Polar GPS Multisport Watches Powered by Nordic’s BLE SoC

Nordic has announced that Polar, a Finland-based wearable sports and fitness technology pioneer, has selected Nordic’s nRF52832 Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) System-on-Chip (SoC) to provide wireless connectivity for its new ‘Polar Vantage V’ and ‘Polar Vantage M’ multisport watches.

The waterproof Polar Vantage V and Polar Vantage M are customizable to over 130 sport profiles and feature an ‘always-on’ 240x240 pixel color touchscreen display, GPS tracking, as well as Polar Precision Prime heart rate technology. Precision Prime employs a 3D accelerometer, electrode sensors to measure sensor-skin contact, as well as nine optical LEDs that deploy two colors and wavelengths of light to measure heart rate data from blood vessels in different layers of the skin. According to Polar this sensor fusion technology and its proprietary algorithm combine to provide highly accurate and reliable wrist-based heart rate readings. The Polar Vantage V also offers a barometric altitude sensor.

Both watches feature Polar’s Training Load Pro technology, combining cardiovascular load, muscular load, and perceived load (an athlete’s perception of the training effort) data, to measure the balance between strain and tolerance and help individuals recognize their personal limits while informing them when they are overtraining, undertraining, or are realizing a good balance. In addition, the Polar Vantage V also offers Recovery Pro offering personalized training guidance based on intelligent analysis of heart rate variability (HRV)-integrated orthostatic test results over time to help recovery and avoid injury, as well as ‘Running Power’, unifying multiple running metrics into one easy-to-understand number that represents the power produced during running without the need for external sensors.

Using low latency Bluetooth LE wireless connectivity provided by the Nordic SoC, this data is synced to the user’s Bluetooth 4.0 (and later) smartphone or tablet, where they can view detailed training and activity statistics via the iOS- and Android-compatible Polar Flow app. From the app, users can also configure the watches’ settings and functions.

Supported by the ultra-low power consumption of the Nordic SoC, the Polar Vantage V’s 320 mAh Li-Poly battery can provide up to 40 hours of continuous training between recharge, while the Polar Vantage M’s 230 mAh Li-Poly battery offers 30 hours of continuous training between recharge, even with the always-on heart rate monitor and high resolution one second sampling GPS-tracking enabled. According to Polar, the battery life of the Vantage V and Vantage M is the longest ‘high resolution’ sports watch battery life on the market.

Nordic’s nRF52832 SoC is a powerful multiprotocol SoC ideally suited for Bluetooth LE and 2.4 GHz ultra-low-power wireless applications. The nRF52832 combines a 64 MHz, 32-bit Arm Cortex M4F processor with a 2.4 GHz multiprotocol radio (supporting Bluetooth 5, ANT, and proprietary 2.4 GHz RF software) featuring -96 dB RX sensitivity, with 512 kB Flash memory and 64 kB RAM.

The SoC is supplied with Nordic’s S132 SoftDevice, a Bluetooth 5-certified RF software protocol stack for building advanced Bluetooth LE applications. The S132 SoftDevice features Central, Peripheral, Broadcaster and Observer Bluetooth LE roles, supports up to twenty connections, and enables concurrent role operation. Nordic's unique software architecture provides a clear separation between the RF protocol software and the developer's application code, easing product development.