A few years ago, BSX introduced the Insight – as far as we’re aware, one of the first muscle oxygen sensors that you could wear while out for a run or a ride. Why did it matter? Measuring muscle oxygen saturation or SmO2% is a way of determining the relationship between how much oxygen is delivered to the muscles and how much is actually used by the muscle. If you had a sensor that measured this, you could better train your self and get most of the benefits of lactic acid monitoring or VO2 max testing without the expensive testing or lab set up.

However, it wasn’t long until BSX shuttered the Insight program and moved on to attempt to build a hydration sensor called LVL. With BSX out of the game, a company called Moxy swooped in with a sensor of their own. But now, there’s a new player in town – the Humon Hex sensor.

Humon Hex starts shipping muscle oxygen tracker that measures in real time

What started as the result of MIT research, Humon claims it is the first clinically validated SmO2% sensor on the market that measures in real time. That validation apparently comes from the Harvard Medical School.

Humon Hex starts shipping muscle oxygen tracker that measures in real time

Perhaps more importantly, the Hex has a much smaller form factor than the competition. If it works as advertised, that’s a pretty big deal. Instead of a relatively large calf sleeve or an adhesive patch, the Humon uses a simple velcro compression strap meant to be worn on the mid-thigh. As with other LED based near-infrared spectroscopy devices, it will need to be tight enough that it won’t move to get a proper reading, which is why the other devices have such aggressive positioning devices. But if the Humon Hes is as accurate as claimed (96% accurate compared to an ISS metaOX sensor), then the strap is a huge benefit. Humon provides plenty of detail on the science and additional whitepapers on their site.

Humon Hex starts shipping muscle oxygen tracker that measures in real time

When used with the included app, the Hex provides simple color based training zones to make things as simple as possible. There’s also step by step instructions to understanding how to use the device to improve your fitness, training, and recovery. Overall, it seems like a much less complicated system than others.

It’s also less expensive. While the “retail price” is listed at $299, the sensor is currently priced at $245 which includes the device, a charging cable and base, and a standard length strap. Compare that to the Moxy bundle which starts out at $819. Designed with an IP54 water resistance rating, the Hex is not to be used while swimming, and it has a 20h battery life. Hex is only bluetooth compatible and seems to work with some ANT+ devices, thought not ANT+ heart rate monitors, and will work with both Android and iOS devices.

humon.io

 

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JF17
JF17
3 years ago

A while back (late 2015) I got one of the test units with the promise of getting a production unit when it was ready in exchange for my feedback. I haven’t heard a word from this guys since. I hope their customer service has improved.

Jason Etter
Jason Etter
3 years ago
Reply to  JF17

Maybe you should try contacting them. They’re human just like you. The forget things and make mistakes.

Eli
Eli
3 years ago

A few errors in the article. Moxy was out a few years before BSX as a much more expensive device and still is. Hex is fully compatible with Ant+, Its not listed on their web page but broadcasts the muscle oxygen profile:
https://www.thisisant.com/developer/ant-plus/device-profiles/#2343_tab

They also have connect iq apps to use the data easily on your garmin:
https://apps.garmin.com/en-US/apps/53760983-1e0d-4d8a-b741-4152ab1b2ffe
https://apps.garmin.com/en-US/apps/684eccc9-f47b-44ae-acf0-d705146c88d5

Eli
Eli
3 years ago
Reply to  Zach Overholt

Not many devices support the Ant+ muscle oxygen profile, like Edge bike computers. Thats why the Connect IQ app is important so you can get muscle oxygen data. Need to get more apps/devices to support muscle oxygen data. (Zwift, xrt, sufferfest, etc)

roadstain
3 years ago

(deleted)

Marc Smith
Marc Smith
3 years ago

You should measure the global emissions on the planet as the sole workout marker because in 20 years we wont give a crap at how good we get.

Ed Ng
Ed Ng
3 years ago

This also works with the Wahoo ELEMNT and ELEMNT BOLT, with real-time read-out and data recording. I use it with my ELEMNT when riding.

-Ed

BobC
BobC
3 years ago

Since you mention BSX is working on their non-existent LVL hydration monitor it’s worth noting BSX and LVL are the subject of a massive uprising over at Kickstarter. Possible lawsuits, etc.

I won’t belabor the drama — people can read about it on the net — but BSX badly mistreated its backers and customers and grossly misrepresented the status of LVL.

I love BikeRumor dearly, but casually mentioning a company and a product that *appear* to be just a scam doesn’t do anyone a service because it turns into tacit validation that they’re legit. BSX isn’t an honest player in the device market, as near as I can tell.

roadstain
roadstain
3 years ago
Reply to  BobC

Where is the “Thumbs Up” option?

Eli
Eli
3 years ago
Reply to  BobC

BSX/LVL wasn’t a scam. Failed product with LVL and not very good at communicating, yes. Kickstarter is not a store for a product you know will come and work, its to invest in a potential product. The product might fail. A scam implies they took your money and didn’t even try to make a product as they had no intention to make a product, that doesn’t apply here. https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2017/10/bsx-insight-lvl-hydration-sensor.html