Misfit Wearables has launched a crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo for Shine, the startup’s impressive debut wearable sensor. The company was founded by Sonny Vu and Sridhar Iyengar, co-founders of Agamatrix, along with former Apple CEO John Sculley, and has raised $7.6 million in Series A funding from the Founders Fund and Khosla Ventures.
The inspiration for Misfit was to create “thoughtfully simple” devices and the current market certainly isn’t short on competition. The Misfit team seems to believe they have a unique offering in terms of its true wearability, its coolness factor, and at first glance I am inclined to think they may be right. To me Shine looks like it came straight out of Cupertino, and I can guarantee you if Steve Jobs were still alive and into the quantified self movement this would be his device of choice.
As co-founders of Agamatrix, Vu and Ivengar oversaw the development of the first FDA approved glucose meter attachment for the iPhone, giving them valuable experience in manufacturing and managing a supply chain. The device they created is now known as the IBGStar and is exclusively distributed by Sanofi.
Shine is a quarter-size metal sensor worn either in a sports wristband or clipped to the user’s clothing. Data captured by the Shine is automatically transmitted wirelessly to the user’s smartphone by simply laying the device on top of the phone. Unlike most activity monitors Shine can distinguish between different types of activity, such as bike pedals and swimming strokes.
“We’re launching early to see how users will like it, how they’d use it, and where they’d wear it so we can make it better,” CEO and Chairman of Misfit Sonny Vu said in a press release.
“We want to show that people want it,” Hadi El Heneidi, Misfit Wearables’ Commercial Lead told MobiHealthNews. “Crowdfunding is very different from focus groups where people can tell you they ‘might’ wear it. Crowdfunding sites like [Indiegogo] make is easy for people to learn about your product and actually have the opportunity to have the product, too. So by offering it early and at a strong pricepoint relative to what it will retail for — we think it will go well.”
El Heneidi also told MobiHealthNews that Misfit is not only focused on developing consumer products, and will also have a strong focus on medical grade sensors. “Everyone thinks we are making a shirt that measures everything, and we’re not,” Hadi El Heneidi, Misfit Wearables’ Commercial Lead told MobiHealthNews. ”We’re not making a shirt. Our company has been focused both on the consumer side and on the medical side, but as a new startup, by focusing on the consumer side we can benefit from lower barriers to entry. [Starting with a medical product] means starting in a quicksand kind of scenario where you have to worry about regulations.”
The companion smartphone app is already available in the iTunes store, though its only a prototype and will likely receive several updates before the first batch of devices ship in March 2013.
The pricing chart from IndieGoGo is visualized in the great graphic below. In fact, one thing about Misfit that really stands out is the company’s exceptional design skills, evidenced in the company’s first product, as well as the numerous infographics the company has published on their website over the last several months in the lead up to the Shine launch.
Check out the product video from the IndieGoGo page below.