PerformTek® Sensor Technology
With 14 granted patents and dozens patents pending, Valencell’s PerformTek® sensor technology continuously measures more real-time biometric and physiological data than other fitness monitors, with a high degree of accuracy, and does so in a single device. It is scalable to multiple form-factors such as earbuds, armbands and wrist devices. PerformTek® Precision Biometrics is the only solution on the market that allows you to capture accurate, meaningful, actionable, and personalized health and fitness data such as metabolic rate and cardiovascular fitness (VO2 max). Moreover, PerformTek® is the only continuous heart rate monitoring technology proven accurate during virtually any exercise in virtually any physical environment or condition.
1) Optomechanical Sensor Module Design:
At its core, PerformTek® sensor technology gives consumer wearable devices the ability to continuously and accurately measure weak blood flow signals even during extreme physical activity. PerformTek achieves this with a state-of-the-art, ultra-miniaturized optomechanical sensor module embedded within an audio earbud. The sensor module includes an optical emitter, an optical detector, and an accelerometer.
2) Extremely Accurate Biometric Signal Extraction:
For decades, photoplethysmography (PPG) has been used to measure blood flow changes and translate these changes to pulse rate. The problem is that products using PPG have been too large and uncomfortable for consumer use and have not been effective at measuring blood flow during exercise. This is where the patented PerformTek biometric signal extraction method shines. As with the traditional PPG approach, the PerformTek sensor module measures weak blood flow signals by shining light at the skin with an optical emitter and sensing the scattered light with a photodetector. The key difference is that the PerformTek signal extraction method takes it a step further by actively removing noise signals associated with motion artifacts (such as skin motion and footsteps) and environmental exposure (such as sunlight) from the photodetector signal. The result is a cleaned-up signal that contains more accurate information about blood flow. Because blood flow modulates with heart rate and respiration rate, PerformTek algorithms can accurately extract heart rate, respiration rate, and other blood flow parameters from the photodetector signal even during intense exercise.
To gauge user activity level and to generate activity context, the PerformTek earbud sensor module leverages the accelerometer that is built-in to the sensor module. The PerformTek signal extraction method applies a proprietary algorithm to the accelerometer signal to measure running and cycling cadence and to estimate speed and distance traveled. An additional proprietary algorithm estimates VO2 and calories burned by processing both the accelerometer signal and blood flow signal.
The reason why PerformTek is more accurate and consistent at estimating calories burned when compared with a pedometer is because the algorithm for calories burned leverages both the optical and accelerometer signals, whereas pedometers are limited to the accelerometer signal only. For example, you burn most of your calories by your body simply trying to keep you alive, whether you're moving your feet or not. Pedometers can only measure footsteps, but since PerformTek-powered products can also measure what's going on inside your body (not just footsteps), PerformTek-powered products are much better at estimating your true calories burned.
3) Application Programming Interface (API) for Health & Fitness Apps:
Valencell's accurate biometric signal extraction method is coded in firmware on a digital signal processing chip (DSP chip). Application developers can communicate with this DSP chip through the PerformTek API, which allows app developers to access this data and make virtually any health or fitness application their minds can dream up...
"How the Sensor Works" video
Read more about how PerformTek sensor technology works in a recent article posted by The Electronic Engineering Journal.
Because of the unique physiology of the ear, wearers can get more accurate health and fitness metrics with earbuds than with other devices, especially when moving around and/or engaging in physical activity. The unprecedented accuracy of these physiological metrics, provided in real-time, helps consumers customize and personalize data to help meet their specific goals. Users can view these metrics live through applications on their iPhone, Android phones, or other smartphone devices.
Armbands and Wrist Devices
Scalable to multiple form factors, PerformTek sensor technology has been proven to accurately measure biometrics in different types of armbands and wrist devices. Such devices may be ideal for those who want to track their biometrics, performance, or fitness for an extended period of time or without listening to music.
"PerformTek Armband" video
Valencell has executed hundreds of tests to prove the robustness of their technology during many different physical activities and environmental conditions. Please see our white papers for more information. Reliable metrics are generated for virtually any weather condition.
Seamless integration of PerformTek® sensor technology within mobile devices makes it ideal for use in fitness training, athletic performance coaching, gaming and many other related applications. To learn more about the applications of Valencell’s technology, see APPLICATIONS.
PerformTek® sensor technology is compatible with standard mobile accessory manufacturing processes. Partners can simply license the PerformTek® Precision Biometrics for seamless integration within their hardware products and complementary fitness training applications, athletic performance modules, and other related offerings. Valencell provides engineering support to help partners integrate PerformTek® sensor technology into their products. Moreover, Valencell offers partners a true technology platform in addition to a rich product roadmap as they look to enhance or expand product and service offerings. To learn more about licensing opportunities, see LICENSING.