NO 24-hour heart rate monitoring on the Band

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pj737

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Either Microsoft completely dropped the ball or I'm an *****. After spending a good chunk of time with the Band, I can't seem to find any setting which allows for 24-hour heart rate monitoring. When I press the large button on the Band, it will start "acquiring" my heart rate... then eventually after 10-20 seconds it will "lock" my heart rate. But then inexplicably after a few seconds, the heart rate monitoring stops. I have to press the button again to have it acquire, lock and then just shut off again and again. Anyone have any idea how to get this to monitor my heart rate 24-7? That was the ONLY reason I bought this health tracker. And Microsoft specifically states in all their ads that this device provides "24-hour heart rate monitoring". Was I bamboozled?
 

garyhartaz

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It is actually tracking your heart rate but you won't see the results until the next day or if you have already tracked it with a workout or sleep. The acquiring display is for the screen itself to show you the real-time display rather than it being recorded. Remain calm :)
 

pj737

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It is actually tracking your heart rate but you won't see the results until the next day or if you have already tracked it with a workout or sleep. The acquiring display is for the screen itself to show you the real-time display rather than it being recorded. Remain calm :)

No it is not tracking my heart rate all of the time. You know simply by looking at the optical sensor - when the green LED is off, it clearly is not monitoring anything. The only time I can get the optical sensor to activate and stay on is when I start and actively stay in an exercise session. I am not exercising 24 hours a day.
 

pj737

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Just spoke to Microsoft support. Their exactly words were "the 24-hour heart rate monitoring capability touted by Microsoft is NOT true; the battery capacity will not allow the optical sensor to remain on continuously".

So there you have it folks, the device does NOT monitor your heart rate 24 hours a day as the Microsoft website states it does. My unit is going back to the store. What a total bummer. Was looking forward to owning a device that truly monitors heart rate 24-7. We're not quite there yet folks. Shame on Microsoft for getting peoples' hopes up with false advertising.
 
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crelim

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Just spoke to Microsoft support. Their exactly words were "the 24-hour heart rate monitoring capability touted Microsoft is NOT true; the battery capacity will not allow the optical sensor to remain on continuously".

So there you have it folks, the device does NOT monitor your heart rate 24 hours a day as the Microsoft website states it does. My unit is going back to the store. What a total bummer. Was looking forward to owning a device that truly monitors heart rate 24-7. We're not quite there yet folks. Shame on Microsoft for getting peoples' hopes up with false advertising.

You are right, when it is OFF, it is obviously not collecting data, but it makes sure to collect enough data so that you have atleast a few (if not many) data points PER HOUR in a 24-hour period. That is indeed, all-day HR tracking and on top it does more frequent HR collection when it detecs you are upto some activity like walking (this is my guess from using the device and seeing what it does). Like I mentioned in the other thread to you, that data is actually very very useful and during workouts it is full fidelity high rate data like with any other HR strap. So what you get here is same data during workouts as other products PLUS all day HR trend.

I once tried to collect high-fidelity 24-hour HR and I had to change my chest strap 5 times because batteries kept running out. That is HR at about 0.2-2Hz data rate. It was for a scientific experiment and even then we ended it up down sampling it only to realize we should have collected a good sample every 10 minutes rather than full blast. Possibly MSFT realized the same and you misunderstood what 24-hour HR meant like I did during my experiments back in grad school.
 

pj737

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You are right, when it is OFF, it is obviously not collecting data, but it makes sure to collect enough data so that you have atleast a few (if not many) data points PER HOUR in a 24-hour period. That is indeed, all-day HR tracking and on top it does more frequent HR collection when it detecs you are upto some activity like walking (this is my guess from using the device and seeing what it does). Like I mentioned in the other thread to you, that data is actually very very useful and during workouts it is full fidelity high rate data like with any other HR strap. So what you get here is same data during workouts as other products PLUS all day HR trend.

I once tried to collect high-fidelity 24-hour HR and I had to change my chest strap 5 times because batteries kept running out. That is HR at about 0.2-2Hz data rate. It was for a scientific experiment and even then we ended it up down sampling it only to realize we should have collected a good sample every 10 minutes rather than full blast. Possibly MSFT realized the same and you misunderstood what 24-hour HR meant like I did during my experiments back in grad school.

Misunderstood? LOL. "Continuous 24 hour heart rate monitoring" is NOT one BPM data point once every hour. That's an insult. I'm sorry but nobody will agree with you that one single metric point every 60 minutes is considered anywhere near "continuous, 24 hours". Microsoft has mislead fitness buffs, plain and simple.

Also, my Band is never "off" as you state I said it was. It's always on... but the optical sensor is definitely off all the time unless I specifically turn it on. I am yet to see the optical sensor turn on by itself for that one second every hour. Maybe I missed it.

With 24 hour continuous monitoring I would expect the Band to tell me what my maximum heart rate was for the day and when exactly during the day I hit that high rate. I would expect it to tell me how long I held my heart rate at 50, 60, 70 or 80% of my maximum heart rate. This is valuable information for health practitioners and would assist greatly in providing MUCH more accurate caloric burn expenditures (as opposed to using only movement to determine caloric burn). Continuous heart rate data also dramatically improves the understanding of ones' sleep cycles. Or the way specific environments affect people with depression or anxiety disorders. There are so many wonderful attributes tied to a product that indeed provides 24 hour continuous heart rate monitoring. It's too bad Microsoft purposely marketed the product in a misleading way. They are much too sophisticated to blame it on marketing. This is an insult to customers. Period.
 
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crelim

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Misunderstood? LOL. "Continuous 24 hour heart rate monitoring" is NOT one BPM data point once every hour. That's an insult. I'm sorry but nobody will agree with you that one single metric point every 60 minutes is considered anywhere near "continuous, 24 hours". Microsoft has mislead fitness buffs, plain and simple.

Also, my Band is never "off" as you state I said it was. It's always on... but the optical sensor is definitely off all the time unless I specifically turn it on. I am yet to see the optical sensor turn on by itself for that one second every hour. Maybe I missed it.

Apologies, I did mean the light/LED is OFF, not your band :) I agree that one data point is not "continuous", even I do not consider it continuous unless it is at least a few BPM points per minute, but like I said that is very likely how the trend graph is displayed and not what analytics will/are run in the cloud. I really hope they will allow us to export higher fidelity data in future.
 

jojoe42

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I'm gonna chime in on this thread and say that continuous heart-rate monitoring ALL the time would be near-on impossible given today's battery tech. Unless you have an arc reactor in your chest or want to be tethered to a cable there would be no feasible way of constantly measuring heart rate. To be honest, if you have too much data it will all average out into less data points. Other people in other threads have mentioned the heart rate monitoring becomes more continuous when you go to do a workout, which is probably when it most counts. They probably should've used another word though, as continuous implies 'constant' (which it isn't). Basically what is the need for minute-by-minute heart rate monitoring when you're not exercising? It just results in a greater strain on the battery, more data to crunch AND upload AND process for the end user. Seems like a good compromise to me.
 

pj737

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I'm gonna chime in on this thread and say that continuous heart-rate monitoring ALL the time would be near-on impossible given today's battery tech. Unless you have an arc reactor in your chest or want to be tethered to a cable there would be no feasible way of constantly measuring heart rate. To be honest, if you have too much data it will all average out into less data points. Other people in other threads have mentioned the heart rate monitoring becomes more continuous when you go to do a workout, which is probably when it most counts. They probably should've used another word though, as continuous implies 'constant' (which it isn't). Basically what is the need for minute-by-minute heart rate monitoring when you're not exercising? It just results in a greater strain on the battery, more data to crunch AND upload AND process for the end user. Seems like a good compromise to me.

That is patently false. I own a Mio heart rate monitor that provides well over 24 hours of continuous and accurate heart rate data (every single second). Further, I agree that it is not necessary that the Band monitors HR 24 hours, however, it should continuously monitor when a person is active (i.e. moving around, NOT seated and stationary). Most people only move around for 4-5 hours a day max, some (while rare) as much as 10-12... so having heart rate monitoring during times that your heart rate will be elevated above resting state doesn't require Microsoft to include a massive battery in their product. This is not a physical limitation, it is just poor design.
 

crelim

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With 24 hour continuous monitoring I would expect the Band to tell me what my maximum heart rate was for the day and when exactly during the day I hit that high rate. I would expect it to tell me how long I held my heart rate at 50, 60, 70 or 80% of my maximum heart rate. This is valuable information for health practitioners and would assist greatly in providing MUCH more accurate caloric burn expenditures (as opposed to using only movement to determine caloric burn). Continuous heart rate data also dramatically improves the understanding of ones' sleep cycles. Or the way specific environments affect people with depression or anxiety disorders. There are so many wonderful attributes tied to a product that indeed provides 24 hour continuous heart rate monitoring. It's too bad Microsoft purposely marketed the product in a misleading way. They are much too sophisticated to blame it on marketing. This is an insult to customers. Period.

Excellent points indeed and you are right that is actually the value of continuous (or rather more often) HR monitoring. After reading your comment I did notice that the app shows you your maximum heart rate and points it out as to when it peaked. Also, it just occurred to me that on the graph, to reduce the number of points and make it readable, the displayed HR is very likely an average over that hour rather than it implying that they are measuring once per hour. The band is definitely measuring more than once per hour (I have counted 3 LEDs on since 6:20 PST, its 6:43 right now).

Maybe one day we will have constantly-on HR :)
 
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crelim

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That is patently false. I own a Mio heart rate monitor that provides well over 24 hours of continuous and accurate heart rate data (every single second). Further, I agree that it is not necessary that the Band monitors HR 24 hours, however, it should continuously monitor when a person is active (i.e. moving around, NOT seated and stationary). Most people only move around for 4-5 hours a day max, some (while rare) as much as 10-12... so having heart rate monitoring during times that your heart rate will be elevated above resting state doesn't require Microsoft to include a massive battery in their product. This is not a physical limitation, it is just poor design.

Could you please share which of the Mio does 24-hour per-second HR? I would be interested in trying it out as well. Thanks!

Also I would find it really hard to believe that MSFT did not spend a bunch of time making sure their HR works as well as competing optical HR. I heard that their research team did cutting edge stuff for exercise detection and rep counting.
 
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pj737

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2014-10-30 16.01.33.jpg
Could you please share which of the Mio does 24-hour per-second HR? I would be interested in trying it out as well. Thanks!

Google "DCRAINMAKER MIO ALPHA" and you will see a review on a now nearly 2-year old product. He has achieved up to 30 hours of nonstop continuous HR data collection. I attached a graph of what continuous heart rate monitoring looks like. That is a run. Notice the granularity of the data points? This is very critical for anyone into fitness and training.

Also above you'll see a snapshot of my recent jog. That is only 5 minutes of data. Again, the Mio will record real time every second HR data for up to 30 hours on one charge.

image_thumb23.png
 

astondg

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Misunderstood? LOL. "Continuous 24 hour heart rate monitoring" is NOT one BPM data point once every hour. That's an insult. I'm sorry but nobody will agree with you that one single metric point every 60 minutes is considered anywhere near "continuous, 24 hours". Microsoft has mislead fitness buffs, plain and simple.

I'll start by saying that I can understand your frustration and it sounds like the Band doesn't fit your need so you should definitely take it back.

I also don't think the use of 'continuous' is wrong. It means 'forming an unbroken whole; without interruption' which the Band does, it takes a HR sample once and hour (for example), every hour for as long as it is charged and on your wrist (I think we accept at this point that devices have to be charged, generally by removing them). It's different from other devices out there that only measure HR when you actively choose to measure it by interacting with the device in a certain way, that is not continuous.

I can understand you wanting more frequent samples and it will be interesting to see what the Fitbit Surge allows. I'm not sure we will ever have a 'live stream' of HR data though, the fact that BPM is an average anyway (over a minute) means that measurement can't be truly 'continuous' in the way you have described or completely accurate at any single point in time.

EDIT: Also remember that this measures skin temperature and galvanic skin response, those are also very useful in detecting exercise and stress and combined with the HR & gyroscope data could provide more accuracy than one (or 2 or 3?) HR data points per hour might suggest.
 

crelim

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Google "DCRAINMAKER MIO ALPHA" and you will see a review on a now nearly 2-year old product. He has achieved up to 30 hours of nonstop continuous HR data collection. I attached a graph of what continuous heart rate monitoring looks like. That is a run. Notice the granularity of the data points? This is very critical for anyone into fitness and training.

View attachment 86109

Thanks for the info! I will look at Alpha too. Looks cool.

For a RUN/Workout the data looks similar for my band. It is indeed high-rate HR data when indulged in an exercise, but *displayed* as an 1-hour in non-exercise daily activities and with no current way of exporting it. But maybe I am wrong about the latter.
 

astondg

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Google "DCRAINMAKER MIO ALPHA" and you will see a review on a now nearly 2-year old product. He has achieved up to 30 hours of nonstop continuous HR data collection.
You're comparing a device that does only HR monitoring to one that has 10 sensors and integration with your phone. If you want/need that level of HR monitoring then you should definitely buy a device made specifically for that purpose.

That is a run. Notice the granularity of the data points? This is very critical for anyone into fitness and training.
I think it's been confirmed that the Microsoft Band tracks HR much more regularly when doing various forms of activity, so in the case of a run it may not be much different to the graph you've provided. (although, again, this is a device that's sole purpose is track HR and you have to weigh up the benefits of the Bands galvanic skin response & other sensors)
 

pj737

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You're comparing a device that does only HR monitoring to one that has 10 sensors and integration with your phone. If you want/need that level of HR monitoring then you should definitely buy a device made specifically for that purpose.


I think it's been confirmed that the Microsoft Band tracks HR much more regularly when doing various forms of activity, so in the case of a run it may not be much different to the graph you've provided. (although, again, this is a device that's sole purpose is track HR and you have to weigh up the benefits of the Bands galvanic skin response & other sensors)


You're basically saying I am out of line for expecting a 100 in 1 product to do anything well because why should it? It's 100 products IN ONE!!! It really just comes down to false marketing. Microsoft is marketing the "continuous" heart rate monitoring feature IDENTICALLY to the way Mio advertises their continuous heart rate feature (albeit the ONLY feature). Since Microsoft abundantly claims it monitors your heart rate continuously (as Mio does), should it not monitor it continuously? Let's please try to keep the bias out of this (yes, I know that's impossible on message forums but heck I'm stubborn!).
 

astondg

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You're basically saying I am out of line for expecting a 100 in 1 product to do anything well because why should it? It's 100 products IN ONE!!!

No, I'm not. My point was that it's not fair to compare a single function device that gets 30 hours of 'real time' HR tracking from it's battery with something that does 100 other things as well and say 'the technology is there, why doesn't it work?'.

But to your further point, the Microsoft Band does track HR well, well enough for what most users will need, and that's based on the as yet limited info we know about it's HR tracking. What you want is high resolution 24/7 tracking, something that most 'general consumers' will get little or no benefit from. It also may well be that the Band uses other sensors to determine the best times to sample HR and in so doing reduce the number of samples it needs to get accurate tracking.

It really just comes down to false marketing. Microsoft is marketing the "continuous" heart rate monitoring feature IDENTICALLY to the way Mio advertises their continuous heart rate feature (albeit the ONLY feature). Since Microsoft abundantly claims it monitors your heart rate continuously (as Mio does), should it not monitor it continuously? Let's please try to keep the bias out of this (yes, I know that's impossible on message forums but heck I'm stubborn!).

I still believe that this is not false marketing. The device does measure continuously, it just samples less. And like I said, we don't know how it determines when to sample which might or might not be more complex than just every 20min.

I think MS built this device for an end goal of a comprehensive health analysis and they have made decisions and compromises to achieve that with the tech available. Their intention was not to make the ultimate HR monitor but that doesn't mean that the overall health analysis that you get is any less useful/accurate, they have just made use of other sensors and software to get it. If you have a need to monitor HR specifically in maximum detail then the best way would be with a dedicated HR monitor.

We need to give this device a run for a week or a month, collect some data and then compare that to what you would get from something like the Mio over the same period. And I have no bias here, whatever the results.

I'll also say that when I talk about the 'general consumer' I'm thinking about myself and the people I know. I'm interested in fitness, I run, I cycle, I lift weights, I've got a triathlon event this weekend in fact, but so far nothing that I've heard about the Band and it's HR tracking concerns me. I'll get precise tracking when I'm working out, a good overview when I'm not, I have no doubt that the caloric burn will be accurate (based on HR, GVS & other sensors) and I see no real benefit for me to measure my heart rate at second, or microsecond, intervals 24/7.
 
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SteveVII

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I'm a little confused about why people keep saying it only tracks a couple times per hour? That green light is on at all times... it is definitely monitoring more often than that. Based on what I'm seeing, they simply roll up the data when you are looking at the overview. It might be a fault with the app vs the band in that it doesn't get too granular.

I'm unbiased as well... still deciding if I am going to keep the thing or not. I want to, but am a little confused/disappointed about it constantly acquiring a heart rate.
 

astondg

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I'm a little confused about why people keep saying it only tracks a couple times per hour? That green light is on at all times... it is definitely monitoring more often than that.

That's interesting. I was just taking a worst case based on what others had said so far.
 
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