Athos: Smart Fabric Measures Every Breath, Heartbeat and Muscle Exertion
A smart fabric plus an accelerometer core creates the next level in quantified performance clothing. I spoke with Athos founding team members, Dhananja Jayalath, Chris Wiebe, and Joel Seligstein to learn more about the technology behind Athos.
What’s so special about Athos fabric?
DJ: “The cloth has sensors that are built directly into the fabric. With ECG sensors and muscle output sensors integrated into the clothing, you can very accurately measure heart rate and muscle effort. The Core is the analytics module of the sensors – it’s essentially the computer that collects and analyzes all the stats and sends the data to the mobile app.”
Why did you opt for clothing instead of a wrist / arm wearable?
DJ: “We wanted to capture data from multiple points. We wanted to capture info from your biceps, quads and triceps, which our fabric lets us do. By building the sensors into clothing we think it also makes it easy to use and remember, and helps create a routine.” Since all the sensors are built in, you’ll be able to measure heart rate without a chest strap and get real-time responsive input on how to best train for your goals.
“We believe that apparel is going to get smarter, it’s not just something you cover yourself up with anymore. Athletes will get an advantage in training with Athos unlike what a simple wicking shirt or compression shorts provide.”
Who is your target audience?
Chris: “People who are going on 6am rides or heading to the gym 3-5 times a week with the goal of getting better and stronger – that is our target market.” Athos apparel is focused on people who want to get better at their fitness goals and those who want to analyze their performance and continue to do better. The company’s differentiation factor is that they aren’t trying to motivate stationary people to move more – they want to help athletes be more efficient and train harder. Athos would be an ideal partner for sports teams, events like the Olympics, gyms, and trainers.
“We’ve talked internally about how our data is good enough for pros to use so that they can train for their events but still approachable enough for the average consumer to use.”
How is the app user experience?
Joel: “We are using the app to give tailored insight to what your body is doing. For weightlifters counting reps is important, but if you are riding a bike, cadence and balance and pushing vs. pulling on the pedal is important. Long term, we’ll continue to iterate and make things customized.“
What is the key takeaway here?
DJ: “We are not just about collecting data – we are about giving the user a great experience. We are not just about the hardware – we want to deliver performance and comfort in something that is unique and useful.”[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zbtc-unamZs&w=560&h=315]