June 5, 2015
At the “World Premier” of OMsignal’s experiential smart apparel pop-up shop, visitors have an opportunity to learn how biometric smartwear can help them live “fitter, healthier and happier,” participate in live product demos, as well as purchase their own shirts with a special Bespoke starter kit price of $199 (online for $249).
Showcased at the store is OMsignal’s inaugural product, a biometric high-performance compression shirt. Embedded into each shirt is layers of conductive yarn which is connected to strategically placed sensors that track your heart rate and target heart rate zones, breathing rate, calories burned, steps, HRV, and intensity levels. Your data is collected by OMsignal’s proprietary technology and synced via Bluetooth to your iOS device (Android version is in development).
Tech.Co had a chance to speak with members of the OMsignal team at the retail location’s launch including Eric Giguère, Head of Business Development, who shared with us insights into what it takes to create the next hot wearable and advice for budding wearable startups.
On having the right team members:
Giguère mentioned that after experimenting with a wide range of wearables in the mobile health space, the founders came to a thesis that the “ultimate wearable is clothing.” Thus they sought advisory from top textile designers and scientists. “We’re almost four startups in one, we have textiles, platform/hardware, front-end, and bio-engagement engineers that are there to make sense of all the technology and signals we get to translate that into good advice for the users.”
On determining their target market:
They focused on athletes because they are early adopters in the self-monitoring space and in the late stages of the product beta testing, all of the beta testers were asking about fitness. “So we listened to our beta testers as well as our assessment of the market.”
On the wearable start-up learning curve:
“It can be challenging to brining a new product in a new category to market. Smart wearables didn’t exist four years ago. There is no company out there producing compressions shirts with smart textile included; there’s a whole new sphere of expertise that needs to be put in place, so there’s a lot of work in communicating those new ideas and new ways to do things. We have to literally coach our suppliers and have them learn through the process so that we ramp up to mass production. It’s an interesting process to go through.”
On advice he’d give to upcoming wearable startups:
“Don’t build out too far before you introduce to market because the market will teach you so much, they will guide you in what they need and want. Don’t try to build the perfect solution in your mind before your introduce it to the market. Get out there fast and make mistakes.”
Bespoke, “a trifecta of coworking, demo, and event spaces” acts as an epicenter for forward thinkers to research, define and design the next generation of retail products. By providing an opportunity for traditionally online brands to interact with their customers in person, Bespoke creates an open dialogue between consumers and brands. Currently, in addition to OMSignal’s pop-up shop, visitors can demo the products of various other companies including: Product Hunt, Rovio, Shoes of Prey, and Indiegogo. Be sure to stop Westfield’s San Francisco Centre and visit these pop-ups before the next bunch of retail trailblazers rotate in.
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