendly voice that pops into your head. You can configure the app to give voice prompts as you move between heart rate zones. It can be a little freaky at first to have a voice interrupt your tunes and chime in about your heart rate, but you get used to it quickly. Don’t like voices in your head? You can turn off the voice prompts. Still have voices in your head? You might want to seek professional help.
Digifit, the App That Takes Things To The Next Level
If you want a little more fitness power than the free myTREK app can give you, I strongly recommend you shell out the $1.99 for the Digifit app. This app works with the myTREK sensor in addition to just about every other type of sensor on the market. The Digifit app tracks everything you could ever want when it comes to health and fitness and provides a whole array of features. At some point we may do a full review of the Digifit app, but for now just take our word for it – it works great with the myTREK pulse monitor.
Conclusion: Scosche myTREK Represents The Evolution of Heart Rate Monitors
I am still not sure how the myTREK pulls off its magic of reading your heart rate from your forearm, but I know it works. I manually took my pulse at various times and compared it to the myTREK readings and they were always dead on. Is the myTREK the most exciting gadget in the world? No. Does the myTREK provide a more comfortable way to track your heart rate and maximize your workout? It absolutely does.
Visit Scosche for More Information on the myTREK
Purchase the myTREK on Amazon.Com for $99
Watch our Video Review of the Scosche myTREK