TuringSense adds another $3M for smart wearables with sports medicine applications

By Jonah Comstock
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TuringSense, which is developing interactive wearables for sports and physical therapy, has raised $3 million in a new round of funding. The company also raised $3 million in its first round two years ago. The newest round was led by VC firm and returning investor Ideosource, with participation from new investors The Core Group and Fenox Venture Capital. 

The company calls its category "intelligent wearables" because the devices track and record motion and then use that data to advise users on things like their tennis technique. 

"The wearables market could learn a lesson from GPS," CEO and cofounder Joe Chamdani said in a statement. "What made GPS take off with consumers wasn't that it could accurately report your location's latitude and longitude. What made GPS take off was the introduction of turn-by-turn driving directions. Intelligent wearables can do something similar: instead of just reporting data, we can precisely guide consumers, step by step and movement by movement, toward their goals."

On the other hand, in order to record enough data to offer useful feedback, TuringSense's Pivot hardware is a little more complicated than your average wearable. Fifteen sensors are required to track the full range of movement, but a player can wear fewer if they want to focus on improving, say, just their footwork or another particular aspect of their game. The sensors track body movement without requiring a camera, and sends the data to a cloud-based server. From there, users can view and review the data with coaches, doctors, or trainers.

Pivot Tennis, the flagship offering, was crowdfunded last year and is already in use by some early backers. The company is aiming for general availability in the third quarter. In the second quarter, TuringSense will launch Pivot Connect, a platform for partners to build their own applications of the sensor suite.

The company has also already begun to pilot its healthcare applications. TuringSense is working with Sports Surgery Clinic, an Irish Orthopedic Hospital. SSC is using the technology to work with players on the road rather than having to send them to their motion capture facility in Dublin.