Zinc Software wins €650,000 investment

Company will use funding to develop its biofeedback platform aimed at iOS, Android


The company is also the first European firm that has been accepted into Irish headquartered PCH International’s accelerator programme.

Zinc, based in Dublin, is involved in the production of next generation heart sensors. Its first product is the Zen Sensor, a wireless biosensor that clips to a user’s ear lobe and transmits high resolution heart waveform data to an iPhone, iPad or Android device.

“At the core of what we’ve been building is a heart sensor, essentially a heart monitor that picks up high resolution heart waveforms, a little bit like an ECG, but does it at the ear lobe,” said chief executive Darragh Hughes. “It’s shining light through the ear and picking up activity through the changes in oxygen. It’s been common in hospitals for the past 20 years or so. But we’ve made a version that clips on the ear and tracks motion such as head movements.”

One application is the biofeedback apps, which monitors stress levels in a user and encourages them to breathe meditatively to reduce stress, through the use of app. “It’s almost gamifying breathing based meditation sessions,” Mr Hughes said.

The platform has broader applications that merely medical monitoring, with Zinc seeing it fitting into a health and fitness apps for cyclists and runners.

Zinc is seeking licensing partners to move into the sports space and other new markets in the near future. Zinc said it will use the funding announced this week to work on developing its market in the US.

The funding included a €150,000 investment by Kernel Capital through the Bank of Ireland MedTech Accelerator Fund, and the remaining €500,000 was raised from Enterprise Ireland, PCH International and the AIB Seed Capital Fund. Getting into the PCH accelerator programme is also a significant boost for the firm.

“It’s a very good programme. Over the past number of years, social media was where investors were focused on,” said Mr Hughes. “But I think the advent of smartphones and the idea that the smartphone can be the hub of health sensors and other types of sensors, people are starting to look at the hardware space again.”