This New Fitness Tracker Lets You Save Your Old Watch, And The Planet As Well
I’m guessing there is probably a truly beautiful watch in your closet or jewelry box that you don’t wear very often, even though you cherish it. With the advent of smartphones and now smartwatches, we constantly have the time on our person in other ways, so traditional timepieces, though lovely, fall by the wayside. Plus, smartwatches that track our health and wellness are more practical to wear.
Gooseberry, a global consumer technology company headquartered in Silicon Valley, saw that there was a need for a fitness tracker that would let you upgrade your already purchased and beloved watch, without having to stick anything onto it, or change in any way.
Developed by co-founders Shripal Gandhi and Alexei Levene, the Smart Buckle reflects their perception of a gap in the market of fitness and sleep trackers for those people who want to wear their normal, sometimes beloved, timepieces, and keep their personal style. Gandhi and Levene want the Smart Buckle to bring advanced step, calorie, activity and sleep monitoring capabilities to a watch you already love, alleviating the double purchase of a stylish watch and a dedicated fitness watch. Not only does that save the consumer money, but it helps consumers do more, with less — a central ethos of the Gooseberry organization. The company prides itself on being a conscious organization with ethos rooted in well-being and conscious living.
I had the opportunity to speak to Levene about Gooseberry’s latest product, and learn a little more about how Gooseberry is helping to make the world a little more green with their product line.
There are a lot of fitness trackers out there — what inspired you to create this tracker?
The inspiration to create the Smart Buckle came through a series of discussions we were having about the limitations of smartwatches, and the nascent efforts the watch industry is doing in response to the Apple Watch being the number two watch company by revenue. We asked ourselves what if we could embed subtle technology that does not require you to look at yet another screen, compromise on style, and would not need to be charged each day.
Our primary interest is to look at wearable technologies as being the best way to gather physiological and health data. Today that means activity and sleep, but soon we will be seeing a wide range of additional indicators that will transform the way we think about health and interact with health services. And, of course, we are all watch lovers!
We started to explore the watch itself and had an “aha” moment when we realized that the watch buckle is actually an incredibly underutilized space close to the skin that offers a platform for our current and future iterations of Smart Buckle. This led to our filing a patent and the start of this journey. We are not seeking to replace other fitness trackers, but rather we wish to offer people a new way to enjoy the benefits of this technology as suited to their lifestyles, without compromise.
Tell me about the manufacturing process. I heard that it took you four years?
We have deep expertise in manufacturing, production and supply chain — my co-founder Shripal Gandhi has built a mobile phone design/marketing business that has built and sold over 12 million devices in India. We kicked off initial EVT prototyping about a year and a half ago, and have been through DVT and PVT stages, now with a ready product and some final firmware and certification tweaks that are days from completion.
The primary challenge has been miniaturizing the technology while at the same time ensuring utmost accuracy and battery efficiency. For the latter, we were forced to design our own battery to maximize the space and, coupled with our proprietary intelligent power management algorithm, we are proud that Buckle can be used for five days from a single 60-minute charge. It was a massive design challenge to miniaturize all the electronics into the smallest form factor. It took all our years of experience to do this, while at the same time matching the beauty and contemporary curves of the most stunning watches
You call your company a “conscious organization,” tell me about your company ethos.
I am happy that you asked about this as this is important for us. Our philosophy is based on the idea that for too long we — as a society — have been in a cycle of buying new products rather than rejuvenating existing ones.
Humanity has advanced technologically and created a system where new material desires constantly emerge around and within each of us. While we value our possessions, we continue to acquire new products and gadgets for our daily life at astronomical rates. We must stop for a moment and rethink our methods. Can we live with a middle ground approach, where we can adopt new technology without discarding and making obsolete the old ones?
The Smart Buckle is for those people who value their timepieces and do not want to swap this with a fitness band, but still want to get the benefits of the technology. This is a valuable option based on the insight that rejuvenating products intelligently and with subtle technologies is a mindful approach that can be replicated in many areas — including our product pipeline. In addition, we hold ourselves to a high standard in the manufacturing process and take great pains to source ethically and to use non-toxic materials. Finally, the team approaches our work mindfully, and whilst we are scattered across several continents, we work in a joyful supportive way and gain nourishment from aspiring to do our bit to bring about a better world by influencing people’s fitness and in later versions, their health.
Published at Mon, 24 Jul 2017 20:28:28 +0000 from Google News