Bia, a new GPS sports watch designed for women, by women, has launched on popular crowd funding platform Kickstarter. Developed by Bia Sport Inc for the 45 US million women classified as avid athletes, the sleek, stylish and streamlined device combines traditional GPS-enabled training metrics such as distance, pace and duration with cutting edge design, race-day tracking and safety features.
As the company points out, ‘with only masculine design options available in the marketplace, the Bia project on Kickstarter hopes to crowd fund US$400,000 to bring the uniquely designed training device to market.’
Bia’s efforts on Kickstarter run from 4 June to 13 July 2012. Potential investors can learn more by visiting Kickstarter.
Bia is the brainchild of founders Cheryl Kellond and Sylvia Marino, both accomplished high tech executives and avid athletes. Frustrated with the size and unnecessary complexity of existing products, they developed the Bia watch to address the needs of an audience that ‘comprises the majority of distance runners and is the fastest growing segment in triathlon – women.’
Kellond, CEO, said of Bia, “This wasn’t a ‘shrink it and pink it’ approach. While size and style were critical we also sought to address the specific needs of female athletes including a safety alert system and effortless transfer of workout and race data to computers and smartphones. There is an obvious gap in the market and we are filling it.”
According to data cited by Bia Sport Inc:
- ABI Research forecasts the market for dedicated GPS fitness devices to be 3.1 million units in 2012, growing to 7.5 million in 2016
- Women make up 45% of all avid athletes. They comprise more than 60% of half-marathoners and are the fastest growing segment in both running and triathlon
- Women purchase only 30% of the GPS fitness devices, citing size and unnecessary complexity as key turnoffs
Bia’s unique two-piece design consists of the Bia sports watch and an optional Bia GPS Go Stick. Lightweight and contoured to hug a woman’s wrist, Bia offers:
- Robust multisport use: distance, pace and duration for swimming, cycling and running; calorie burn; compatibility with heart rate straps; water resistance to 100 metres
- Ease of use: iPod-like user interface and instant-on GPS connection
- Unique capabilities requested by women: real-time tracking on race days and emergency notification on solo workouts
- Detailed workout data delivered automatically to online training logs
- Edgy colours and interchangeable straps by Betty Designs, ‘the creative force behind the sickest race kits in triathlon’
Bia is a lifestyle brand combining style and technology info into products ‘for the 100M adults who are passionate about fitness.’ Existing sports & fitness solutions are designed for data geeks and the uber-competitive 1% of athletes. Bia’s platform of online and on-body solutions ‘bridges the gap and helps the 99% of those who will never see the podium achieve new athletic firsts and fall in love with healthy habits for lifelong fitness.’
Bia’s online site for fitness tracking and community launched in January. Bia’s first wearable self-tracking solution is a style-savvy GPS sports watch launching on Kickstarter. Co-founders Cheryl Kellond and Sylvia Mario are Silicon Valley veterans and avid athletes.