This software with movement intelligence is what wearables has been waiting for.
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A few weeks ago, I was invited to speak at the Onestop Partner Summit. It was a day filled with passionate people who were producing stunning change in their fields. When you’re surrounded by that many successful people, you can’t help being inspired.
The most compelling speaker for me was Grant Hughes of FocusMotion. The L.A.-based startup, I believe, is the next big thing in the $15 billion wearables market.
Here’s the rub: It’s not a wearables company–it’s a software company. Let me explain.
The FocusMotion technology originated in fitness, but its implications are pretty mind-boggling. Users can install the software to track, learn, and analyze human motion on any sensor, OS, or platform. Yes, seriously.
During the demo, Grant showed how the software can track movements that have real implications in daily life. He was quick to point out that the current market of wearables only tracks steps and sleep.
Grant downloaded the software onto his wearable, did a specific “raise the roof” motion (with the entire audience helping), and then named that movement and added it to the device. He went on to prove how the software had learned the movement. Fascinating!
The demo got me excited because I’m an avid CrossFitter. That means that wearables do nothing for me: doing a double under is the same as a squat clean. But not if the FocusMotion software were in my wearable device.
If I had the software, I would be able to train it to know which movement I was doing. So, for example, I could perform a squat clean, tell the software what that movement was, and it would track the movement from there on out. It learns the movement as you go.
The implications are exciting
FocusMotion is already in partnerships within physical therapy, professional sports, and work force safety. There are even capabilities within police use of force.
Professional sports: FocusMotion runs a pilot program with the Los Angeles Dodgers to examine the ways in which motion tracking positively impacts athlete training and recovery.
Physical therapy: FocusMotion has partnered with Reflexion Health and Force Therapeutics to explore motion tracking in physical therapy. Reflexion’s FDA-cleared patient rehab experience is designed to guide patients through their physical therapy, coaching them on form and tracking adherence in their home.
FocusMotion will work to identify and track lower body movements, in particular, to aid in physical therapy. Force Therapeutics arms musculoskeletal recovery patients with tools, such as video-based instruction, communication, outcomes collection, and real-time tracking, and the company will leverage FocusMotion technology in a range of motion tracking, using both wearable sensors and mobile phone platforms.
Work force safety: FocusMotion has partnered with Kinetic and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health on a funded study that may lead to the development of a wearable system for identifying multiple low back pain risk factors associated with manual lifting tasks performed in the manufacturing sector. NIOSH is part of the U.S. CDC.
Firearms: FocusMotion did an on-site study at a firing range with a police officer and found that not only was there a unique data pattern to the weapon’s being drawn, but there was also a pattern to its being aimed and fired.