Copenhagen-based Motosumo has spent the last three years developing “gait analysis” systems based on body mounted sensors coupled with its own algorithm to model motion physics. It’s then been applying this tech to professional sports, physiotherapy, and athletics.
However, the startup now wants to bring its wares to the consumer market with fitness and sports tracking apps that operate sans any external sensors or gadgets. Instead, its tech will rely solely on the array of ‘inertial’ sensors that can typically be found on a modern smartphone.
“The fitness trend appears to be gadgets, gadgets, gadgets… Many of these are great, but it leaves a big group of everyday athletes without the option to train more intelligently with the advanced analysis offered by separate motion sensors,” Kresten Juel Jensen, co-founder and CEO of Motosumo, tells me.
This reliance on additional gadgets creates an “activation barrier” due to pricing and the inconvenience of installation and use. “With an app relying on the increasingly accurate motion sensors of smartphones combined with our algorithm we can deliver this service at a completely new price and convenience level cutting out the separate sensors,” he says.
Motosumo’s first app targets indoor cycling or spinning. You simply mount your phone on the indoor bicycle’s handle bars and off you go. The app then displays your cadence — or pedal revolutions per minute — in realtime. Previously this required more specialist equipment, according to the startup.
“In addition to the cadence measurement, we offer new more intuitive ways of visualising data for improved understanding. Also our interpretation of your data and explanation of general fitness terms is intended to make even advanced analysis easily understood and highly actionable,” adds Jensen.
The bigger picture is that Motosumo wants to “democratise advanced motion analysis”, by bringing its professional technology to anybody with a smartphone. To aid that mission the startup has raised $500,000 from Denmark’s SEED Capital. The VC firm previously invested in Endomondo, the social fitness tracker acquired by athletic apparel maker Under Armour for $85 million.