Athletes of all shapes, sizes and abilities could soon be
wearing devices which give real-time verbal updates on
performance from software developed by Auckland-based
Performance Lab co-founder and director Kerri McMaster told
the Otago Daily Times the sensors, running Performance
Lab software, would seek to emulate what a coach on the
sideline would see and say.
''The coach will consider what they may say while you do what
you do and prioritise what they say to you to help you
''We follow the same process, the same role, by providing
real-time advice while a person is active.''
There was a plethora of sensors on the market, Ms McMaster
Performance Lab had a business-to-business model, approaching
sporting giants such as Nike, to talk about what their
sensors were capable of and how Performance Lab software
could be fitted into their platform.
The Auckland company for more than 20 years had tested its
software products on thousands of people, from elite athletes
down to weekend warriors.
''We use all the same rules, pushing this down to everyday
people - what do they need to do to improve what they do?''
Performance Lab recently received an unspecified investment
from Intel Capital, Intel Corporation's global investment and
mergers and acquisition organisation.
Ms McMaster said the investment was crucial for the Auckland
company to establish a presence in the United States.
She and chief executive Waynne Dartnall had spent countless
hours on flights to and from the the US promoting their
Currently, Performance Lab employed 12 people but she
expected that to double before the end of the year.
There had been an ''explosion'' in wearable devices and while
most of them measured what people did during their day, they
only gave the information retrospectively, she said.
Performance Lab was developing software to allow verbal
real-time updates as an athlete trained.
That might include how much sleep someone had, how much of it
was deep sleep, whether the person needed more or less sleep,
advice to improve sleep and other things like blood pressure,
heartbeat, how much sweat someone exercising produced and
The list of things to measure was endless, Ms McMaster said.
''We are very focused on the need to know right now. The
audio will speak to you as a coach will,'' she said.
Intel Capital Asia Pacific managing director Sudheer Kuppam
said the sports, fitness, health and wellness sectors were
fuelling strong global demand for smart gadgets.
Performance Lab's suite of products provided enduring value
to the smart gadgets customers were incorporating into their
health and fitness regimes.
At a glance
Auckland-based Performance Lab designs automated coaching
technology for exercise and activity. The technology works
across most fitness and wellness devices and provides
automated coaching in real time. An investment from Intel
Capital will see Performance Lab double its staff by the end
of the year.