As a college track coach and marathoner, my husband swears by his GPS watch. I have plenty of friends who love their FitBit or Nike FuelBands. I have to say, though, I didn’t really get the whole wearable tech, fitness analytics thing. Why can’t you just go for a run and do a few crunches for crying out loud? Why the hell do we have to measure EVERYTHING?
I didn’t get it, that is, until I stumbled across recent Techstars Austin graduates Atlas Wearables.
The idea for the Atlas wristband came when CEO Peter Li developed a platform to help motivate his fellow students at Johns Hopkins to get fit. He realized that most of the tools out there only measure subsets of fitness–number of steps for example. He realized customers really needed in depth analytics on what works and what doesn’t.
With that understanding, Atlas is focusing their efforts on showing the type, speed, and quality of the exercises, helping consumers understand what they need to do to lose weight and get fit.
What makes Atlas unique is that it’s not a one-sport wonder. That GPS watch my husband loves will never be able to tell me the quality of the push ups I just did. The Atlas wristband aims to do that, as well as track analytics across other sports like swimming, yoga, and cycling.
It’s an understatement to say that Li and his cofounder Mike Kasparian are qualified to build this type of product. Li has a masters degree in biomedical engineering from Johns Hopkins. Kasparian studied electrical engineering at Boston University, then designed circuitry for defibrillators at Philips. Combine that with a mutual love of fitness and sports, and it’s obvious this team knows what they’re doing.
It’s still early days, though. Last week the Atlas team graduated from Techstars, but we all know Demo Day is just the beginning. In the coming months, the team will test the wristbands with local gyms and personal trainers to see how well the technology works and what features need to be included. They have already started work on the next iteration and will be offering a small batch to a few early adopters. (Reserve yours here!)
Fitness and health awareness is growing quickly. Consumers are beginning to understand the importance of a good sweat to get and stay fit. Atlas is poised to bring good old-fashioned exercise into the 21st century.
And, it looks like I might finally jump on board, too!