Polar Electro – one of the oldest players in the heart rate tracking game – has announced that it is unshackling its fitness tech from its own hardware, allowing other manufacturers to offer Polar’s access to fitness data.

Polar has long provided heart rate tracking, from sensors to complete watches, but under the Powered by Polar programme, you won’t have to have Polar’s hardware to access their fitness algorithms.

The aim is to allow access to Polar’s enhanced solutions, so other brands can take advantage of the research and development into fitness and health that Polar has garnered over the years.

The first to take advantage of this is the new Casio G-Shock model. the G-Squad GBD-H2000 will be powered by Polar, so you can access Polar’s training and recovery features through Casio’s device. Flipped on its head, it means you can wear a G-Shock watch, but know that the fitness data it returns is based on Polar’s established science – which should be peace of mind to users.

The program will mean there’s a range of solutions for other manufacturers to tap into, as well as working closer with Polar devices and technology. Polar holds 450 patents in fitness, from nearly 50 years of research, so it’s a great resource to tap into.

“We have seen a growing global interest from people wanting to better understand their own health and bodies for years now,” said Takashi Uema, head of the global marketing and planning division at Casio. “We are thrilled to partner with a forerunner like Polar to empower millions of Casio users around the world with health data that is science-based and truly personalized.”

The Powered by Polar solution will offer access to 25 algorithms, covering sleep, training, wellness, activity, performance and recovery. That will mean that when a wearable manufacturer wants to offer any of those sorts of functions, they won’t have to worry about coming up with the solution themselves, they can turn to Polar.

That’s going to be boon for newcomers to the industry, or any manufacturer who wants to move to offer digital functions. For example, a traditional watchmaker might decide to include wellness hardware, with Polar taking care of the technical side of things, so the customer knows there’s experience driving the metrics.

Exactly how this new licensing enterprise will develop remains to be seen – but it might mean that the next Polar sports watch isn’t made by Polar at all.


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