About this project
BSX Insight is the most powerful athletic monitor, period. Its technology combines the activity measurements of four separate devices into one sleek, comfortable design. With BSX Insight you can simultaneously record heart rate, cadence, pace, calories burned, and for the first time ever, your Lactate Threshold! Have you ever wondered what your athletic horsepower is, and how it stacks up against the competition? Well, you're about to find out!
Insight represents the next generation of wearable tech by going beyond just passively tracking activity to actively transforming it. It is also the first and only wearable smart sensor on the market to sync at the same time with both ANT+ and Bluetooth 4.0—which means more flexibility when you’re on the go and want to check your stats on your watch.
Insight “looks inside” your muscle during exercise to measure real bio signals and determine how hard you’re actually working, compared with how hard you should be working. Through paired communication with your sports watch it lets you know, in real-time, whether to speed up, slow down, or even rest. BSX Insight is best used both during training as well as on race day to help you finish your perfect race. With BSX Insight you are sure to get the most out of every mile, every time.
Whether you train to complete or train to compete, chances are you do it because it tells you something about yourself. Or because of the way it makes you feel as you watch the sweat pooling at your feet knowing that you’re a little better than you were the day before.
Sure, a side effect might be that you look better naked or that you have something else to brag about on Facebook, but most likely, it’s about much more than that.
Sports are about self actualization and discovery. And if you're like the rest of us, training with tech is not about the numbers but the self awareness. It helps you recognize how your body is responding to training and make the real-time adaptations that will help you become your very best.
This is why we created BSX, to help athletes redefine what is possible and continually set new personal records.
Industry experts report that training with lactate threshold can increase performance up to 5% to 25% in elite and aspiring athletes. Envision shaving a full 40 minutes off your marathon PR. How great would that feel?
With BSX Insight you completely take the guesswork out of training, enabling you to train smarter. It does this by simultaneously measuring your HR, pace, cadence, fuel reserves and most importantly your lactate threshold (or athlete horsepower). These create a composite of your current fitness profile and tell you precisely what changes to make so you can focus on what your body needs.
Everyone will probably use Insight a little bit differently, but we recommend both athletes and coaches use Insight to:
- The sensor is comfortably placed on the leg using a stylish, custom designed compression sleeve.
- LEDs shine an invisible light inside your calf muscle during exercise.
- The signal of light is altered as it returns back to the sensor.
- Real time analysis of all 5 bio signals are used to precisely determine how hard your body is actually working.
- Information is immediately sent back to your paired sports watch telling you how to adjust intensity.
- Training recommendations are simple and actionable (e.g. “slow down!”) so you can focus only on the workout while the tech does the rest.
- After your workout, BSX Insight automatically syncs with our free web-based software (trainBSX) so that you can review all your data. (Other third party platforms being added soon thanks to your support!)
Keeping it not so simple (for us nerds):
The primary sensor is comprised of an LED array that passes light through the muscle belly of the gastrocnemius (also known as the calf muscle), and a detector. As the light passes through the muscle tissue, it is reshaped by elements within the tissue (known as chromatophors) to produce a unique signal (similar to a fingerprint) that contains information about the local metabolic activity.
This profile is then processed by embedded BSX algorithms to analyze identifiable signal features which exist within the profile. When combined together, these are used to accurately generate a lactate threshold curve. Real-time monitoring of this curve allows the athlete to always know where they are along that curve and their proximity to crucial training thresholds.
In each of the examples above, the biosignal is determined by measuring changes in the optical characteristic of the calf muscle which differs in large part due to the muscle contractions and blood pulsing through the tissue.
Note: The BSX Insight that you see in the videos and pictures is a real, working prototype. We are still working on the final look and feel! We'll keep you updated along the way as we add new features, make it smaller and lighter, and finalize its sleek, powerful design.
Mechanically speaking, horsepower is the best way to understand and compare a vehicle’s potential performance. Generally, the higher the number, the faster it will go and better it will perform in a race. Similarly in human performance, LT (or athletic HP) perfectly measures how the athlete’s body is performing so that real-time adjustments can be made.
Lactate Threshold is one of the most common, and THE most effective, performance marker used by competitive coaches and athletes. For over 50 years it has been the gold standard for performance measurement and has repetitively been shown to be over 95% accurate at predicting race finish order*. This means it can be used with near perfect accuracy to personalize the appropriate training intensities of each athlete.
*Predicting competition performance in long-distance running by means of a treadmill test. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 30, No. 10, pp. 1552-1557, 1998.
Lactic acid is similar to the exhaust emissions produced from the muscular contractions of exercise. In a car, stepping on the gas harder produces more fumes. Similarly, in exercise, greater training intensities produce more lactic acid. When measured accurately lactic acid levels can precisely measure how hard the body’s engine is working.
Even though lactic acid is not entirely harmful (the subject of an entirely separate discussion!), too much of a good thing is always bad for you. When lactic acid starts to build up in the body it does so very dramatically and very quickly. This event is known as lactate threshold and it signals a state of imbalance—when the body is starting to depend on less efficient energy sources. Exercise intensities at this level can only be maintained for a short period of time before fatigue and exhaustion occurs.
Since fatigue and exhaustion are never the goal of an endurance athlete, lactate threshold is an important event to both know and train for. Training by lactate threshold is a primary method used both at the Olympic Training Center and by other elite athletes.
And now, BSX Insight makes lactate threshold easily accessible to you as well!
Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing shot at bringing something people believe in to life.
- Take our prototypes through one final board spin as we prepare for volume manufacturing
- Complete the software that will enable BSX Insight to communicate with your sports watch or other wearable device. (It currently only connects with Garmin devices and we want it to connect with others like Polar, Suunto, Timex, and more).
- Integrate with social and training platforms like Training Peaks, Strava, Daily Mile, Athlinks, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
- Finalize the sleek, low profile, fully miniaturized design.
Our intellectual property portfolio consists of two utility patents with others on the way (i.e. you're getting a truly unique product).
- Jan 2014: Final round of subject recruitment for usability testing and data collection and preparation of data for analysis
- Feb 2014: Data analysis and final round of algorithm training
- March 2014: Finalization of EE optical and software design in preparation for volume manufacturing
- July 2014: PCB/enclosure miniaturization, power optimization and battery customization
- August 2014: Lock down final design and quality control testing
- Sept 2014: Begin contract manufacturing
- Q4 2014: Get BSX Insight in your hands!
- Current Dimensions: 110mm x 55mm x 12mm (estimated finished dimensions will be 40% smaller)
- Current Weight: 50 grams (estimated final weight will be 30g)
- ARM microcontroller
- ANT+ compatible
- Bluetooth 4.0 compatible
- Accelerometer, 3-axis Gyroscope
- Rear LED color display for accuracy visualization
- Front facing multi-wavelength LED array for bio sensing
- Built-in rechargeable 800 mAh lithium polymer battery (run time: 12 hours, standby: Up to 3 weeks)
- IP67 water-resistant (currently undergoing testing)
You may have noticed that we've included free months of trainBSX premium as part of the rewards you receive for contributing to our campaign. trainBSX is our web-based training software for the modern coached athlete. While we're fully intent on forging partnerships to ensure that you can eventually use BSX Insight with the training software of your choice, we're confident that combining BSX Insight with trainBSX's simple plan creation and intuitive performance analysis will take your training to the next level.
Risks and challenges
We know we can't make a high quality finished product without strong and well informed partnerships. We have already built that foundation (including optical consultants, electrical and software engineering, and industrial design) and are identifying several other key partners including the Sourcing and Manufacturing team.
We've applied and plan to incubate with top companies in the supply chain and logistics industry. Together, with strategic partnerships, we will deliver a high quality finished product on time and defect free.
Will there be issues and concerns along the way? Yes is the only real answer. Our supporters will continuously be informed on the progress we're making towards delivering their order. If an unforseen issue poses a potential delay to our timing, then we will be transparent and timely in our communication to the people who are making our growth a reality.
The people who support BSX Insight on Kickstarter are our most important asset. Thank you for believing in us. We will do whatever it takes to
exceed your expectations. Thanks!
- Dustin Freckleton, President and Co-FounderLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
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