BOSTON, United States — Fitness and recovery tracker WHOOP has unveiled the latest iteration of its wearable, and it’s an industry-first.
The result of ten years of research and development, it uses Sila Nanotechnologies’ next-generation battery chemistry — which replaces graphite in a battery cell’s anode with silicon — to create a more energy-dense battery pack. This means the new 33 percent smaller tracker is able to cram five LEDs, four photodiodes, a pulse oximeter, skin temperature sensor, a sleep coach and more into the device — without impacting its five-day battery life.
Speaking about the breakthrough, John Capodilupo, Co-Founder & Chief Technology Officer at WHOOP commented:
“One of the greatest barriers to advancing the design of wearable technologies has been the weight and size of the battery technology available.”
He continued: “With Sila, all that has changed. We’ve been able to transform WHOOP 4.0 from its previous version and load it with new features and capabilities, without battery performance compromise. Just as we have leveraged this new battery advancement to push the wearable industry forward, Sila’s technology has the potential to enable exciting design innovation in other categories and products.”
Elsewhere, Sila is already working with BMW and Daimler to produce batteries containing the company’s silicon-anode technology, with the goal of going to market in the automotive industry by 2025, according to Techcrunch.
For WHOOP, however, the new groundbreaking innovation can already be seen in action, not only within the new tracker’s size and functionality but also in its design. Enabling WHOOP 4.0 to utilise ‘Any-Wear’ tech, means the wearable can now be worn off the wrist in the form of new WHOOP Body apparel for the torso, waist and calf –– making the device even more adaptable for everyday consumers as well as elite athletes.
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“We’ve long felt that wearable technology should be cool or invisible. Those are the only two paradigms we want to develop on, Will Ahmed, Whoop’s Founder and Chief Executive told Wired.
“In terms of ‘cool,’ it’s an area we’ve focused on a lot historically, making it something that you can dress up or dress down. But ‘invisible’ is, ‘How do we make it disappear?’,” he added.
Historically wearable tech that can be worn on the body has garnered mixed results, with wrist-worn devices tending to come out on top — the Oura ring an outlier within the market. But WHOOP seems to think it has what it takes to sway consumer behaviour. And investors are confident in the startup’s growth potential.
Last month the self-dubbed ‘human performance company’ announced a $200 million raise led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2. Other investors included investors include IVP, Cavu Ventures, Thursday Ventures, GP Bullhound, Accomplice, NextView Ventures, and Animal Capital.
The Series F funding round valued the brand at $3.6 billion.
At the time, Ahmed hinted at things to come, commenting: “While we have experienced amazing growth in the past year, the potential of our technology and the vast market for health monitoring remains largely untapped.”
And with plans to continue investing in research and development, the brand appears set on building a future of wearable technology like nothing we’ve seen before.