LG’s Heart Rate Earphones, revealed as part of the company’s fitness wearable push back at CES 2014 last month, have hit the FCC, ahead of what we’d assume is a near-at-hand launch in the US. The headphones, which use pulse-tracking technology built into the buds to monitor heart activity and send it to a nearby smartphone, plugs into a clip-on Bluetooth dongle and can optionally be paired with LG’s other new wearable, the Life Band Touch.
The technology is supplied by PerformTek, and uses tiny changes in blood flow activity in the ears to measure pulse rate. PerformTek’s system can also be used to figure out other metrics, like VO2 max, distance, speed, cadence, and pace, though it’s unclear if LG will ever be utilizing any of those other aspects.
Taking care of data transmission – and of most interest to the FCC thanks to the wireless component – is the companion Bluetooth dongle, which clips to the sleeve or waistband. That funnels heart activity information to either the LG Fitness app or one of various third-party titles available for iOS and Android.
LG has said those include MyFitnessPal, MapMyFitness, and RunKeeper. The headphones also work as a hands-free kit for calls, and can control music; battery life is around two days.
Meanwhile, the LG Life Band Touch is a wrist-worn bracelet that tracks number of steps taken and calorific burn. Both wearables can feed data wirelessly to the LG Fitness app, which then builds a health profile.
LG had confirmed its plans to launch the Life Band Touch and Heart Rate Earphones in the US market sometime in the first half of this year, but hadn’t been any more specific than a six month window. Pricing is yet to be announced.