Review: Tinke iPhone Health and Fitness Monitor, Cool Things Come In Small Packages

by nessel on March 1, 2013

Tinke Heart Rate Monitor for iPhone

If ever there was proof that size doesn’t matter, it would be the Tinké by Zensorium.  Tinké is an insanely small health monitor that you plug into the bottom of your iPhone.   Place your thumb on the Tinke and by using optical scanning technology you can learn your heart rate, respiratory rate, blood oxygen levels and even determine if you are calm or stressed.  Normally I determine my stress levels by how loudly I am cursing out my computer for failing to save before crashing, but I guess Tinke’s ability to determine stress by analyzing heart rate variability  (HRV) is the more accurate way to go.

I know what you are thinking, this all sounds very complicated and probably involves wearing numerous monitors, but with Tinke that is not the case.

Let’s Look At Our Video Review of The Tinke by Zensorium -

Tinke Packs More Features Per Square Inch Than Any Other Gadget

Fine, I have not done the full research to know if that heading is actually true, but how could it not be?  The Tinke measures just under 1 square inch and packs all these features…

  • Technology: Using optical sensing technologies, Tinké captures blood volume changes and quantifies your cardio-respiratory fitness and stress levels.  Accurately measures heart rate, respiratory rate, blood oxygen levels and heart rate variability (HRV)
  • Vita Index:  A personalized cardiorespiratory score that is created by piecing data collected from heart rate, blood oxygen level and respiratory rate
  • Zen Index: Using heart rate variability as a basis, a personalized score for your stress levels is determined from analyzing the rhythm of your heart rate
  • Mobile Powered: Directly powered by your iOS devices, never needs to be charged. Tinké also works with the iPhone 5 using Apple’s Lightning to 30 pin adaptor
  • Social Network: Share your health status on Facebook, Add family and friends to your Tinké network and Compare your scores with other Tinké users globally
  • Unique Design: Innovative, simple and modern design that is small and compact (42mm x 32mm x 7mm). Available in blue, pink, grey and white
  • Tinké App and Compatibility: Available as a free download on the iTunes App Store and made to work with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch

The Tinke Has Impressive Hardware, But The Software Makes It Shine

There is no question the Tinke is packed with some impressive hardware, but it is the Tinke App that really impressed us.  There are endless health and fitness gadgets that can capture endless data.  In fact, there are apps that have you place your thumb over the iPhone camera, to capture your heart rate, much like the Tinke.  What really sets the Tinke apart from the competition is the way they take a great deal of health information and present it in a simple to understand interface.

The Vita Score is an indicator of your general health.  Using a formula that takes into account your heart rate, respiratory rate and blood oxygen levels, the Tinke comes up with an easy to understand Vita score.  Look at your history of scores, is your Vita score moving up?  Good news.  Compare your Vita score to the rest of the world (shows this right in the app) and take thrill in being healthier than your fellow humans.  Have a super impressive Vita score?  Shout it out, share with friends – get social with your health, it is all built right into the app.

The Vita score is fine for checking your health, but if you want to improve your health, you need to go with the Zen Score.  When you take a Zen measurement you do breathing exercises, which the app clearly walks you through and then get a Zen score.  The Zen score is based on a measure of your heart rate variability and gives you an indication of your stress levels.  We loved doing the Zen test and trying to improve our score, it was like a 60 second meditation break you could do at any time.   We also became addicted to looking at our history and trying to increase our numbers and get a high score – which translates into less stress, something any parent would love!

Issues With the Tinke In Our Hands-On Thumbs-On Testing

We have now used the Tinke for a few weeks and have had very few problems.  The Tinke can be a little finicky when it comes to bright lights.  The Tinke works best in a slightly dark room, if you try to get a reading under bright lights, you can get errors.  The manual explains that you should cover your thumb with your other hand when testing under bright lights.  The good news is, it is very easy to do a retest, so when we did have problems we just moved to a darker location and did a retest.

Ideally, it would be great if they had a Tinké that directly fit on the iPhone 5.  We had to use the lightning adapter that Apple makes ($30 retail) to use the Tinke with our iPhone 5.  Due to the fact that you then have two devices attached to the bottom of your phone, it can lead to some connection issues.  Again, we were able to retest when we had problems, but it would be great if they made an iPhone 5 version of the Tinké.

You Need To Check Out The Tinke Website, No Really, You Need To See It…

Here is how this normally goes.  At the end of the article we have a More Information section with a link to the manufacturer of the gadget we just reviewed.  If you are thinking about buying the gadget, you may visit the site, blah, blah, blah.   At the end of this article, you will see the Zensorium Tinke link, but here is the thing, even if you have no interest in buying the Tinke, you need to check out the design of their site!

Fine, here is the link to their site, go there right now.  You need to do it from a computer, the mobile experience is not the same. Start at the top and just scroll vertically down.  You still here?  Go check it out, we will wait for you to come back…

Back now?  Come on, have you ever seen such a clever vertical scroll design?  Really very impressive, they clearly have a sharp design team.

Conclusion: The Tinke Succeeds In Turning Your Health Into a Video Game, And That Is a Good Thing!

Angry Birds has now been downloaded over 1 BILLION times.  Clearly, people love playing games with their iPhone. Unfortunately, people don’t love checking their heart rate and health vitals all the time, at least in part because it is boring and dull!  The Tinke combines easy to use hardware with an excellent app that turns checking your health into a game.  You have all the elements that make an iPhone game popular – easy to understand scoring, social sharing of scores, high score boards,  comparison to other users and badges and achievements.

Play a ton of Angry Birds and get a high score and what do you really have to show for it?  ”Play” with the Tinke and get high scores and you may just live a longer and healthier life!  If you are looking for an elegant, fun and social health and fitness gadget for your iPhone, you will be thrilled with the Zensorium Tinké.

More Information:

The Zensorium Tinke Sells for $119 and comes in four colors.

Zensorium Tinke

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