This year is shaping up to be a good one for health-related gadgets, thanks to the new Bluetooth 4.0 specification and profiles. The $79 Wahoo Blue HR is among the first of these devices to take advantage of this low-powered wireless capability, and I took it for a 5-mile test run. There’s no need to charge the heart-rate monitor because it runs on a fairly standard watch battery that should last for at least a year.
It’s great to see my heart-rate data after a run, but even more important to see it during a training session. The Wahoo Blue HR works with a number of apps, including a free native app. For now, you can only use this monitor with the iPhone 4S because most handsets aren’t yet using Bluetooth 4.0. That should change during 2012, however. And I foresee uses other than exercise tracking for these types of gadgets. Imagine doctors that can remotely monitor the pulse of their patients after a procedure or upon starting a new medication.
For now I’ll just be using the Wahoo Blue HR during my road race and track-and-field training. At least until I get older and out of shape, that is; at that point, I’ll hope my doctor actually can monitor my health from afar!