The future of fitness tracking is here and but not quite at arm’s reach– it’s in India.
Jibin Jose and Abimanyu Nair, co-founders of India-based Flip Technologies, won a contest last November that gave them the opportunity to visit Toronto and be mentored by the Digital Media Zone. Now they’ve taken what they’ve learned and refined their fitness tracking product, Block.
“I think people are really interested in knowing more about their daily activities,” said Jose. “It’s not just about fitness anymore. It’s not about exercise or playing a game. People need to know how good they are.”
Block–The Smart Riser is a device users can attach to the trucks of a skateboard. The device tracks the skateboard’s motions, can detect tricks being performed and monitors improvement. The data is transferred to a smartphone app via Bluetooth.
“Right now people are [not just concerned] about quantifiable data and numbers, but [want to] relate it to something useful,” Jose said. Athletes want to translate time spent on a skateboard into calories burned or a carbon footprint– what it means “in the real world.”
The fitness tracking market is rapidly growing. Products like Fitbit and Jawbone bracelets were among the most coveted gifts this past holiday season. The real market for these products, according to Jose, is in North America.
Meeting real skateboarders was the most valuable part of the Jose and Nair’s trip to Ryerson. “In India, we don’t have a lot of skate parks or skateboarders,” Jose said. “I was really amazed to see people skating on the sidewalks and road in Toronto.”
While Block isn’t yet ready for retail, those interested can subscribe to updates here.