Polar Electro

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Polar
Type Private - OY
Industry Heart rate monitoring, fitness assessment technologies, sports physiology, sports technology
Founded 1977, Kempele, Finland
Founder(s) Seppo Säynäjäkangas
Headquarters Kempele, Finland
Products Heart rate monitors, Sports instruments, Club solutions
Employees 1200 in 80 countries
Website www.polar.fi

Polar Electro, (globally known as Polar) is a manufacturer of sports training computers and heart rate monitoring equipment.

Based in Kempele, Finland and founded in 1977, Polar developed the world's first wireless heart rate monitor. The company now has 26 subsidiaries globally that manage a distribution network supplying over 35,000 retail outlets in more than 80 countries with approximately 1200 employed worldwide. Polar manufactures a range of heart rate monitoring devices and accessories for athletic training and fitness. Polar's products also measure heart rate variability.

History[edit]

In 1975, there was no accurate way to record heart rates during training, and the idea of a wireless, portable heart rate monitor was conceived on a cross country skiing track in Finland. Polar was founded in 1977, and filed its first patent for wireless heart rate measurement three years later. In 1982, Polar launched the first ever wearable wire-free heart rate monitor.[citation needed]

Health, fitness and performance products[edit]

Polar RC3 GPS heart rate monitor watch

Polar's "Get Active" products are focused on first time exercisers, "Improve Fitness" products are aimed at exercisers who want to take their training to the next level. These products have more training features included in them and an increased compatibility with Polar's online training software, polarpersonaltrainer.com. Polar's "Maximize Performance" products are designed for sports professionals.

Polar has also developed GPS sensors that measure distance, speed, and route; as well as sensors that measure stride, speed/pace and distance, cadence and cycling power.

Equine products[edit]

Polar have also developed wireless products for use in equestrian training. These measure the horse's daily exertion levels during exercise and they monitor resting and recovery heart rates as well.

B2B products[edit]

Polar's Club Solutions are marketed to fitness and health clubs worldwide, and is designed for individual exercisers to group activity and fitness coach monitoring.

Company milestones[edit]

1970 - 1990[edit]

  • 1977: Polar was founded in Kempele, Finland.
  • 1978: Company's first product, Tunturi Pulser finger tip heart rate monitor, was launched.
  • 1979: Polar filed its first patent for wireless heart rate measurement.
  • 1982: The world's first wireless wearable heart rate monitor, the Polar Sport Tester PE 2000, was launched.
  • 1984: The Polar Sport Tester PE 3000 was introduced, including an integrated computer interface which enabled users to view and analyze their training data for the first time on a computer.
  • 1986: Polar released their first heart rate analysis software for PCs.
  • 1987: The Target Zone feature was released, which helped simplify effective heart rate-based training.

1990 - 2010[edit]

  • 1990: The Polar Cyclovantage cycling computer was launched, combining for the first time speed and distance measurements with heart rate.
  • 1991: Windows-based training analysis software, Polar HR Analysis 4.0, was released.
  • 1992: The T40 integrated one-piece transmitter was introduced. The transmitter was sealed, making it water resistant and therefore flexible to use in all weather conditions.
  • 1995: Polar introduced the Vantage NV, the first wrist-based, wireless heart rate monitor with the ability to measure R-R heart rate variability. This gave Polar users a much deeper insight into their current physical condition and allowed them to measure the effect of their training load.
  • 1995: Polar OwnCode coded transmission was introduced to heart rate transmitters, eliminating interference from other training computers in close proximity.
  • 1995: Polar Precision Performance SW 1.0 was released with Polar HR Analysis 5.0 and Polar Sports Diary 1.0 software, enabling Polar users to keep track of their progress on their computer. In addition, Polar Advantage Interface provided for the first time two-way data transfer between a heart rate monitor and a computer The company was introduced to Heart Rate Variability (HRV) by Dr. Boris Golosarsky (USA) the inventor of a portable HRV and stress monitoring in 1992.
  • 1996: The Polar Xtrainer Plus, the first cycling computer capable of providing speed, cadence and heart rate, was introduced.
  • 1996: Polar Training Advisor 1.0 was released, giving the user training guidelines based on their fitness level and training goals.
  • 1997: The Polar SmartEdge was introduced as the first product to feature Polar OwnZone, a unique feature that automatically determines the ideal heart rate zone for each workout, providing easy guidance for safe and effective training.
  • 1998: An overtraining test was introduced into the Polar Precision Performance 2.0 analysis software, enabling athletes to effectively monitor their training-recovery cycle for the first time.
  • 1999: Polar introduced the M-series line of training computers for fitness enthusiasts. M-series products introduced the Polar OwnIndex feature, a result of a unique rest-based test to measure cardiovascular fitness, which provided users with an easy way to track their progress.
  • 2000: The Polar S-series was introduced with six new training computers and Polar Precision Performance 3.0 analysis software.
  • 2000: Polar launched the Polar TriFIT and BodyAge systems, which provide accurate assessments of overall health and fitness levels by measuring biological age versus chronological age.
  • 2001: Polar Team System was introduced as the first heart rate monitor based training system for team sports, giving coaches the ability to assess, test, and track performance data from players. This gave coaches the ability to derive an evidence-based decision regarding individual training and conditioning.
  • 2002: The Polar WearLink transmitter was introduced as the first soft, textile chest strap transmitter.
  • 2003: Wireless connection with a foot pod brought real-time running speed and distance measurement to a Polar wrist unit, with the introduction of the Polar S625x.
  • 2003: Polar OwnOptimizer feature was introduced, providing users with an immediate and easy to understand measurement of the effect of their training.
  • 2004: Real-time cycling speed and distance measurement via wireless cycling speed sensor became available with the Polar S725X.
  • 2004: The Polar F-series was introduced, bringing integrated personal training programs and a host of fashionable colors and gender-specific designs for fitness enthusiasts.
  • 2004: The Polar AXN-series of outdoor computers was launched, uniquely combining altitude, heart rate and energy expenditure measurements.
  • 2004: Polar Keeps U Fit was introduced within select Polar products, offering a customizable workout program based on the user's personal fitness data and telling how hard, and how long one needs to exercise to reach one's personal goals.
  • 2005: Polar introduced polarpersonaltrainer.com, a free online training diary, where users can wirelessly transfer training and test data and track their progress. Users can also share tips and get advice from others in the Polar community as well as invite registered members to participate in training challenges.
  • 2005: Polar and Adidas announced their partnership to develop the world's first integrated training system, combining Polar technology with Adidas sports apparel.
  • 2006: Running cadence, stride length and Running Index measurements became available with the Polar RS800sd. Its s3 stride sensor and Wearlink W.I.N.D. transmitter allow users to combine this technology with the Adidas Fusion shoes and apparel.
  • 2006: After testing with six pro cycling teams in the 2006 Tour de France, Polar unveiled the Polar CS600 cycling computer with the Power Output Sensor W.I.N.D., measuring cycling efficiency, power output, pedaling index, and balance between left and right pedal.
  • 2006: Polar ProTrainer 5 software was released, giving athletes detailed feedback and analysis as well as the ability to create and upload training plans into their Polar training computers.
  • 2007: The Polar AW200 activity watch was launched, incorporating innovative new activity technology that measures body movement.
  • 2007: The Polar RS800G3 training computer was introduced. Its G3 GPS sensor tracks speed and distance in any outdoor sport.
  • 2008: The Polar Team2, a next-generation, group heart rate monitoring system for coaches, was introduced, helping to eliminate over- and under-training by recording and studying fitness data of players in real time.
  • 2008: Polar introduced the FT series for general fitness and cross-training use. The Polar FT40 includes the Polar EnergyPointer feature that calculates the point where the training effect turns from fat burning into fitness improvement. The Polar FT60 and FT80 both feature the Polar STAR Training Program that sets weekly training targets to help meet fitness goals safer and faster. Additionally, the FT80 features the Strength Training Guidance feature.
  • 2008: The Polar FA20 was launched, offering 24/7 Activity Measurement which shows graphically all your effective active motion and tells if you're improving your health or fitness.
  • 2009: GPS-enabled mapping capabilities were introduced to the Polar CS600X cycling computer and RS800CX training computer.
  • 2009: The Polar RS300X was introduced, giving runners and cross-training athletes the option to track speed and distance with either GPS or an available foot pod accessory.
  • 2009: The Polar Cardio GX system was launched. The group exercise solution displays accurate, real-time, individual heart rate data onscreen to motivate members to exercise at the right intensity to get the most out of their workouts.

2010 - Current[edit]

  • 2010: A new version of The Polar wearlink+ transmitter is released, allowing it for the first time to link with the Nike+ range of products.
  • 2010: Polar Wearlink+ with Bluetooth was released, enabling the ECG-accurate heart rate measurement for your mobile needs.
  • 2010: Polar CS500 cycling computer was launched. This revolutionary bike computer has a truly unique functional design that makes it easy to use in demanding cycling conditions.
  • 2010: Polar DataLink was launched, which provided a wireless data communication method between your training computer and Mac or PC.
  • 2011: Polar RCX5 training computer was launched. This modern state of the art training computer offers optimized training guidance for triathletes, runners and endurance athletes. Includes new features like ZoneOptimizer.
  • 2011: The Polar G5 GPS was launched. The extremely small G5 GPS sensor provides accurate speed and distance measurement for a range of outdoor sports. It is light and easy to wear in the armband pocket, and includes a rechargeable battery.
  • 2011: The Polar s3+ stride sensor was launched, coming with a new, firm shoe attachment which guarantees accurate speed and distance measurement.
  • 2011: The Polar Wearlink+ Hybrid was launched, using both 5 kHz and 2.4 GHz W.I.N.D. transmission, ensuring that your heart rate signal is found at all times
  • 2012: Polar RCX3 training computer was launched. This training computer offers several Smart Coaching features like the new Training Benefit that gives the user feedback about their training immediately after each session.
  • 2012: Polar Look Kéo Power was launched. This state-of-the-art power measurement system comprises the light-weight Polar P5 power transmitters and Look Kéo Power pedals. Easy to attach to cranks and switch between bikes, each pedal comes with eight embedded gauges for extreme precision in power measurement.
  • 2012: Polar H7 heart rate sensor was launched, which uses low energy Bluetooth smart technology in wireless heart rate transmission.
  • 2013: Polar launch their first Heart Rate Monitor with integrated GPS — the Polar RC3
  • 2014: Polar launch their new flagship Polar V800 - incl. recovery status based on 24/7 activity, integrated GPS, full functionality for triathlon, outdoor and pool swimming, etc.based in Bluetooth SMART transmitting technology.

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