Amid increasing attention on wearable technology there’s a new fitness tracker heading for the market, and it’s made by an Irish firm.
Lumafit is the brainchild of Darran Hughes and Stephen Hughes, both formerly of MIT Media Lab, and it's been two years in development.
The company is set to embark on a Kickstarter campaign today to raise $60,000 to bring the product to market, and chief executive Darran Huges said Lumafit is confident that it will reach the target. However, it also has a backup plan, with investors already willing to back the product.
“We expect to get over the line,” he said. “But we’re talking to a number of investors interested in the product. It’s a fast growing space.”
Unlike the wrist bands we’ve become used to, Dublin-based Lumafit takes a different approach. The sensor is worn over your ear, similar to a bluetooth headset, and co-founder Mr Hughes said this enables it to measure movement more accurately than the majority of the current crop of fitness trackers available, as many exercises targeting the core of the body would not require any movement of the arms. By placing the monitor on the head, it can more precisely identify and rate cardio workouts.
“We think we have something quite unique,” he said.
In addition to looking after physical fitness, Lumafit will also concentrate on mental health too. It measures medical grade heart data, gathered through the ear lobe, to analyse yoga breathing sessions, measure heart rate and stress levels.
It will launch with three fitness focused apps for mind and body with the device: a gym tracker; a home fitness and interactive bootcamp app; and a relaxation and meditation programme.
Lumafit will also link up with third party fitness apps in the future, such as Map My Fitness, and it also plans to release a software developers’ kit next week too.
Lumafit is also a participant in Cork-based PCH’s accelerator programme, an association that Darran said has been of great benefit to the startup, providing it with access to design and manufacturing expertise, along with a sales network.
The first units of the product are set to ship later this year, with early adopters getting their devices as soon as September.