Quite simply the most accurate PPG sensors for wearable devices available today

Valencell provides the technology, the team, and the expertise to make biometrics work in wearables and hearables


heart rate sensor

Interested in Valencell’s PPG sensor evaluation kit? Click here for details on how to order.

Whole > Sum of the parts

Many people think you can create accurate biometric wearable devices by piecing together some LED’s, some firmware, some algorithms, and calling it a heart rate sensor. It’s not that simple.

Valencell has learned over many years of R&D, trial & error, and product development that the systems approach to building biometric wearable devices is most effective. Everything must be designed and developed to work together from the start – the optomechnanics, the firmware, the algorithms, and the testing & validation processes.

  • You can have the best optomechanics in the world, but if your algorithms are not optimized for that signal, it won’t work.
  • Likewise, you can have the best algorithms in the world, but if you have a poor signal coming from the sensor, it won’t work.
  • Finally, even if you get the hardware and the software working together, you have to test and validate that it works on people of all shapes, sizes, colors, genders, and fitness levels.

Get there faster with Valencell.

Wearable Technology - Headphones


Scalable to multiple form-factors such as earbuds, smartwatches, armbands and wrist devices.

Valencell’s PPG sensors can be used in wearables and hearables for virtually anyone, anywhere, doing anything.

PerformTek® PPG sensor technology is the only continuous heart rate sensor technology proven accurate during virtually any exercise and in virtually any environment. Read more about our testing methods here.

We’ve been innovating in optical heart rate sensor technology for over 10 years, before wearables even existed. Our PPG sensor accuracy has been proven by independent scientific validation and by users of Valencell-powered products every day.

Partnering with Sonion, the global leader in micro acoustic and micro mechanical technologies and solutions for hearing instruments and specialty earphones, expands the boundaries for the use of biometric sensors in the ear. In the partnership, Valencell provides the industry’s most advanced biometric sensor modules for hearables and wearables, which Sonion will optimize for size, power consumption and cost for in-ear and on-ear applications.

PPG Sensor Design

Our PPG sensor technology gives wearable devices the ability to continuously and accurately measure weak blood flow signals even during extreme physical activity. Valencell achieves this with a state-of-the-art, ultra-miniaturized PPG sensor module small enough to fit within an audio earbud, smartwatch, hearing aid or other wearable device. The PPG sensor module includes an optical emitter, an optical detector, specialized optomechanics and an accelerometer.

How it Works
Wearable Technology - How it Works
How it Works


Wearable Technology

Photoplethysmography (PPG) is not new. It’s been used for decades to measure blood flow changes and translate these changes to pulse rate. However, PPG sensors are extremely sensitive to motion, particularly in a wearable device, and have significant challenges measuring biometrics accurately during daily activities and exercise. Our patented PerformTek® biometric technology has solved many of these problems.

Like the traditional PPG approach, PerformTek® heart rate sensor technology 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 differences are Valencell’s patented optomechanics and signal extraction methodologies, which employ active signal characterization to actively remove optical signals associated with motion artifacts (such as skin motion and footsteps) and environmental exposure (such as sunlight) from the photodetector.

It’s like active noise cancellation for biometric wearables. The result is a clean signal that contains more accurate information about blood flow. Because blood flow modulates with heart rate and respiration rate, PerformTek-powered algorithms can accurately extract heart rate, RR-interval, respiration rate, and other blood flow parameters 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, cycling and activity cadence and to estimate speed and distance traveled. Valencell also estimates VO2 and calories burned by processing both the accelerometer signal and blood flow signal.

Heart Rate Sensor API

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, medical or fitness application their minds can dream up.

To learn more about integrating our heart rate sensor technology into your ideas, see our Access page.