Electronic Apparel Demo with Rich Mahoney (Seismic) | Disrupt SF (Day 2)
2:48AM Sep 7, 2018
The people out that you can, can you get your phones out ready to Instagram the hell out of this? This is going to be insane. I'm I'm losing my breath. Ladies and gentlemen, Rich Maloney is from Seismic and he's going to demonstrate some of the products here. I'm not gonna say anything more. You guys just gonna watch this. Brian Heater is going to do this session. Give them a round of applause. Come on.
Thank you for setting the bar so incredibly low Mike.
Rich, thanks for joining us. We have a relatively brief session and a lot to get through. I know something you've been dealing with for quite some time. You were at SRI for a while. You had super flex, that was the name of the spin off initially. We've seen drips and drabs of what you've been working on, but this is really the the big show.
So can you, can you can you tell us what you've been working?
Yeah, of course. So. Hi, everyone. I'm really excited to be here today and privileged to reveal the first powered clothing product from Seismic. Our team in Menlo Park has our our amazing team in Menlo Park has been working extremely hard to create something that we believe will be truly impactful and really change people's lives. And we think about what we're doing by creating the first practical super suit. But a super suit that really can be a part of your everyday life and our the capability that we've created to enable this is something that we're calling intelligent wearable strength. And so I'm going to introduce a lot of terms to you as as I'm describing our product.
Intelligent wearable strength are robotic muscles that are outside of but aligned with your body and can be programmed to provide strength when you need it. Our first product will be powered clothing for core wellness. So we've created intelligent wearable strength that addresses the lower back and the hips. With the objective of improving quality of life by improving mobility.
You can think about our suit in terms of three different layers. There's a base layer, and there is a strength layer and there is an intelligent layer. But really the best way to understand is for me to show it to you. So let me, I have a few friends here today to help me do that. So I'm going to ask Bob to come and join me on stage.
This guy looks familiar.
Yeah. Yeah. This is awesome. So so the first thing I'd like to point out about the product that is it is designed as an undergarment as a base layer. So if you or want to be discreet about the wearable strength that you have, you can do that. But we've also designed it around a premium sport performance design approach. And if you want, you can wear this just like any kind of active wear. You can wear this to the gym. It can be a regular part of your day.
You come on stage at a conference.
Yes, yes, yes, you definitely someday we'll all be wearing it for sure. And the thing that there are two features of this base layer. The first is that it anatomically aligns the muscles in the suit to your body. And so this suit is specifically designed for Bob and our designers, when they're when they're fitting you. They're gonna, you know, have their tape measure around their neck and and there'll be measuring your inseam but they also understand your your muscular structure and we're going and taking measurements that align exactly
The muscles exactly to your emotions. And then the second feature is the that it aligns those muscles to your body. And we do that through a couple of features here, just pointing out this gripping structure around the waist. And then there's another gripping structure here at the thigh and the muscles actually extend, you can't see them but they extend from this muscle pack here into the into the gripping structure at the waist. So, so the muscle system here is part of the strength layer, and so I'll describe that as well. So thank you, Bob. And I'd like to ask Allison to please come out.
So I mentioned earlier that we are addressing core wellness and we're we've replicated three different muscle groups in the product. These are aligned around the core. So the hip extensors, I always get this wrong so it's just like your arm inflection that extension So, we flex and we extend. So, our hip extensors, the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius the hix hip flexors and as well as then the, the back extensors, the lower lumbar muscles.
The, if you can turn to the right then, we're showing that in here is the the muscle structure as I described before. This is a pack that can be removed from the body, can be removed from the garment. The batteries are here in the center, and all the electronics are here in the center. And that can be charged separately and then the garment layer is left that can be taken off and cleaned. And this is something that can be worn every day, all day, eight hours. The battery life is is designed for eight hours of activity. And then as I was describing earlier, the muscles extend here's here, the hip extensors extend up from this motor system here.
So this is the power that drives the muscles and they can track just like our normal muscles and why the suit is listening to your body, they automatically turn on and support you based on the on the control. So the control itself that includes the suit. It also includes range of sensors in the in the packs here. The muscles each have their own for sensor and there's nine axis IMU and each of the of the muscle packs and then on the back there's an additional I am you and also host processor so this is a fully independent platform all it doesn't need any other kind of device to operate. And we actually consider all other devices as accessories to to the product but the brains of the system really exist in this lumbar patch as well as additional muscles. We also have full wireless communication capability.
Now that allows us to use the sensors for lots of different applications, how they're the first uses for the control the system. So and that's part of the intelligent layer. So I'll move on to that now. Thank you Allison.
So that's always doing demos with children, pets and robots. So we're actually gonna go live here, and I've done this a lot in my career, and we've had 100% success but what I'd like to be able to do is show you inside of the suit.
So you left the babies and pets at home.
What's that? Yes.
Okay, here we go. Okay, so we can show the dashboard so we've created a dashboard that is communicating to the suit.
And you can see it here. And so right now this this suit is streaming data data to the dashboard and tyranny is showing just how the activity tracker is changing with her motion. And you'll see on the right we're just looking at some posture tracking she's moving. If she's sort of a standstill, you'll see it move to the standing position.
So if you can get it to stand and there goes and then on the left, we're showing the forces coming from the muscles. So on the far left is the muscles coming from the sensor or the forces coming from the extensors on the right or the muscles coming from the forces coming from the muscles on the front and in the middle are the forces coming from the lumbar spine so when she came out the lumbar muscle was already activated.
So the the first purpose of the sensors on the car to control it. And we have a user experience that we call symbiosis. And symbiosis means that the suit is always paying attention to what the person is doing and automatically turns on when you need that, that strength support and it's very similar to our own nervous system right now. My My heart is beating and little bit faster, my my lungs are breathing a little bit deeper, but that's happening all on its own. We want the suit act the same way that your muscle tone is actually being set by that same nervous system. So what I'd like to do is show just a simple example.
So tyranny would sit down one of the key features of the suit is having enough power to assist with standing up with hip extension kinds of activities. You can see the suit recognizes she's sitting in a relaxed manner and then if she sits into a position where she's about ready to sand
So so the suit actually just set the bass tone, it just got ready to support her. And then now as she stands, it will turn on and you'll notice the forces on the left of forces in the extensors actually increased and supported her. And that's exactly what your glutes are doing when you're sending up out of a chair. So we've coordinated this with with her motion. And then as she's standing, the suit is recognizing her standing and automatically increasing the CO contraction the The both of the forces in the flexors and the extensors to give her support and this is sort of like you know when you're you're on a boat or a Boston that's everything's moving and you're you're holding yourself that's what that's what's happening here.
So so that's the intelligent layer and I'd like to move on to one more point about the suit Thank you tourney.
So just to point out also so Cody is wearing a you know, the same clothing that the rest of our models are wearing. And one of the big insights for us when we first spun out, and one of the things that's really driving the company right now is that we had this insight that like, nobody in this room is wearing robots. And I used to say that x is actually people in this room wearing robots now, but there were no one wearing robots. And we really understood that our objective was to bring new functionality to clothing while maintaining people's relationship with clothing, in terms of comfort, and aesthetic and emotion. And so seismic, as a company really is branded around that objective. It's really has has created our positioning and everything that we're doing is is about thinking and acting like an apparel company. And we actually see what we've designed as sport performance, active wear. When we've gone through our beta testing, our users are out playing golf in it and playing tennis in it. They're they're cleaning their house.
But they're also sitting sitting in it for a long time and getting some back support after their their back gets tired. So we're really excited about this positioning and also the reaction we're getting from the the first consumers of the suit. And then you'll also notice as I've been introducing the suit as the colors, and so what I'd like to highlight is that what we've been showing you here are the colors that represent our spring 2019 collection. So I just like to finish by presenting our 2019 powered clothing collection from seismic.
All right. We don't we don't have a ton of time. So let's blow through a couple questions. First of all, obviously, this is kind of a new paradigm. I mean, you know, you're not selling a TV or a smartphone here. How do you convince people that they actually need to wear a robotic suit?
Yeah, it's actually, we convinced them by giving them the opportunity to try it. And that's really what we found is that first off, it's really hard sometimes for people to understand what we're doing when we say there's these extra muscles on your body, and they're working with, you know, and seat anything like that before. But when we, we work with them and onboard them, introduce them to the suit, they wear it and they immediately experienced the benefit of the support they understand right away when they're when they're getting up out of a chair. We have people that can't get up out of a chair without having the suit on this immediately stand up and they and they recognize that power so I do think there will be a need for us to create a way for people to experience the suit and then then word of mouth and that understanding will start to emerge.
So what what is that what does that model look like how do you actually get people to try it on and who is the initial demographic for this?
So the we really as a as a apparel company we think about anyone who has a body and where's clothing should be a customer for us.
You got to start small you guys that's right.
So, but I wanted but that's it's really important that we're not limiting the who the target customers, we definitely see the baby boomer population as initial target market. And when we think about how we support the product, we will we see some kind of a bespoke tailor type of experience combined with like a Genius Bar. So we really, you know, if you look at the, the nature of what we're doing, it's so interdisciplinary, we need that apparel fitting kind of capability and support as well as the sort of tech support that that goes along with the product.
I mean, it's interesting, you bring up the Genius Bar because, you know, obviously in that example, we're talking about Apple products and Apple stores. So, you know, there's an existing market right there. People go in because they know the apple brand and they buy Apple products, but what does the retail channel actually look like for a product like this?
So the early on will will be creating our own experiences and really positioning the product and owning that relationship of the first customers. When we look at how will expand in the market, we are absolutely interested in partnering with somebody, we don't want to necessarily create our own network of new retail stores. And, you know, a lot of people are saying that retail is hurting, retail is dead. And it's it's not really it's just transitioning. And what we found is that the retailers that we spoken to actually see all of their strategic objectives in our product in terms of how can they bring people into their existing stores? How can they integrate more technology? How can they improve the experience? And so I think our product aligns really well with the transformation that we're seeing and retail.
Sure what but what sort of retail location Am I going to walk into? And am I going to walk into a Macy's? Is it going to be an outdoor store will be a medical store who makes sense as a partner for you.
Yeah, so it's, it's still open. So we actually have multiple conversations going on and there's actually you know, any of those that you're describing. could end up being a partner, but we don't have that specifically defined in.
So it seems like perhaps a little bit of an easier sell. It is being positioned. Obviously you can't necessarily call it a medical device at this point that requires FDA approval, but as an assistive device for people who have mobility issues, you know, perhaps there would be less of a concern for wearing something like this. But if you are targeting sort of a, a younger demographic, and it's something granted, it's something that's meant to look discreet, but, you know, even underneath a layer of clothing, you still notice it. How do you how do you appeal to a younger demo?
Well, I think the design that we just showed is the starting point we're showing something that people can relate to, that people can see themselves wearing and then from there, it comes back to just their own perceived need or value. So we absolutely think just core wellness is very specific like that is where the biggest need is there are not products that provide this kind of capability and anytime
Make a presentation afterwards, I'm approached by people of every every background every age, there are all kinds of reasons why people would like to use this. And, and it's not just necessarily about having an injury. It could be you have a job where you're on your feet all day long. Oh, you're sitting all day long and truck driver or barista somebody coming home on the weekend and having something that can assist you. Or if you ran a marathon yesterday, and you want to wear something like this, there's no there's nothing like this exists. So we think we're creating this new this new capability and we understand it, we have to educate people about it.
So So part of being a fashion forward I know that you've employed folks from a lot of different companies, you have somebody from north face on your staff. Part of that is getting people to really kind of embrace it and acknowledge the fact that they're wearing it or this is something that's meant to be you know, like a pair of underwear or long johns and meant to be completely unnoticed.
Oh no. So you it's it's really up to the to the wearer so you could absolutely wear it under your clothing discreetly and not ever telling you when you're wearing it
and or if you want it's designed to be active wear and you could wear to the gym as is.
So what. So again for something that there really is sort of no precedent for a product like this What is an ideal price point?
Yeah. So that we're actually again thinking about the apparel positioning we see entering the market in the range of high end designer apparel so it's the the right way to think about it.
Can you tell me a little bit about the the Lumo acquisition.
Yeah. So that actually was just a really great opportunity for us to bring intellectual property and an excellent team into our company and aligned with the objective that we have technically, in terms of the the suit I just showed you, the ability of it to use the sensors to track the posture and to use that information and we're so aligned in terms of our mission so we're actually now able to take that Lumo capability and use it to control our robotic system where before they were using as cues. So very for them, they're basically it's business as usual in terms of the way they're tracking the body.
So toward the end of the demo, we had some of these metrics on stage. So this is this is actually actively tracking things like posture biometrics, when you talk about private data. I mean, if things don't get any more private than that, what what steps are you ensuring to make sure that all of that stays private?
Yeah, it's exactly right. And so we so it's there are so many aspects of what we're doing from that point of view. So we we definitely have to recognize that we're managing personal data, we have to use all the state of the art approaches for security very early on that data, as I've been highlighting is, is specifically to control the SU and the data products that will emerge are the next next range of products. So in the near term, that data is going to stay local, we're going to do everything to manage that properly and then in the future we'll Begin to bring out other data products.
So we got about 20 seconds left on the panel right now. So I'm gonna ask a real quick what what time frame are we looking at when will people actually see these in the real world?
So we are in a position we expect to have some limited placements in the market next year and then beginning to expand from from those initial systems after that.
Great Rich Thank you so much.