GestureLogic prepares for wearable tech production, new home

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Tom Pechloff
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On the heels of a wildly successful IndieGogo campaign, Ottawa-based GestureLogic is now working to get its wearable fitness device, LEO, ready for production.

left to right: Gesture Logic's chief financial officer Michael Kravshik and chief product officer Mark Klibanov

The campaign closed Tuesday just before midnight, with $143,709 raised in pre-orders, or 287 per cent of the company’s original goal of $50,000.

“It definitely achieved our expectations and surpassed them, so we’re definitely pleased,” said the company’s chief product officer, Mark Klibanov.

The campaign had the added benefit of introducing the company to the world, according to chief financial officer Michael Kravshik.

“It was literally everywhere,” he said, noting that while most of the orders came from Europe (up to 25 percent), the United States (around 50 per cent) and Canada (up to 20 per cent), there were also orders from India, Japan, Indonesia and Central and South American countries too.

Mr. Klibanov said the company is working on the final prototype and partnering with companies from all over to get it ready for delivery by April.

Another local firm, Carleton Place’s Dica Electronics, is one of those partners. It is handling the initial production of circuit boards for LEO, which uses conductive fibres to monitor and relay information about a user’s muscles to a device such as an iPhone or Android phone. The data can help prevent injuries to all users from the elite athlete down to the weekend warrior.

But Mr. Klibanov said these current partnerships are likely short-term.

“Once we hit critical volumes, we will likely be going overseas or partnering with a big player that does mass volume and can do all of these things rather than us going and putting bits and pieces together,” he said.

With the company approaching the end of its latest round of investments, Mr. Klibanov said that big player could be announced soon – just not yet.

There are other angel investors involved and interest from Silicon Valley, too, Mr. Klibanov said, but that is also being kept under wraps for now.

Mr. Klibanov said all money raised over the next eight or nine months will go toward the final prototype and getting it to production. But there are a lot of other milestones to reach after, he added, including expanding production and adapting the device so it can be used by more than just cyclists and runners.

The company also recently brought orthopedic surgeon Dr. Dave Simon on board to help it position the product in the medical field.

The company will be up to 14 full-time staff by mid-September, which means it is outgrowing its space at 1125@Carleton, an innovation hub on the campus of Carleton University.

Mr. Klibanov said the company is looking at 15 lease opportunities around the city that fit its current and growth criteria. He said the company should be in its new space by Oct. 1.

In the meantime, work on the prototype continues, as do talks with Apple and several large dot-com companies interested in partnering with the company down the road. But Mr. Klibanov said nothing is imminent in that area.

The market for wearable tech is growing rapidly but is still young, and Mr. Klibanov said GestureLogic is entering it at the perfect time.

Still, that doesn’t come without challenges, he said.

“When we started innovating, we were already two steps ahead of what most people were thinking. We’re ahead of the curve now, but the industry is moving fast, so we are going to have to keep innovating.”

Organizations: Carleton University, Apple

Geographic location: Europe, United States, Canada India Japan Indonesia Carleton Place Silicon Valley

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