Running Wearables

XBand Speed Pro gives runners a personal, wearable coach

The Premise. From the 40-yard dash to the infield single, speed is a crucial element for almost every athlete. Private coaching is expensive and just not conveniently accessed every time the opportunity to train arises.

The Product. The XBand Speed Pro System is a three-component setup that can analyze runners of all ages and advise them how to get a better start at the line and how to finish with the fastest time. With a body sensor that fits arms or clips onto clothing, starting form and acceleration can be tracked even when practicing alone. The finish line module can be placed at any distance and tracks run times down to hundredths of seconds. Finally, the smartphone adapter clips in using the audio jack and interfaces with the Speed Pro app to communicate with the sensors, provide feedback, and track performance both over time and with other users. The setup requires 4 AA batteries and a CE2032 battery.

The Pitch. The XBand Sports team is quick to identify the need for quality coaching with the lack of convenient, available options. Showing off how simple and flexible the system is to set up with various distances and running styles, as well as the possibility for updates to the app down the line, it’s clear how the Speed Pro System can benefit amateur athletes. The campaign text and photos get into more technical details regarding the operation and internal components of the equipment.  XBand Sports wants to raise $150,000 to get out of the prototype phase and begin proper tooling.

The Perks. A complete XBand Speed Pro System is available in October 2014 to backers who pledge at least $100. Additional sets can be ordered at higher reward tiers.

The Potential. Considering the one-dimensional application of tracking and analysis this device performs compared to other wearable personal trainers as it applies only to running, the XBand Speed Pro isn’t going to finish first at market. It continues the trend of specialized fitness wearables that have been parading through crowdfunding sites. However, track coaches and running enthusiasts obsessed with speed will find an affordable solution that will give them real answers without hiring a trained coach to give pointers. This product looks good only in sprints – anyone wanting to do more than just run fast has plenty of other options available.