Year/Course: 2019-2020, Lent 2020

Inventors: Dr. Tanya Hutter (formerly at Chemistry), Daniel Morales Valdivia, Unlimitech

Accurate personal performance information allows sportspeople to effectively optimize their training and improve performance. The most reliable sources of this information come from metrics such as oxygen consumption (VO2), average power (AP) and resting metabolic rate (RMR).

Many highly-active sportspeople, including non-professionals who frequently engage in vigorous physical activity, acquire smartwatches or smartbands since they easily allow for measurement of these metrics during real-life training, at any time, and for affordable prices. However, for several key metrics such as VO2, this comes at the expense of severe information inaccuracy, thus limiting the potential for performance optimisation and increasing overtraining-related risks.

To solve this problem Unlimitech is developing the Smartmask™, an affordable, wearable fitness tracker that, together with its companion app, can accurately measure breath flow and breath composition during training in order to provide highly-active sportspeople with precise aerobic and metabolic performance metrics, anywhere and in real-time.

The initial market is focused on cyclists, who usually have a high degree of willingness to invest in new technologies related to cycling. The question for the i-Team is twofold: firstly to investigate other potential applications for the Smartmask, for example other sports and other areas where tracking fitness increases or decreases would be useful, and secondly to conduct more in-depth research into the cycling market, with the aim of identifying the profiles of cyclists that are most likely to be interested in the Smartmask technology.