March 6, 2008 It is inevitable that one day our mobile phones will monitor the body’s key functions - ubiquitous usage of such a device moved closer this week when Samsung and Adidas announced the miCoach mobile phone. The miCoach comes with a stride sensor (pedometer) and heart rate monitor, enabling the phone’s software to monitor your workouts and advise/push you with a voice-simulating personal coach. Despite concepts from Nokia and Microsoft, and add ons from Kiwok and Alivetech , the miCoach is the first phone with heart rate functionality, so it is a milestone.
When we saw it, we checked back through the files and realized that it’s the first phone to include heart rate monitoring, so in many ways, it’s a landmark phone, though there’s also no doubt the idea was catalyzed by the iPod/Nike collaboration, which will invariably become an iPhone/Nike relationship very soon. The Apple/Nike partnership announced new extensions this week including the ability to plug an iPod into gym equipment to track specific training and when the iPhone and its Software Developers Kit becomes a little more readily available, we expect the same functionality plus lots more.
Whilst the miCoach is the first phone to carry a heart rate sensor – functionality that will eventually become standard on all phones. Just the same, there’s been a lot of investigation in the area in recent years, most notably using GPS as the platform.
In the mobile phone area, we’ve seen several notable concepts which use a heart rate monitor and a mobile phone from Microsoft and Nokia in the form of their MPTrain (TripleBeat) and EcoSensor concepts respectively.
The miCoach is a slider cell phone with a 2 inch display, 2 megapixel camera and 1GB of internal flash memory. It measures 101.5mm x 45mm x 14.5mm (3.9" x 1.8" x .6") and offers quad-band GSM (850/900/1800/1900MHz) as well as Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP support for stereo headsets and an MP3 player.
The miCoach comes in seven colors: Dark Gray, Tech Silver, Pink Red, Cool Gray, Sapphire Blue, Misty Blue, and Sweet Pink.
Samsung has created a dedicated website where users can plan their fitness regime, log their results and track their progress.
There will also be two packages available for the SGH-F110 – one with phone, armband, stride sensor and HRM, and another including phone and armband only. The packages will be available in Europe later this month (U.S. not until 2009) costing between US$304 and US$608, depending on the service plan users select.
There are obviously a few leaks inside the Adidas camp, as the phone, its specific functionality and indeed, the correct model designation (SGH-F110) were forecast accurately eight months ago by German site Areamobile.