Last Friday mobile health startup Misfit Wearables received some free publicity from television gameshow Jeopardy! when its soon-to-launch Shine device was featured as part of one of the last clues in the semi-finals edition.
The clue was: "The Misfit Shine is a high tech one of these that tracks how much you not only walk but bike or swim.” The correct question was “What is a pedometer?” which one of the contestants guessed immediately.
"I wish I had a cooler story but to be completely honest, I think a staff writer probably just heard about us," Misfit co-founder Sonny Vu told MobiHealthNews. "Perhaps they were one of the 8,000 people who ordered [a Shine device] on [crowdfunding site] Indiegogo or one of the [650,000] views on YouTube... and thought it'd be cool to include us rather than any one of the dozens of other activity trackers."
Vu said his company hasn’t hired a PR firm or anything like that, but he was happy to see a digital health company get some mainstream action on TV like this.
“It was just a $200 hint,” Vu pointed out, “so I guess it was a pretty easy clue. [Does that mean] everyone knows what a pedometer is?”
This week Misfit Wearables also notified those who bought the device via Indiegogo that the company expects to begin shipping in June. Its customers have pre-ordered about 10,000 devices. The first 5,000 units will go out on or before June 1st and the remainder will be out by June 15th, the company wrote. When it first launched on Indiegogo last November, Misfit expected to get the devices out by March. In late January Vu told MobiHealthNews they would get them out “as soon as humanly possible”.
In its most recent email to Shine buyers, the company wrote: "We’re really sorry we can’t get Shine out sooner to you. If you’d like a refund for any reason, we’d be more than happy to give back 100% of the money that you gave us – even if your order was later in the campaign."
In recent weeks Misfit has also made two updates to the Shine. Most recently, the device has been revamped with a new wireless firmware update feature, so the device can receive fixes and improvements when it syncs to the user’s phone, if needed. The device is also sporting brighter lights than were previously demo’d. Misfit also expects to announce its next product this fall.
Watch the Shine's appearance on Jeopardy! in the clip below (starts at 8:59):