An Australian sports physiologist has created world first earphones that measure your heart-rate when you work out.

The breakthrough device, BioConnected HR+, can detect minute heart-rate changes that can spur performance or act as a warning to people exercising for health reasons.

A purpose built high performance IOS app has been developed as part of the package to store, analyse and report data on the run.

The HR+ earphones can also be used with current running apps including Strava and Map My Run.

The main market is expected to be “weekend warriors” and corporate athletes who take their exercise seriously and value the broad range of information available to them – including speed, pace, distance, energy expenditure, cadence and heart rate biometrics along with top quality audio delivery.

Dr. Sven Rees and a small team of scientists, engineers and designers have taken three years to devise the HR+ wearable and to bring it to market through a start-up company, BioConnected.

BioConnected is based at Sydney Olympic Park and is supported by the government backed Sydney Sports Incubator.

“Seventy-five percent of people exercise listening to music and audio streaming or are connected to their telephone through headphones,” Dr. Rees said.

“Music in particular provides great motivation.

“HR+ has refined all audio features expected by exercisers and inserted real-time monitoring which can give the athlete instantaneous voice feedback.

“It’s like having a running coach in your ear.”

The huge advantage of the new device is its sensitivity to an athlete’s physiology.

Heart-rate variability monitoring through the ears via wireless exercise earphones is a world first and is expected to bring increased accuracy to training and performance assessment.

It will be invaluable in sports-medicine to inform health professionals of the exact reaction of clients to prescribed exercise programs.

Recreational athletes will benefit from data which will guide their individual programs.

The HR+ protocol can help keep athletes in the zone they need to achieve specific goals, whether it is improving the user’s training threshold, improving efficiency or fat burning.

Dr. Rees has extensive experience in sport science and exercise physiology.

He has worked at the Sydney Academy of Sport and the NSW Institute of Sport as well as with elite athletes and sports teams.

“An all-in-one training solution incorporating bio-sensing earpieces is a ground-breaking innovation,” Dr. Rees said.

“The earphones are intended to provide better response and greater comfort than those which are attached as a strap to the chest or worn as a wrist band.”

On-exercise feedback through the ear pieces can be customised to provide information ranging from virtually running commentary through to specific distance or time way points, with indication of plus or minus pace targets.

Instant voice feedback is available by pressing the centre button, so users are always aware of their progress.

Every aspect of the in-ear solution has been refined to provide users with a best-in-class experience.

The BioConnected HR+ weighs just 17 grams – lighter than any other comparable unit on the market and it provides nine different combinations of custom ear gel and shark-fin stabilisers, to ensure a comfortable and secure fit.

Battery life is greater than seven hours.

Acoustic engineers have achieved a sound quality claimed to be class leading, with a unique BioConnected acoustic profile, through use of large 8.6mm audio driver, to deliver a superior bass response.

“If you were using HR+ simply as a set of audio headphones without any of the sports-related data collection and feedback, it would still be at the top end of those that are available,” Dr. Rees said.

BioConnected HR+ will be available at www.bioconnected.com and through selected sports stores, with a recommended retail price of $299.

Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.