High-tech compression shorts maker Strive aims to measure the ‘miles per gallon’ of athletes

High-tech compression shorts maker Strive aims to measure the ‘miles per gallon’ of athletes

10:35am, 3rd August, 2019
Strive co-founders Nikola Mrvaljevic and Carsten Winsnes with the Sense3 compression short. (Strive Photo) As a professional basketball player in Montenegro, got the idea that there must be a better way for athletes to train. “Not everybody trains efficiently. We tend to get tired and most of the time we don’t know why,” Mrvaljevic said. So he started , a wearable technology startup that seeks to answer how and why athletes fatigue. The Bothell, Wash.-based company aims to quantify the “miles per gallon” for a given athlete. One advantage of Strive’s Sense3 system is that it attaches to ordinary compression shorts and therefore doesn’t require athletes to get used to wearing a new gadget. (Strive Photo) After hanging up his basketball jersey, Mrvaljevic went on to study biomedical and electrical engineering at the University of Rhode Island. He later got an MBA from the University of Washington before co-founding Strive with, a former NCAA crew athlete who is now the company’s COO. Strive’s core product is , a sensor system that is sewn into ordinary compression shorts that can measure muscle exertion, distance and heart rate. “We combine metrics that nobody else has. There’s no product on the market that can do muscles, heart and motion in a single solution,” Mrvaljevic said. “If you put those three together, you can understand how efficient the athlete is.” And because the sensors are part of compression shorts, the athletes don’t have to get used to any straps, wristbands or other wearables that might be distracting. Knowing when athletes are tired can be vital to coaches. As players fatigue, they tend to fall into bad habits, their form becomes worse, and they’re more likely to sustain an injury. “We will never predict an injury,” Mrvaljevic said. “But we will try to point out risk factors for injury or for body inefficiency.” Used properly, this information can signal when an intervention is needed during a training session. Strive works with coaches to review the data and gain insights, a process that it plans to automate in the future. “If we know that the right quad is cramping up or not firing properly during high accelerations, a coach should know that. And that information should that be communicated to the athletic trainer,” Mrvaljevic said. While the average person’s interest in wearables may begin and end with counting steps and monitoring sleep, professional sports teams have been quick to embrace the mountains of data generated by more specialized devices. Among the most prominent manufacturers is , whose wearables and software are used by teams around the world from college football squads to the UK’s Premier League. Just down the highway from Strive’s headquarters is the Seattle Seahawks practice facility, to get an edge on the competition. The startup’s customers include the University of Maryland, Rutgers University and a few NFL teams. It is also seeking approval from the NBA to work with professional basketball teams. The company is collaborating on research projects with Cal Poly and the University of West Florida. Strive is also working with the U.S. Air Force’s AFWERX program, which partners with entrepreneurs on projects that benefit the military. Strive recently raised $1.5 million, according to a The company has seven full-time employees.
High-tech compression shorts maker Strive aims to measure the ‘miles per gallon’ of athletes

High-tech compression shorts maker Strive aims to measure the ‘miles per gallon’ of athletes

10:35am, 3rd August, 2019
Strive co-founders Nikola Mrvaljevic and Carsten Winsnes with the Sense3 compression short. (Strive Photo) As a professional basketball player in Montenegro, got the idea that there must be a better way for athletes to train. “Not everybody trains efficiently. We tend to get tired and most of the time we don’t know why,” Mrvaljevic said. So he started , a wearable technology startup that seeks to answer how and why athletes fatigue. The Bothell, Wash.-based company aims to quantify the “miles per gallon” for a given athlete. One advantage of Strive’s Sense3 system is that it attaches to ordinary compression shorts and therefore doesn’t require athletes to get used to wearing a new gadget. (Strive Photo) After hanging up his basketball jersey, Mrvaljevic went on to study biomedical and electrical engineering at the University of Rhode Island. He later got an MBA from the University of Washington before co-founding Strive with, a former NCAA crew athlete who is now the company’s COO. Strive’s core product is , a sensor system that is sewn into ordinary compression shorts that can measure muscle exertion, distance and heart rate. “We combine metrics that nobody else has. There’s no product on the market that can do muscles, heart and motion in a single solution,” Mrvaljevic said. “If you put those three together, you can understand how efficient the athlete is.” And because the sensors are part of compression shorts, the athletes don’t have to get used to any straps, wristbands or other wearables that might be distracting. Knowing when athletes are tired can be vital to coaches. As players fatigue, they tend to fall into bad habits, their form becomes worse, and they’re more likely to sustain an injury. “We will never predict an injury,” Mrvaljevic said. “But we will try to point out risk factors for injury or for body inefficiency.” Used properly, this information can signal when an intervention is needed during a training session. Strive works with coaches to review the data and gain insights, a process that it plans to automate in the future. “If we know that the right quad is cramping up or not firing properly during high accelerations, a coach should know that. And that information should that be communicated to the athletic trainer,” Mrvaljevic said. While the average person’s interest in wearables may begin and end with counting steps and monitoring sleep, professional sports teams have been quick to embrace the mountains of data generated by more specialized devices. Among the most prominent manufacturers is , whose wearables and software are used by teams around the world from college football squads to the UK’s Premier League. Just down the highway from Strive’s headquarters is the Seattle Seahawks practice facility, to get an edge on the competition. The startup’s customers include the University of Maryland, Rutgers University and a few NFL teams. It is also seeking approval from the NBA to work with professional basketball teams. The company is collaborating on research projects with Cal Poly and the University of West Florida. Strive is also working with the U.S. Air Force’s AFWERX program, which partners with entrepreneurs on projects that benefit the military. Strive recently raised $1.5 million, according to a The company has seven full-time employees.
‘Halo Light’ maker Illumagear lands $2.5M to make construction workers safer and more productive

‘Halo Light’ maker Illumagear lands $2.5M to make construction workers safer and more productive

5:30pm, 28th February, 2019
(GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota) , the maker of the workplace safety device Halo Light, , led by an initial investment from . Brick & Mortar invests in a portfolio of construction-oriented companies, including field data platform Rhumbix and productivity software firm PlanGrid. Illumagear’s flagship product is the Halo Light, a cordless safety system that can be mounted to ordinary hard hats. Built for construction sites, the 360-degree light is meant to withstand the accompanying hazards, like falling from a two-story building or being driven over by a truck. Illumagear CEO Max Baker shows off the company’s Halo Light, a ringed light that attaches to hard hats. (Illumagear Photo) The company said it will use the new cash to staff up, increase marketing efforts and develop new products. “Personal illumination does not solely refer to physical lighting,” CEO Max Baker told GeekWire in an email. “Businesses in high-risk industries need more insight into their daily operations to improve individual worker safety and productivity. Software-enabled hardware will allow us to provide this insight.” Baker hinted that the company may have new products launching as early as this year. The company says that its $99 Halo Light can help companies’ bottom lines by reducing injuries and lowering insurance costs. The system has so far been used in the construction, mining, transportation, power, facilities and oil industries. Illumagear’s early financial backers included Peter Küttel and Rodger May of MK Ventures, as well as former Microsoft executive J Allard.
‘Circle with Disney’ device maker raises $20M to help parents set screen time limits, block content

‘Circle with Disney’ device maker raises $20M to help parents set screen time limits, block content

12:58pm, 22nd February, 2019
Circle with Disney parental control device. (Circle Photo) , maker of the Circle with Disney parental control device, has raised $20 million in new investment. The Portland-based startup makes products that allow parents to set screen time limits and block certain content. Its technology pairs to a home router and lets parents manage online access for every device on a network. Circle also sells a subscription service for devices on 4G LTE or other WiFi networks. Its flagship product, , currently sells for $40 on Amazon. Circle CEO Lance Charlish. (Circle Photo) The company will use the fresh cash for research and development, marketing and strategic partnerships, Circle CEO and co-founder told GeekWire. Circle is also developing new consumer products as well as services delivered through the cloud and routers made by its partners. “The news is full of reports of parents struggling to support their children in a connected world,” Charlish said in an email. “We recognize that parents are looking for help in their crucial role guiding their children as they progress through developmental milestones of digital literacy.” Investors in the Series B round included Circle partners NETGEAR and T-Mobile US, who were joined by Third Kind Venture Capital, Relay Ventures and others. Circle developed a service called FamilyMode for T-Mobile and sells its parental control services through NETGEAR’s routers. The funding round brings Circle’s total money raised to $30 million. The startup employs more than 60 people in its offices in Portland, Ore. and Cypress, Calif. Charlish said the company was excited about its expansion plans for 2019 but declined to share specifics. There are countless apps and smart routers that come with built-in parental controls. Circle aims to distinguish itself by providing a holistic solution that manages time and content across devices both in and out of the house — a goal that it has mainly pursued through partnerships. Researchers are . A recent found that screen time for children under 2 years old has more than doubled since 1997. In addition to Charlish, the company’s leadership also includes Chief Creative Officer Jelani Memory, who co-founded the startup, and Chief Technology Officer Tiebing Zhang. Circle was founded in 2014.
Industrial augmented reality smart headwear maker RealWear raises another $5M

Industrial augmented reality smart headwear maker RealWear raises another $5M

1:16pm, 19th February, 2019
(RealWear Photo) Vancouver, Wash.-based startup has raised another $5 million in a round led by Columbia Ventures Corporation to expand its global sales arm and invest in development of its industrial augmented reality headwear. Wearing his signature product, the HMT-1, Andy Lowery is co-founder and CEO of RealWear. (Andy Lowery Photo) Founded in 2016, RealWear sells a voice-controlled augmented reality device worn by industrial workers that provides remote video calling, document navigation, guided workflow, mobile forms and data visualization. It has two versions of the device priced at $2,000 and $5,000. The company has shipped more than 10,000 units to 800 customers globally in the past 18 months. It recently with China’s State Grid, the largest utility in the world. Other customers include Colgate-Palmolive, Volkswagen, Toyota, and others. “We essentially are the tip of the spear of a connected worker program for industry,” RealWear CEO Andy Lowery told GeekWire . “We are able to free a worker’s hands for the work by providing a wearable Android computer that is fully voice-controlled, even in extremely noisy environments. They can pull up documents, connect to other experts, and facilitate learning and problem solving in situ, meaning right there and then.” RealMax also invested in the new round, as did other strategic backers, advisors, employees, friends and family. Total funding to date in the 91-person company is $30 million. RealWear is ranked No. 98 on the , our index of Pacific Northwest startups. reported this week that funding in U.S.-based construction technology startups rose to nearly $3.1 billion last year, up from $731 million in 2017. Related:
Nintendo announces Super Mario Maker 2 for Switch, so goodbye forever

Nintendo announces Super Mario Maker 2 for Switch, so goodbye forever

6:03pm, 13th February, 2019
has ruined my life, and all our lives, by announcing Super Mario Maker 2, the sequel to the level-constructing game on Wii U that produced thousands of devious levels for those who think the “real” games aren’t hard enough. Gamers have been asking for this basically since the Switch was first rumored. Maker 2 looks like it’s been updated in a number of helpful ways apart from being on a console that will actually be supported long-term. The interface needed some sprucing up for the lower precision players will have using their fingers instead of a stylus on the touchscreen. No doubt this will be a huge draw for Nintendo’s Switch Online service, which will likely not only allow you to share your levels and try those of others, but — if Nintendo listened to its player base — compete with ghosts and other multiplayer features. Here’s hoping we can build whole worlds, but let’s not get greedy. But we definitely have slopes now! Honestly I could play NES and SNES-era Mario games forever on repeat, and the re-releases of other Marios on Switch has made the newer ones even more accessible. Probably between those and Mario Maker I’ll never leave the house again. Details are truly scant for now except that the game will come out in June of this year, just in time for summer to arrive — and be shut out with blackout curtains so glare doesn’t get on my greasy Switch. I’ll update this post if any new information becomes available.