SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Meet LEO — a device that promises to help you avoid exercise injuries. Aging baby boomers, this wearable band’s for you.
LEO is a band worn around the thigh, with specially designed sensors that measure the body’s myriad bio-signals. And that makes LEO different from devices that you wear on your wrist, including the current batch of smartwatches and even new ones on deck..
“You can’t collect muscle info on the wrist,” said Leonard MacEachern, president and CEO of GestureLogic Inc., the Ottawa, Canada-based startup behind LEO. “It truly is next generation because the current generation doesn’t really measure bio-signals.”
Currently, its software is designed for running, walking and biking. For example, LEO can tell that your muscles need hydration, gauge lactic acid levels, or warn you if are coming down too hard on your heels. But the company expects software developers to create new ways to use LEO in other athletic activities.
Its software provides feedback on a simple keypad, and gives actionable warnings, such as “muscle imbalance detected, push harder with your left leg.” And once LEO gathers more data on your activities, it can make conclusions or predictions.
Currently LEO is in beta testing and GestureLogic is raising additional funding via an Indiegogo campaign, Contributors will be able to buy a LEO at a discount. GestureLogic is aiming for the device to be available in April of 2015.
The range of technological expertise needed to work in this emerging arena is extremely wide, MacEachern said, adding that Gesture Logic has enlisted software developers, textile software engineers, programmers, machine-intelligence experts and electrical engineers. The company has angel investors but will be looking for Series A funding, he added.
My ongoing concern is about the data collection aspect of wearable devices, especially those gathering health data. But like many people, I might be willing to make some trade-offs if using a device like LEO could really help avoid injuries while working out. That’s what GestureLogic and its peers are counting on, especially among the aging boomers.
Indeed, now that Google Inc.
and Apple Inc.
are establishing software guidelines for health apps and wearable devices, be prepared for a flood of wearable startups. And most of them will come with data-gathering issues as technology increasingly gets under our skin.
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