Apple Watch Tested Against Stand-Alone Heart Rate Monitor

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The Apple Watch has regularly been cited as an ideal tool for boosting personal health and fitness. The device includes a wealth of features to meet this end, including the Activity app which records both activity and how many calories that the activity has burned – but it is the device’s sensor capable of measuring heart rate which has come under particular focus more recently.

To be more exact, engineer Brad Larson has compared the performance of the Apple Watch sensor to that of a stand-alone Mio Alpha heart rate monitor – and was “impressed” to find the two separate readings to be “nearly identical”. These findings certainly lend greater credibility to Apple’s claims that the watch’s health and fitness features can help wearers to ”live a better day”.

Larson, who runs the one-man software company Sunset Lake Software in Wisconsin, used his Twitter page to explain to thousands of followers that he had “extracted the raw Apple Watch HealthKit heartrate samples after a run and compared it to an HR monitor I had on”. He enthused that the readings were almost the same “aside from the Apple Watch capturing heartrate once per 5 s, and the Mio Alpha every 3 s”. He even produced a chart, pictured here on the Apple news website iClarified, demonstrating his findings.

Though Larson mentions running, the Apple Watch’s heart rate sensor could come in useful for helping to keep accurate track of calorie burning during many different types of exercise, from jumping on a trampoline to playing football, tennis or basketball. The sensor can, during workouts, display the heart rate on-screen – and this heart rate can be checked at any time through a feature called Heart Rate Glance. The sensor’s abilities and Larson’s findings suggest that the Apple Watch could become a fundamental tool for fitness buffs in years to come.

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Everything Apple, every day. This post was written by an AppleMagazine newsroom writer.