[Cyborg] hacking polar

Eric Boyd mrericboyd at yahoo.com
Thu Oct 21 16:57:09 UTC 2010


That sounds interesting.  Currently I don't hack Polar, I just use a 
receiver that sparkfun sells:


But that little sucker costs $15, which is the vast majority of the cost 
of the whole project (assuming you already have a polar chest strap and 
transmitter - those things are expensive too!).  I also only get a 
square-wave signal once per heart beat - no deeper data (despite the 
fact that I know these things do EKG).  It'd be super awesome to 
roll-my-own receiver.  At the very least it'd be interesting if they 
transmitted some kind of "confidence" measure that could help me rule 
out the false-positives (and maybe catch some of the missing beats too).

Do you have any links for hacking these things?

Also, anyone know what the relative market penetration of these products 
is?  I know Polar has a pretty big presence[1] but I don't know if that 
means 25% or 75% or what.  I also have no idea on percentage of the 
population that might already own one, is it <1%?, 1%, 10%?


[1] I tried the classic google trick:
"polar heart rate monitor" = 679,000 results
"garmin heart rate monitor" = 417,000 results
"timex heart rate monitor" = 256,000 results
"suunto heart rate monitor" = 219,000 results
"heart rate monitor = 1,370,000 results

On 10/21/10 3:36 AM, Dave Asprey wrote:
> Word has it that hacking Suunto or Garmin is much easier than hacking Polar...something about the Polar signal needing to be unobfuscated while the Suunto is cleaner.
> Thanks,
> Dave
> www.linkedin.com/in/asprey
> 650.980.5040
> "The goal of life is not to possess power, but to radiate it." - Henry Miller
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