The Health-Tracking GoPro Is Here

GoPro, the de facto name in action sports cameras, is teaming up with Polar to overlay your health data, speed, and altitude on your videos. Just as video games like Doom show your character’s health and ammunition stats in a heads-up display format, your snowboarding videos can now display your heart rate, speed, distance, and altitude so that viewers get a total over-share on what your body was going through at every given moment in your video.

Naturally, you’ll need an accessory to make this happen: Polar’s $500 V800 GPS Sports Watch. This water-resistant timepiece can track all kinds of fitness data directly from your wrist. Its GPS sensor knows exactly where in the world you are, showing you things like your route and total distance covered — by bike, by foot, by whatever means of locomotion you’ve chosen that day. For runners, it will even gauge your cadence to help you find an optimal stride. The watch also works with an external heart rate monitor to display that data at a glance. It’s a treasure trove of fitness data for any active person, and now it can talk to your GoPro.

The watch is among the first third-party gadgets that have been designed to work with GoPro, expanding the camera's capabilities beyond that of small-but-sporty video gadget. The GoPro Developer Program is an initiative aimed at letting developers and companies integrate GoPro functionality with their products. This means that there will soon be a spate of tech gadgets labeled “Works with GoPro,” that further the camera brand’s capabilities in ways we might not even be able to conceive of yet.

For example, car racers using BMW’s M-Laptimer smartphone app can already capture data about their races, knowing how quickly they were moving at any point on a map. It wouldn’t be too difficult for a developer to get the app talking to a GoPro camera, such that it captured not only race footage, but stats about a car’s speed and distance.

We continue to wait for word of the GoPro drone, but it’s clear that the company’s not sitting still. It will continue innovating on its products, and inviting others to do the same.