Running a marathon a few years ago, a shirtless man wearing a heart-rate monitor strapped around his chest passed me, wincing. The hear-rate monitor had cut into his skin and he was bleeding like a Tarantino film as he crossed the finish line. The proposed Heart-Rate Monitor ring, Pulse, by ElectricFoxy could do away with such medieval solutions to this basic need.
Still in the developmental stages, the design and smartphone integration possibilities are intriguing. The ring comes in two color options - Black or White - with a small light that shifts colors based on your heart-rate needs: White for your target zone, Blue for when you are below that zone, and Red when you’ve exceeded the target zone. How well the lighting works on a bright day remains to be seen, but dusk/dawn and night performance would have significant advantages.
The design uses open-source tech from Pulse Sensor - developed by two Parsons School of Design Instructors. While the Pulse Sensor makes for some interesting stationary uses, it would be far too cumbersome in more active situations.
Thus, ElectricFoxy’s ring has the potential to move the heart-rate monitor beyond the sport bands already on the market by the likes of Nike. It is good to see a company putting their prototype through the real-world gauntlet, looking for clear fails and solutions the way Electricfoxy is. And if it can survive the athletic abuse, then the Pulse will surely makes its way throughout the medical field - a stylish and subtle way to monitor irregular heartbeats, out-patient treatments, post-op rehab, and more.