When brand names are instantly associated with the products they sell, you know they are dominant players in their market. This is true of Polar. The company hails from the country also famous for Nokia phones and the Angry Birds phenomenon – Finland.
With over 45 years of experience in their area of expertise, Polar started up in Finland in 1977. The global business has a worldwide workforce of 1200 people. The company manufacture a range of heart rate monitoring devices and associated accessories for training and fitness.
Seeds of Tech’ Growth
Back in the mid 1970’s there was no way to accurately measure heart rate during training. The concept of a portable heart rate monitoring device was conceived on a speed skating track in 1977. Founder, Seppo Säynäjäkangas (1942–2018) had the first patented battery operated fingertip device. He followed up with a wearable product which utilised a chest strap, it was commercially available for sale in 1982. A step forward into the computerised future came in 1984 when the Polar PE3000 launched. It featured a computer interface which for the first time enabled athletes to view and analyse data on a computer.
Pfft, like as if thats ever going to catch on…
These days Polar offer a wide range of products, suitable for everyone from beginners to elite level athletes. The popularity of sports watches in the last few years has seen a huge increase in models available to suite all types of users. Sports watches feature a range of functions from GPS, heart rate (built in sensor) and suitability for swimming, through to more advanced features such as altimeter and compass on the Grit X watch – an ideal ourdoor activities sports watch (below).
The Polar M460 GPS bike computer (below) packs in all the essential features, heart rate, 3rd party power data, Strava Live Segments and Polar Smart Coaching. The M460 features 16 hour battery life and a built-in front LED light for extra safety, it is ideal for on and off road riding.