Infosys has invested $3 million in the wearables company Whoop, with the investment expected to be completed by the 16th of December, the company informed the BSE (pdf). Infosys will get a minority holding in the company. This was first reported by the Hindu.
The Whoop system is a wrist-worn strap that measures physical stats and other data, and provides athletes with an ‘Intensity’ score, corresponding to the level of physical strain and exertion. Based on the company’s algorithm, the device also provides a recovery score, which measures how prepared the body is for further exertion and finally it provides a sleep performance score, which evaluates the hours and quality of sleep an athlete gets.
Overall, the device claims to collect over 150 MB of physiological data per day based on five variables: heart rate, including the variation in time between beats; skin conductivity to monitor skin moisture and sleep latency; accelerometer and motion sensors to keep track of activity, and ambient temperature sensors. This entire system provides a dashboard for coaches to monitor all this data as well. In fact, the company focuses on professionals, and even offers coaches a team dashboard that lets them track overtraining or undertraining athletes, check how rested athletes are and which athletes are at a greater risk of injury.
As of now the company sells its devices only to professional athletes, college athletes, coaches/trainer or general competitors in a sports event. It’s not clear how much these devices cost. Currently, the company claims its devices are used by all teams in major US-based professional sports leagues and college conferences as well as Olympic participants training for the 2016 summer Olympics.
Other wearables: While most of the activity tracker market has been focused on an average user trying to get healthy, there have been a few initiatives geared towards athletes.
– Athos is a smart fitness apparel startup, that helps measure muscle activity and heart rate in real time. The wearable, which consists of upper body and/or lower body garment along with a ‘core’ unit, is also targeted at professionals.
– In India, while not focused on athletes specifically, GOQii provides a fitness tracker with human coaches. The company had raised $13.2 million last month and launched a coach marketplace model in March. Other players in India include LYCOS, which launched LYCOS Life, a line of wearable devices that includes a smart wristband and a finger ring in June, Xiaomi which launched its wearable Mi Band in April and Fitbit which launched in India in July.