Weekly Wearables Roundup: HugSmartwatch, Halo, Lechal, BodyCap, UnderArmourShoes

1. Smartwatch for the safety of women

Raj Neravati is the Founder and CEO of Hug Innovations Corp. Having worked in diverse industries, ranging from Financial Services and Insurance to Health Care, Raj is currently driving global technology transformation initiatives to change the way we interact with the world today. He moved to India from the United States after the 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape incident to work on a technology for women’s safety. Eventually, he came up with the idea of a smartwatch with personal safety features and in 2014 launched Hug Innovations.


The Hug Smartwatch is a modern wearable with a classic twist. The rectangular design, inspired by the classic wristwatch, utilizes every inch of the crisp LCD screen, maximizing the content for your convenience. In fact, every element of design, from color to contour, is geared for a more personal wearable experience. Take control of an electronic world with your own vocabulary of hand gestures. Hug comes with Contextual Intelligence that instinctively understands what you want to get done – turn up the music, dim the lights, play console games, switch presentation slides, or fly your remote-controlled helicopter like a pro.

Reflexive, reliable and always at work. When it comes to personal safety, the Hug Smartwatch packs a punch. With your prior permission, it reflexively reacts to threat situations and sends a distress signal to your close ones, not to mention nearby emergency services. The features can also be brought into action manually when your intuition sends an early warning. The always-on safety technology can be activated by long pressing a dedicated panic button located on the side.The Hug Smartwatch can also interpret a hand gesture as sign of trouble, for situations where your discretion is key. The gesture-based safety can be turned on and the quickest way to reach out for help.

The company has sold close to 300 smartwatches since the product was launched recently. With an idea of keeping the device fun, easy-to-use and intuitive, Neravati says gesture recognition features can be used in multiple areas and can lead to a touch less interaction in Internet of Things, virtual reality, gamification and healthcare, among others.


2. Halo’s Wearable Hydration Trainer

Halo Wearables is a Utah-based company that offers cutting edge wearable devices to help you monitor your hydration level. With a great team and continued R&D, Halo Wearables is emerging as a market leader in the wearables market. Halo Edge, the company’s first wearable, is a hydration trainer for your wrist. It monitors your hydration level, activity level, and environment in real-time instead of monitoring just heart-rate and step-count, with a belief that tracking hydration will prove more useful for athletes.

Halo Edge is a simplistic wearable, it shows the user’s hydration level through one of four LED lights: the green light means normal hydration, yellow means decreased hydration, red means a lack of hydration, and blue means too much hydration. Data is sent from the user’s wrist to Halo Wearables analytics platform to calculate whether the user is too hydrated or lacks hydration. If the user wants to dig for more details, Halo Wearables provides a mobile and desktop app, for athletes that want to know their peak. In the first few days of using the wearable, Halo Wearables platform will learn the user’s normal hydration level and change algorithms to personalize the device. From there, it will watch for daily changes, like preparing for a marathon or more exercise, and change accordingly to fit the new regime.

Halo Wearables also sees a potential future licensing its tech to wearables market leaders, like Apple or Google. The focus of mainstream wearables has been step-count and heart-rate, but the Halo Edge shows there is more to fitness tracking than just those two features, even for regular customers.

3. Smart shoes will soon tell you where to go

Ducere Technologies has developed a wearable named Lechal, that uses GPS to track down your location through a GPS linked app. It then sends vibrations to your soles, thus telling you which turn to take. Built into the shape of a small pod which comes fitted into insoles, it functions through an app installed on your smartphone. The app also allows you to keep a record of your route and checks your fitness levels by counting the steps you take.


An inherent interest in haptics, a chance meeting with a visually-impaired acquaintance, a vague notion to rethink the way the visually-challenged navigate all germinated in the creation of Lechal. The challenge was to find a simple solution to a problem few had thought to tackle and our answer lay in haptics or the technology of touch. With haptics as a chosen medium, the innovators grappled with form, finally settling on footwear, setting the stage for a ground-breaking product for everyone. The idea was to take away the stick and use technology to assist a much ignored segment of society – physically disabled people. Founder Krispian Lawrence, a graduate from Michigan University, wanted the visually impaired to navigate the world better by using haptic technology.

Lechal has been created to offer convenience to its users, it has no language barrier and no extensive instruction manual. The footwear allows users to tag locations, set destinations and get real-time data on landmarks all around you. Lechal also boasts unique voice commands and has an inherently social nature, enabling you to share your location with other users. The footwear is also ideal for groups of families and friends that want to keep track of everyone.

Launched five months back, the startup has already shipped 10,000 units of the product and is available for Rs 6,999 on the company’s website. The product was also launched on the Amazon Launchpad platform to increase its reach.

4. Miniature monitoring devices

BodyCap develops miniature wireless electronic sensors and embedded monitoring solutions for health monitoring. Specializing in wearable connected devices for physiological data surveillance, its innovative high-tech products are used in sports performance enhancement, medical research and development and to monitor people in extreme environments.

BodyCap’s wearable health monitoring devices are currently being used by European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet aboard the International Space Station , as part of ESA’s EveryWear program, an ambulatory data collection system. This program, developed by France’s space agency Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales, its affiliate CADMOS, a ground laboratory focusing on microgravity science, and space medicine specialists MEDES includes a personal assistant that astronauts use via a tablet named EveryWear. ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet will be the first to use it, during his six-month Proxima mission.


These wearables include the Blood Pulse Wave sensor, a tonometer to record how the astronaut’s arteries react to weightlessness and e-TACT, a patch that combines skin temperature and activity recording with the focus on studying sleep patterns in space. The Blood Pulse Wave device is a piezoelectric flexible sensor based on BodyCap’s patented Upper Skin technology. It can detect the blood pulse wave and its changes while exposed to long-term microgravity. It has been developed in partnership with the Paris-based engineering school ESIEE. e-TACT wearable device was designed to combine activity tracking, skin temperature monitoring and body position detection, with data sent wirelessly in real time or stored on the device for subsequent analysis. It can be worn on any part of the body for a long duration and is ideal for a number of general healthcare applications. These include the monitoring of chronic diseases and sleep disorders as well as for monitoring overweight people included in adapted physical activity-based rehabilitation programs.

BodyCap has extensive experience in the development of connected miniaturized devices. One of its already marketed devices is the e-Celsius Performance® connected pill. This has been used for internal temperature monitoring during major world sports events, including the Olympics and the New York Marathon as well as international cycling events, besides being used by the military.

5. Footwear from Under Armour

Under Armour announced the brand’s newest UA Record Equipped running shoes – UA SpeedForm® Gemini 3 RE, UA SpeedForm® Velociti RE, and UA SpeedForm® Europa RE – designed to provide runners with the digital tools needed to understand recovery and ultimately maximize performance. The new shoes are powered exclusively by MapMyRun, Under Armour’s mobile app and global digital running community. Each shoe includes new features that will arm runners not only with automatic tracking capabilities but also with insights into their muscle fatigue prior to working out.


The latest line of UA Record Equipped footwear features three unique styles, and is an expansion of Under Armour’s successful launch of the UA SpeedForm Gemini 2 RE, the brand’s first smart shoe, which was released earlier this year. UA Record Equipped is a smart feature within the footwear that extends the tracking capability of MapMyRun by providing detailed workout stats, such as cadence, real-time pace information and the mileage lifetime of the shoe with the added benefit of never needing a recharge.

With footwear as a major growth driver for Under Armour, the company plans to more than double the number of units of Connected Footwear worldwide in 2017 with global distribution to North America, Europe, the Middle East, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and for the first time, Greater China.