Toronto-based startup PUSH is hoping to add some professionalism to an essentially amateur space with its fitness tracker aimed specifically at pros and demanding athletes who want data, not vague metrics, about general activity levels. The PUSH can provide solid data about reps, sets, force, power, balance, velocity, max weight, tempo and more to athletes who depend on informed workouts to push themselves further, and it’s nearly halfway to the $80,000 funding goal on Indiegogo it needs to make that happen.
The PUSH is a device that pairs with an elastic armband for wearing while you work out, which incorporates a motion sensor, orientation sensor, Bluetooth 2.1, a rechargeable battery good for between 6 to 8 hours of continual use (or around a week of exercising), as well as a physical button and LEDs for basic input and display. It pairs with a companion app that features an exercise database, motion analysis, sharing and trend tracking as well as visual reporting of the data it collects.
I spoke with Mike Lovas, Chief Designer of PUSH hardware and co-founder of the company. He explained that, while the activity-tracking segment is well-covered now, there’s still a huge gap when it comes to professional-caliber devices – and a strong appetite and willingness among organizations and users to spend on such hardware.
“One of the big things we’ve been really interested in is the pro-level interest,” he said. “A lot of guys from the NHL, NFL, MLB, pro soccer in Europe, rugby and those kinds of high-end users are loving what we’re doing, so that’s been super encouraging.”
PUSH is seeing a lot of that interest being driven at the organization level by coaching staff and trainers who want to help their athletes train more effectively and efficiently; a truly quantified workout routine has the advantage of being able to provide the tools needed for athletes to work out smarter and safer. You’ll have less chance of injuring yourself if professionals have access to more data, and you won’t waste time with exercises that aren’t really adding anything to your existing workouts.
“Sports science is big. Pros are using high-end, expensive research equipment and pay through the nose for that stuff,” Lovas explained, describing how it differs from what’s already out there. “We had this product that we could offer at a fraction of the price, give them similar metrics and also have it so that every athlete could wear this every time they work out, so it’s not just once a month that they could get this data, but every time they hit the gym.”
Individual users can pre-order the device for a one-time fee of $139, but for coaches and teams there’s going to be a subscription software and service product that provides them with a dashboard where they can monitor and compare all their athletes on an ongoing basis. Obviously, the hope is that this becomes a competitive advantage that teams are climbing over themselves to get at.
Lovas also says that PUSH is looking at expanding the types of activity it can monitor with different types of mounts for the PUSH, and could even get into specialized hardware and software for individual sports down the road, depending on how things go. Judging by the progress they’ve made so far toward their funding goal, there’s strong demand out there for this type of thing.