(Pocket-lint) - Polar has announced a new optical heart rate sensor, called the Verity Sense. It follows on from the Polar OH1, giving more options and controls and allowing you to add heart rate and other data to a wide range of activities.

For many, heart rate monitoring is the easiest way to keep track of effort. It's a direct measure of the impact of an activity on your body and a really useful way of knowing how hard you worked during an activity, or if you're training at the right intensity.

Many modern sports and smart watches use an optical heart rate sensor and that's fine for a lot of situations - but what if you don't want a smartwatch or don't want something on your wrist?

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That's the situation that applies to many sports where you're either using another computer - such as cyclists - or when you just don't want something on your wrist. The answer has traditionally been a chest strap, but taking that optical technology found on smartwatches and just offering that in a sensor on its own, makes a lot of sense.

The Polar Verity Sense can be strapped onto your arm - upper or fore - or attached to the strap of your swimming goggles against your temple, to measure your heart rate. It allows you to wear a sensor without the rest of the watch, with three modes of measurement.

The first mode is sensor mode. This will let you pair the sensor with another device via Bluetooth or ANT+ to feed in heart rate data. This is perfect for cyclists, as you'll be able to connect to a huge number of bike computers, saving you from having to wear a chest strap, but giving you access to that useful heart rate data. It will also appeal to those using a treadmill.

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The second mode is swimming. This will again measure your heart rate, but will also use the onboard accelerometer to detect your turns, so you can get data on the number of lengths you've swum and the distance and pace.

Finally there's just a recording mode that will store the data, allowing you to sync it with Polar Flow, meaning you can then have data for any activity you do - boxing, crossfit, dance - whatever you want.

Priced at £79.50, it's affordable enough to be an accessory purchase for those who just want to add a sensor to get a little more information about what their body is doing. It's available to order now.

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Writing by Chris Hall.