Update – Bloomberg has now published a report that matches our original tip.
We have received a tip that indicates Peloton is in advanced stages of testing a new heart rate monitor – possibly called the “Peloton Heart Rate Band”. It’s not clear if this is the final name or not – but is how we’ll continue to refer to it. It might even include some special features for Peloton’s new Strive Score.
This new Peloton Heart Rate band would be worn on your arm or forearm (higher than your wrist), similar to the very popular Scosche Rhythm+ 2.0 heart rate monitor [affiliate link], which actually just released a new 2.0 version of their heart rate strap. The Peloton Heart Rate band will require charging (rather than periodic replacement of a small battery cell) – the exact amount of usage time between charges isn’t known yet.
The Peloton Bike & Tread (as well as Bike+ and Tread+) have the ability to connect to both Ant+ and Bluetooth heart rate monitors. While initial reports indicate that the Peloton Heart Rate Band will use Bluetooth, it isn’t clear if it would also have Ant+ (and this is still subject to change). Most third party heart rate monitors (like the Scosche above) are moving to including both Bluetooth and Ant+ to ensure wider compatibility between all fitness devices.
One interesting feature that we can’t confirm yet, but have heard rumored, is that the heart rate zones (and therefore the newly announced Strive Score) could be integrated into the heart rate band. If you haven’t used Strive score yet, the short version is that each of your five heart rate zones gives you a certain number of points for how many minutes you spend in that zone, and each zone is associated with a specific color.
Which brings us back to the rumored Peloton Heart Rate band. We’re hearing that the band might include a small LED display. This display, when paired with Peloton equipment, could in real time show your current heart rate zone color on the band itself. I.e. when your heart rate is currently in Zone 3, the band would show a yellow LED as a visual indicator of what zone you were currently in.
As Bob Treemore previously reported, earlier this year Peloton was looking to hire contract designers with experience in low-resolution displays. This contract work could in theory be for the display on the Peloton Heart Rate band.
It’s likely the logic mentioned above for visual indicators would live on the heart rate band itself. This means that it might technically be possible to use the Peloton Heart Rate band on an outdoor run, and be able to simply glance at your band and tell what heart rate zone you are in by seeing what color the LED is. In theory this functionality would work with other workouts not using the Peloton app or hardware – but that ends up being a business question of whether Peloton wants to open up that capability.
Peloton describes Strive Score as an “easy way to compare your performance across workouts, including those that don’t have power-based output from a connected device, like strength, HIIT and bootcamp classes.” If Peloton were to build out a robust workout tracking portal for users – it might then be useful for every workout members take to show up there. The Peloton Heart Rate band could then provide a standardized way for members to get some data into the workout portal – even if the workouts were not done on the Peloton platform at all.
This is not Peloton’s first attempt at a heart rate monitor. Several of the packages you can buy with the Peloton Bike or Tread include a chest-strap heart rate monitor. However, it’s widely accepted that it’s not the most reliable, or accurate product, and many people quickly find themselves upgrading to other alternatives (like the Scosche Rhythm+ mentioned at the beginning of the article).
It was just this week that we reported Peloton had filed for new trademarks for a Peloton wearable. These trademarks covered “personal electronic devices used to track fitness goals and statistics; wearable activity trackers”
At this point, it doesn’t sound like the Peloton Heart Rate Band would be a full fledged watch or wearable, rather an advanced heart rate monitor – even though Peloton has been building up expertise to allow them to build a more advanced product eventually. For example, the Atlas Multi-Trainer Watch, developed by Atlas Wearables who Peloton acquired at the end of last year, had technology to “calibrates your form”, as well as “individual personalization, exercise detection, and repetition counting”. Peloton also recently acquired Latitude 32 engineering, who helped build earlier versions of the Fitbit, along with other consumer electronic product.
Members who are hoping for a full Peloton Watch, or Peloton wearable, will likely have to wait a bit longer for a product like that. The acquisitions above are still fairly new, so it seems it would take more time for a product like that to come to market, if it does.
Pricing and release date for the Peloton Heart Rate band isn’t known at this time – but we’ll be sure to provide an update, either here or on our social media channels, when it is known. The big question Peloton will have to prove about the new Peloton Heart Rate band is how accurate is it? And how reliable?
Peloton appears to have been gathering information & research for a new heart rate monitor for a while. As we’ve previously reported, Peloton occasionally sends out research surveys to members about various topics: previous surveys have included ones for the pause button, as well as boxing classes. We received reports in 2020 that some members were being surveyed on their thoughts about heart rate monitors – it is likely the responses members provided help shape the design and functionality of this new Peloton Heart Rate band.
The Peloton Heart Rate band isn’t the only new product that Peloton is rumored to have in development. A few weeks ago a report indicated Peloton was testing a product code-named Tiger that would analyze & provide feedback on form during workouts. And Peloton is still rumored to be developing the Peloton rower as well.