The genesis of a new product and a new company are fascinating.
In this blog, you, RunBlogRun readers, are going to see a new company (EdgeGear) and a new product (the SHIFT watch band) be born and grow, and you will actually, if you like this product and support the kickstarter campaign, which starts on 10/29/15, you will be able to purchase the product.
This is our first time working with such a program and we are quite excited! I have tried the test product as has Cregg Weinmann, our product review editor. The product is quite innovative and provides a very different approach to an endurance athlete watch or fitness monitor band. I like that one does not have to look down, as with normal watches, but can just bring ones' hand up to see time, or whatever function one needs.
I am always curious, and anyone who reads RunBlogRun can attest, to the nature of invention and the creation of new companies. You, kind readers, will play a huge part in whether this product is a success, as you are the key influencers.
So, please check out the video on the SHIFT watch band and read the interview below on the company! To sign up on KickStarter to support the SHIFT watchband and get the product, go here: http://kck.st/1PSeeOX
RBR, #1: How did you come up with the idea for SHIFT?
James Gilmore: My good friend and business partner, Andrew Green and I were on a long run down the coastline here in California. We started chatting about the strengths and weaknesses of the sport watches we were using.
And that led us into a very interesting line of questioning: If you had just landed in the 21st century, how would you wear your watch? Forget about what had come before- just start with a completely fresh slate. That is when we realized that for running and most sports, the watch is really in the wrong place. With conventional watchbands or straps, you can't look at it and remain focused and in flow at the same time.
RBR, #2: Does the world really need another watchband?
James Gilmore: Within the realm of staying in shape or trying to excel at your sport- yes, I think it does. Personally, I can't tell you the number of times I have dodged a light-pole on a run or tripped because of trying to use my sport watch, and I don't think I am alone! We need to remember that conventional bands are largely centered on the needs of World War One soldiers. It served one function- telling the time. In sports...not to mention people who have smartwatches...needing to know the time is secondary. Today, it's about metrics, messages, and updates.
RBR, #3: Where do you see smartwatches going?
James Gilmore: It's still early days, but the trend has been set and I don't see it going backwards- six years from now, just about everyone who has a smartphone will also have a smartwatch. I think we will see fast advances in gesture controls, and the watches becoming less dependent- or tethered- to the phone. That independence opens up greater capabilities for medicine- from blood pressure alerts to glucose monitoring. For runners, we may see real-time alerts on our hydration status, course conditions ahead, and maybe an estimate on how long until your next power gel.
RBR, #4: What's been the hardest part so far, and the most rewarding?
James Gilmore: That's a tough question. Early on, Andrew and I sketched and 3D printed so many prototypes- and while we learned from each, it seemed that we would never hit the right combination. Once we had the right focus and could engage a design team, that part got easier. The most rewarding part so far has been getting to wear the prototypes- they work really well!
RBR, # 5: Where do you see EdgeGear going?
James Gilmore: Right now, we are focused on launching the SHIFT band and building out the team. We have a great group that is engaged in running, cycling, swimming and cross-country skiing. While we have started sketching out the next products, we just want to make sure we deliver on this one!
RBR, #6: Any last comments?
James Gilmore: Oh, yes. Please back our Kickstarter to help launch SHIFT! You will get the SHIFT band at a great price and also help other runners from hitting light-posts!
To support EdgeGear's SHIFT campaign on Kickstarter and also get the product, please go to: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/edgegear/shift-move-your-watch-to-the-perfect-angle-for-int