Groove Tech is looking for $200k on Indiegogo, but have crowdfunding sites seen enough fitness trackers and smartwatches?
If you aren’t lucky enough to have someone monitoring your workouts to make sure you aren’t slacking off, this smartwatch could help you out by yelling at you to get moving.
Groove is a new fitness tracker and smartwatch that allows users to set goals, monitor their vitals and challenge their friends and family who also use the device. It promises to get to know its wearer’s routine and hold you accountable for keeping up your workout schedule. Furthermore, it is a smartwatch with a touchscreen that can sync with a smartphone and it even takes voice commands.
The watch was created by Groove Tech, a Downey, Calif.,and Seattle, Wash., startup that is now looking to raise $200,000 on Indiegogo to fund the watch. The campaign started July 10, and so far has raised just 2% of its goal, or $3,856. It still has time though, as the campaign runs through September 8.
The fitness tracker space is already pretty crowded, with wearables like the Fitbit, the Jawbone Up, or more serious workout tracking watches like Garmin or Timex’s Ironman watch, so where exactly does the Groove come in? It seems somewhere in the middle, for people who want to track workouts more closely than the bracelets can, but still don’t’ love working out enough to do it without the extra motivation.
The extra motivation
Groove was created by the company’s founder Steven Suri, who struggled with his health, and said he eventually realized that it takes discipline and support to change a lifestyle. Over the last year Suri worked with designers and engineers to create the Groove, which has features like MotivEngine and ActivLight System, that make the watch more personal and interactive with the wearer. The MotivEngine, for example, is a collection of sensors and algorithms that track and learn the user’s habits and activities. It creates a virtual map of the user’s body and can detect different movements and intensity to generate a score. The score is used to keep the user accountable for completing the amount of activity required to keep pre-defined goals. It can then tell if the wearer is sticking to his or her routine and completing challenges.
The ActivLight System is a virtual display feature that shows statuses and notifications. The band glows in different colors to tell the wearer of missed calls, texts, work challenges from friends or other information, depending on what the user programs it to do.
Suri and his team are now in the later stages of design and development and are seeking funding to commercialize the product. In the crowdfunding campaign, early bird backers can get the watch for $99, but once the first 200 are gone, backers can get it for $159. The Groove is expected to be delivered in January.
While the money it has raised so far is no small amount of cash, Groove’s campaign on Indiegogo is a little behind schedule to reach its goal. Its a fixed funding campaign, so it won’t receive anything if it doesn’t reach $200,000. I’d say maybe there are already enough smartwatches out there, but that wouldn’t explain why another smartwatch recently exploded on Indiegogo. The Ritot, a watch that can project the time on the back of the wearers hand, has raised more than $650,000 from crowdfunding and every day the amount is still going up.
I’m not sure why one watch does so much better than the other, but maybe people are more likely to spend on a gimmick-y watch than another fitness tracker.