Leonard MacEachern is a professor at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. His company, GestureLogic, is showing off a new wearable that is soon to arrive on Indiegogo.
The wearable, called LEO, is a band of silver-woven fabric that wraps around the user's thigh and measures hamstring movement, hydration and heart rate. The device is not named after Leonard MacEachern, but rather Leonardo da Vinci, as the man embodies the science behind the product.
The architecture of LEO is very similar to other wearables on the market. The device collects data from the user's exercise, then syncs that data with a smartphone and the cloud. Where LEO differentiates itself is that the cloud is used to gather data and send recommendations back to the user to help them train more effectively.
Another added benefit of this intelligent cloud is the ability to warn users of potential injuries. LEO will measure your muscle activity and compare it against other users as well as pro athletes. If you're exercising in such a way that you could injure yourself, LEO chimes in with something like "Did you know that 60% of people experience injuries performing this way? Try lifting your legs more." Apparently, you need to express recommendations in the form of trivia in order to avoid making direct recommendations that could result in a lawsuit.
LEO seems to be targeted to the health sciences aficionados and positions itself in a more professional end of the market. While Fitbit is for the average person who is curious about how far they've walked, LEO is for the avid cycler who is looking to improve their stride.
The market is pretty tough right now for new fitness wearables. Currently, Fitbit owns 68% of the market, Jawbone 19%, Nike 10% and the rest have a 3% market share. The challenge will be to not only convince users that the additional intelligent data is worth the shift, but also to expand to other forms of exercise. For example, with a band around the thigh, does LEO have any relevance to a rower or boxer? To be fair, this is a problem that other wearables have as well.
You can expect to see LEO launch on Indiegogo in the next couple of weeks. MacEachern has said we can expect to see a beta device for around $175, while the full retail might be in the range of $250.