Bluetooth Smart technology allows you to send heart beat information directly from a chest strap monitor to your iPhone™ or iPad™ without the need for external hardware/receivers.
ithlete is the leading app using individual heart beat data from a Bluetooth Smart strap to calculate heart rate variability (HRV). The ithlete V2.2 upgrade will be available from the App Store on 1st March, faciliating the use of Bluetooth Smart straps.
Using a Bluetooth Smart chest strap as opposed to the traditional analogue models offers a range of benefits including;
- No need for additional hardware
- Increased range
- Eliminate signal interference
- Significantly longer battery life
Using a Bluetooth Smart Chest Strap
Bluetooth Smart is built in to many new mobile devices such as iPhone 5, 4S, iPad 3, iPod Touch 5. Although many Android devices compatible with Bluetooth Smart it has not yet been enabled for app developers to access.
Simply put on the strap in the usual way, making sure the skin contacts are moistened to ensure a good connection to your skin.
Choosing a Bluetooth Smart Chest Strap
In order to measure heart rate variability (the small time gaps between heart beats) a chest strap monitor must transmit RR intervals. The Cardiosport Blue model was designed with this in mind and provides ECG accurate information which is why we recommend this model to ithlete users.
The Cardiosport Blue is available here! Plus if you can find another online retailer selling it cheaper we will refund you the difference.*
Boasting in excess of 700 hours battery life the Cardiosport chest strap monitor will last 3 or 4 times longer than its competitors. In fact, with average use (up to an hour and a half per day) the battery will last between 18 and 24 months. The high quality soft strap is both comfortable and flexible without compromising connectivity. The electronic module is also removable leaving the strap itself suitable for washing. The battery can be replaced easily by the user, this strap is made to last!
We have also tested the Polar H7 and Zephyr HxM, models, both of which work successfully. Some other models of Bluetooth Smart chest strap, such as the Wahoo Blue™, do not currently support the RR part of the standard and cannot be used to measure HRV with ithlete.
*Prices correct at time of printing. Refund guarantee does not include discounts, promotions or special offers.
SweetBeat™ from SweetWater Health measures HRV using a Polar H7–so it isn’t true that “ithlete is the first to use individual heart beat data from a Bluetooth Smart strap to calculate heart rate variability (HRV).”
Please accept our sincere apologies for this error. We were not aware of the SweetBeat developments and have now updated our post to remove this inaccuracy.
Truth be told, I think your interface (look & feel/presentation) is better!
Well thanks Harley! I’ll be sure to pass this on to our developers :)
What Bluetooth setup do you offer or suggest for iPad 2?
Hi there! Do you know why the Bluetooth devices are not compatible with the iPhone 4G?
Hi J & Gb,
I think I can answer both of your questions together.
The iPad 2 and iPhone 4 do not have Bluetooth Smart built in as they are pre Bluetooth 4.0 devices. They have regular Bluetooth, which technically is very different from Bluetooth Smart but Apple have not enabled this to be used to collect HR data. Additionally it would use a lot of battery if you wanted to measure HR this way for longer periods i.e. during workouts.
This isn’t an obstacle if you want to use ithlete thought – all you will need instead is an ithlete ECG receiver and traditional analog chest strap monitor, both of which are already available from our products page.
I hope this clears that up but if you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to ask!
Hi, I have an iPhone 4S and use strava on it. Just wondering if the new Bluetooth chest strap will connect with strava.
I’m also thinking of getting a garmin 500 in addition to ithlete, do you know if it will work on this?
The Cardiosport is a great strap and will work with any Bluetooth Smart (aka Bluetooth low energy or Bluetooth V4.0) ready programme.
Garmin products operate using ANT+ which is an alternative to Bluetooth Smart so this strap won’t be compatible. (Also wise to note ithlete is not compatible with ANT+).
Is Garmin Fenix 2 compatible with ithlete?
Garmin HRM straps aren’t compatible with ithlete. You can find a list of compatible straps on our FAQ page.
I have your app and use the Finger sensor. It takes around 10 attempts to get a proper reading. I also own a Garmin chest strap FR 70 is the model. Are you saying even if I buy the ECG receiver off myithlete it still wont work with the Garmin chest strap ??
No, ithlete is not compatible with ANT+ (Garmin) HRM straps, even with the ECG receiver.
Sorry to hear you are having issues with the Finger Sensor. Have you seen this help video (also available from our FAQs)?
If you are following all steps in the video and still having problems please do email firstname.lastname@example.org who will be able to help further.
great, fantastic… :.(,
but is it also available for android?
Unfortunately not yet. Although many Android devices are compatible with Bluetooth Smart it hasn’t yet been enabled for app developers to access. As soon as access is provided by Google we will be developing the ithlete Android app!
Does anyone have any ideas if/when google will be providing access?
We really don’t know – there hasn’t been any indication given to developers currently. That said if anyone does have an idea please do let us know as we are keen to make ithlete Android compatible as soon as possible!
is the cardiosport bluetooth available for sale yet, and if so where?
The Cardiosport Blue model is now available from our product page http://myithlete.com/Products
Is there a way to know if the RR data sent by a given belt are suitable for accurate HRV calculation in ithlete. I am mostly concerned by belts that send filtered RR. Is this ok or do you need a belt sending unprocessed data ?
The belt needs to send unfiltered data (which is RR data by definition). We have tested the Polar H7 and Zephyr HxM and know these to work fine for use with ithlete, and of course recommend the Cardiosport Blue as this was designed to send RR data.
If you do test any other models please let us know and we will add them to the list!
RR Intervals are an optional part of the heart rate spec for Bluetooth (seems mandatory for Ant+) So I’m guessing the best way to check is to ask if they support sending that optional data:
I bought the app but it will not connect to Zephyr xm, on my iPhone 5 I can connect it via the Digifit app, so I know that the hardware works. Any advice?
We have tested this combination and it should work just fine.
When you move the ‘Use Bluetooth Smart’ switch on the Edit tab, the scan sheet will appear and you should see a button with ‘Zephyr HxM2000XXXX’ with the last few digits being the serial number of your strap.
One thing to be careful of with Bluetooth Smart though is if one app is already connected to that peripheral, it may not appear in the scan of another app until the first app disconnects from it. So I would close the other app first then try again.
Hope this helps,
Cardiosport bluetooth arrived today. I am using an iPhone 5 and latest ithlete app. Bluetooth is enabled on the phone, the icon is visible. I am used to wearing HRM, I am sure the pads are sufficiently moist. I have enabled bluetooth on the edit page but the app will not pair with the sensor. I can sometimes get a connection to the sensor with Wahoo fitness but not always. I have turned Wahoo fitness off and even re-started the phone but still no sensor in the ithlete app. What do I do next?
Ever so sorry to hear you are having trouble.
Would you please relay this message to our support team via email (email@example.com) who will be able to assist you in resolving the issue?
Any boby know whether the Scosche or the Nike blue tooth heart rate monitors are compatible and can transmit heart rate variability to the Ithlete aps?
I am a performance coach who utilizes the Polar Team2 system for tracking our athletes exertional levels of training. The Team2 system uses Bluetooth to help transfer the data from the HR sensor to the central hub for analysis. I purchased the app this morning and was unable to detect the Polars HR monitor from my app or my phones Bluetooth. Wanted to see if you knew if this make and model of the Polar HR would be compatible with the software and if so what steps I should take to get it working. Please let me know as I am not the greatest with software.
Sorry to hear that hasn’t worked right away for you. Key things to check…
1. The HRM strap is using Bluetooth Smart (aka Bluetooth Low Energy or Bluetooth 4.0) rather than previous versions
2. That you have turned on Bluetooth from within the ithlete app (open app>edit screen>chose sensor & select Bluetooth).
If you don’t get it this working please feel free to drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be sure to get you sorted :)
Just a quick update to let you know ithlete now supports Bluetooth Smart on compatible Android devices! Full details here http://myithlete.com/blog/?p=2323