by accelsior - Squarespace
National University of
A0106606M Saluka Amarasinghe
A0106649Y Fiona Chui
A0106621U Audrey Chung
A0106617J Brendan Chwyl
A0106815J Filipp Demenschonok
A0106876W Jeyavithushan Jeyaloganathan
A0106624M Joanne Leong
A0106694Y Tobias Schmeig
A0106698R Thomas Vogl
Before the content of this report is examined, we would like to acknowledge and thank the following two groups for providing us with their valuable help and advice, which contributed immensely in making this project a reality:
Professor Xu Jian Xin, for his invaluable guidance and continued support while supervising our project.
The many helpful respondents who spared their valuable time to fill out surveys we required for market demand and research purposes i
Accelsior is a startup based in California founded by 9 people with a diverse set of skills. Its mission and goal is to build wearable computing technology that will improve the daily lives of people. Considering the landscape of today’s society, it is clear that computing has vastly changed the world we live in. Yet, no one has fully taken advantage of the technology available at our fingertips to gain insight into the things we do every day. We eat, we work, and we play, however on an individual level we have very little understanding on how we can do this better. In an attempt to grasp this opportunity, Accelsior aims to build the
BioBand: a simple wearable band with an ecosystem that will allow people to sleep better, be healthier and play harder. It is a modern, robust and lightweight wristband that tracks the user’s biometrics including heart rate, motion, sleeping patterns, perspiration level and temperature. Coupled with a web and smartphone application, the BioBand and its ecosystem will track and analyze these metrics. Ultimately it will provide the user with insight into their health, the quality of their sleep, their exercise patterns, and into their eating habits. Recommendations by the BioBand and the gamification of its ecosystem will provide users with motivation and an awareness of how they can improve themselves.
Examining the current wearable health and fitness device market, it is evident that the market is rapidly growing and will have an estimated value of over $1.4 billion by the end of
2014. Although there are competitors such as Nike’s Fuelband and the Fitbit Flex, Accelsior is confident the BioBand can hold a strong market position because of its sustainable competitive advantages: the ability to iterate faster, and a strong ecosystem with insightful analytics. With initial funding amounting to $1.9 million – the primary source being Kick
Starter, a conservative revenue analysis shows that the company will break even in the 1 st year with 27 000 units sold. By the 4 th
year, market projections indicate that Accelsior will be selling 20 000 BioBands per quarter totaling in more than 200 000 user worldwide. By year 3 the yearly revenue will be approximately $2 million with a 10% annual growth rate.
In order to achieve and maintain these projections, Accelsior will have to adopt an aggressive growth strategy consisting of reinvesting 85% of yearly profits back into the company as well as employ an aggressive marketing approach. Marketing will entail a tiered strategy of organic marketing through Kickstarter and influential marketing comprising of targeting key influencers such as sport heroes, doctors and tech writers.
Fundamentally, the goal of Accelsior is simple. It is to create a world where people have the ability to understand how their actions affect their lives.
LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 49 High Level Software Architecture ...................................... Error! Bookmark not defined.
LIST OF TABLES
Computing has vastly improved the landscape of society. However, with such power at our fingertips we have yet to fully take advantage of it. We sleep, eat, play and work every minute of our lives but we never really gain any insight into how these actions affect us. There’s a significant opportunity here to grasp this information from our actions and use it to make our lives better.
This is where our company Accelsior comes in. Accelsior is a new start-up founded by nine members in January 2013 who happened to be working on similar projects during their university careers. This small startup is based out of San Jose, California and out of a common interest in health and engineering, the nine founders came up with the idea of creating a consumer product for the masses that can enhance and visualize everyday tasks, many of which we take for granted. This consumer product was to capitalize on the wearable technology realm, which is a relatively new field and by capturing this market early on Accelsior can maintain a strong foothold regardless of competition.
With over a ten year roadmap for our product looking forward and understanding new technology and researching various competitors will help us in our future sustainability. Both our company mission and our vision stated below will guide us to achieve our product goals, while keeping our core values intact.
As a group, the nine members of Accelsior came up with fundamental principles in how to run the company as well as how to produce a product that will be endorsed by millions of people worldwide. The following “rules” are strict guidelines that must be adhered to by each member of the team:
1. Focus on the user and all else will follow
Since our inception, out entire team’s focus is on providing the best user experience possible. Our goal is to take the utmost care to ensure that the product we create will serve the user while still adhering to our product values.
2. Great just isn’t good enough
We see being great at something as a starting point, not an endpoint. We set ourselves goals we know we can’t reach yet, because we know that by stretching to meet them we can get further than we expected. Through innovation and iteration, we aim to take things that work well and improve upon them in unexpected ways.
3. There’s always more information out there
In the extremely competitive current consumer market with major players such as
Apple and Nike, just sticking to what we know is not enough. Pushing the limits of what we can achieve is how we envision our products and how we plan to provide an amazing user experience. To do this we must focus on future research and incorporating new technology and constantly evolving our understanding of the consumer driver market.
1.2 Mission Statement
Our long road ahead with our idea starts off by adhering to our strict mission statement. It declares our purpose as a company and acts as a gauge for our actions and choices.
Our mission is to build wearable computing technology that will improve the daily lives of people
1.3 The Team
Our team is composed of diverse individuals with various backgrounds and work experience. Below is a list of all our team members and their backgrounds.
Audrey has a background in systems design engineering. Her current interests lie in communications, electronic design and RF theory.
Her skills were mostly used in developing the complex and vital communication system between the product infrastructures. In her spare time she likes to travel and play sports.
Brendan is a mechatronics engineer with a passion for electronics and theoretical physics. His skills were best used in developing a feature set for the product.
He has a great eye for detail and can identify and troubleshoot problems before they occur.
Filipp is a mechatronics engineer with two years of industry knowledge designing embedded electronics.
He has experience working for large companies, electrical design firms and medical companies. His skills were used in designing the electrical system.
Fiona is a mechatronics engineer with a background in mechanical and automotive design. She has experience validating and testing conceptual new products and qualifying them for mass-market manufacturing. She also has a background in project management and was crucial in keeping the team on task.
Logan is a talented software engineer with an eye for product. With a powerful product vision and extensive experience in the software industry, he is an essential leader and critical part of the team.
Joanne is another systems design engineer who has experience with ergonomics and user interface design. She has worked with multiple software applications and developed software with various user interfaces with unique user experiences. Her role in Accelsior is to provide an outstanding end user experience in line with our product mission and values.
Saluka is another mechatronics engineer from
Canada with a working knowledge of user experience and project management. Having worked with multiple new concept products, his experience in developing a product from start to finish is invaluable.
Thomas is a Mechatronics Engineer from Germany.
He has experience in automotive systems, storage systems and analog electronics.
Tobias is a Mechatronics Engineer from Germany. He has three years industry experience in developing and mounting embedded electronics.
1.4 Team Roles
Since the nine founding members of Accelsior are mostly engineers with technical backgrounds it was important to assign a few to work on aspects of the company that weren’t technical related subjects such as finance and legal. The chart below shows the various tasks that were taken over by the team.
Figure 1 Founding members of Accelsior and responsible BioBand production tasks
2.1 Product Vision
Our vision is a simple look into what we believe the product will inspire and provide to our end user. It is a simple statement about what our product is and what it intends to achieve.
A simple wearable band that will allow people to sleep better, be healthier & play harder
2.2 Product Values
Our product values are a more detailed set of rules and goals that we strive to achieve with our wearable device for consumers. They are the rules that we must adhere to at every stage of the design process from concept, to electrical design and to product delivery. The following are a list of our product values:
Simple as Possible
Minimal Work by User
Minimalistic, Ergonomic and Futuristic Aesthetics
Robust Lightweight Design
Simple User Interface
Understandable & Actionable Analytics
Long Battery Life, Quick Charging, Fast Processing
2.3 Product Description
Accelsior has designed and developed a new product called the BioBand. We are creating this product as a means to help all kinds of people, eat, sleep, play and work better. The
BioBand is meant to revolutionize and capture the market of wearable smart technology.
Figure 2 Front and Rear views of BioBand hardware
The BioBand includes many features that would cater to a wide variety of individuals. In addition, the feature set was selected after careful competitor consideration. Accelsior designed the BioBand first and foremost by including all the features that similar smart bands had. After this, additional features were added to provide enhanced user feedback, accurate user experiences and superior performance.
In order for the BioBand to be fully featured for the end user, an integrated eco-system was developed by Accelsior. This eco-system includes the BioBand hardware plus a web based or smartphone based platform for the user to view, interact and save their BioBand activity.
Figure 3 The BioBand eco-system infrastructure including the BioBand hardware bracelet and visual platforms
The BioBand hardware includes all the sensors that monitor the individual wearing it. It then communicates with the visual platforms of which there are two, a smartphone application or a web application. The visual platforms visualize all the sensor data gathered from the
BioBand hardware and in addition, also provide interactivity with the BioBand hardware.
The smartphone application is a downloadable application for Android, iOS, Windows Phone and BlackBerry available at no extra cost with the purchase of the BioBand. The web application is simply a website that has the same features as the smartphone application but is catered to individuals who don’t have a smartphone or would prefer to work with a computer.
The BioBand includes a number of features to help users eat, sleep, play and work better.
The features were built to complement each other and work in unison with the BioBand integrated eco-system infrastructure. The three main features include sleep tracking, calorie tracking, fitness tracking and health meter.
One of the key features of the BioBand is the ability to track the wearer’s sleep patterns. By wearing the comfortable wristband all night, it will track how long and how well the wearer has slept including small movements while sleeping. The online visualization tools illustrate hours slept, time to fall asleep, light vs. deep sleep and waking moments. Over time the wearer will start to discover patterns in your sleep that can affect how you feel. A silent alarm system wakes the wearer with a gentle vibration at a desired time without an alarm or disturbing your partner.
To determine an accurate health level and provide accurate recommendations for a user it is crucial that the amount of calories consumed through diet and expelled through exercise is tracked. To do this BioBand has implemented a simple, easy to use software system where the BioBand user can take a photo of the food, scan a barcode, browse the image gallery in the BioBand food database or search the ingredient database to record what they eat and drink. Whether they choose to go deep with detailed nutritional information or simply keep a visual record of their meals, the BioBand makes it fun and easy to keep track of their choices.
The final key feature of the BioBand eco-system is the use of a fitness tracker. The precision motion detection system in the BioBand tracks every move—capturing a complete record of the wearer’s daily activity automatically. The sensors in the BioBand are able to tracks steps
walked, distance moved, calories burned, and active minutes to create detailed visualizations of activities that can be viewed on either the smartphone or web application.
The sleep, calorie and fitness trackers work together to provide an overall recommended health score that is customized to each individual. The health score is not a doctor provided health assessment but merely a recommendation made by the BioBand software system.
This system not only visualizes your information so you can understand the meaning behind the numbers, it also discovers hidden connections in the way you live to deliver powerful insights. Over time, insights lead to new behaviors and new behaviors become new, healthier habits all provided with the BioBand eco-system.
In order to make the user feel like they are accomplishing and improving their health the gamification concept was developed for the BioBand. Gamification is the ability to make a challenge out of the 4 major features of the BioBand. The wearer gets a score everytime certain accomplishments are reached. If the score is a high score the wearer earns awards and badges. In addition, the user can compete with friends introducing a social media concept. For example, if an individual has recently managed to run 10 kilometers 5 minutes faster than a previous day time they will be rewarded with a new badge for the accomplishment. In addition, the user can post this score on social media such as Facebook to show and compete with other friends. This provides the BioBand with a challenging, selfimprovement and continuous improvement aspect that has the potential to attract millions of current social media users.
The BioBand was designed very carefully in order to provide the most benefit to the user. In order to accomplish this various design features were implemented that are hidden to the wearer. These include:
A water resistant design
Wireless syncing between the BioBand bracelet and a smartphone
Over 7 days of continuous tracking battery life and data logging.
And idle alert that notifies the wearer that they have been inactive for a long time.
The BioBand is a wearable fitness and health tracking device that motivates people to get more active. It helps to enhance the user’s performance in sports and supports the user in living healthier. There are already existing products in this “fitness band” market from wellknown companies like Nike or Jawbone. While these competitors have a strong market position, their products focus on either fitness or health, and do not offer a compact, fully functional band that combines all the features needed for effective fitness and health tracking. In order for BioBand to gain traction, Accelsior will have to enter the market with a well-designed product as well as with an effective marketing strategy. Market analysts predict a massive growth in the area of wearable fitness and health tracking devices. As a result, Accelsior is confident in BioBand’s market success due to its ability to meet the needs and desires of the target customers.
3.1 Market Segmentation
In the market segmentation, the target market is defined through geographic segmentation, with the target groups defined through psychographic segmentation and behaviour segmentation (e.g. lifestyle, personality, needs, and interests).
The target market is North America with a specific focus on the United States and Canada, which have populations of approximately 314 million and 35 million respectively. The following pie chart shows the geographic segmentation by country:
Figure 4 Geographic Segmentation
In the figure below, the annual income in a median household in the US for 2011 is shown.
The average annual income in the US is about $50 000.
Figure 5 Median Household Income
The United States is a huge market as shown in the previous table with about 314 million inhabitants. Though the United States has no official language, the vast majority of the population speaks English; as a result, it can be assumed that language barriers will not affect the success of BioBand. Regulations for advertisement and distribution are quite similar across all the states in the US. These two factors simplify the marketing strategy and is considerably more cost efficient compared to a market like the European Union.
The United States have certain cities (such as San Francisco and San Jose) with a large number of startups every year. These cities usually have a good environment for startups with many local investors and prestigious universities located nearby. According to statistics, there were 6 million startup companies in 2010, 900 000 of which had 5-9 starting members like Accelsior. As a result, there are organizations and useful platforms to help startups fund their projects; two of them are Y Combinator and Kickstarter. Kickstarter will be used to raise funding and market BioBand, and Accelsior plans to apply to Y Combinator to secure additional funding and guidance. Detailed descriptions of Y Combinator and Kickstarter are included in the market strategy chapter.
Marketing through Kickstarter is a pillar in the marketing strategy and it ensures a starting base of customers before the product is released. Kickstarter is a very popular website in
North America where startups can place their product idea and define a capital which they need to go in production. Potential customers and investors are given a month to view details about the product and pledge a certain amount of money to the company as an investment. In return, they will receive one of the first BioBands produced if the defined capital is reached. Kickstarter will allow Accelsior to generate some capital and market the
BioBand; in addition, the investors on Kickstarter will help to advertise the BioBand through social networks and word of mouth advertising. In the past, tech blogs or even newspapers have taken notice of some products and published blogs or articles.
The age group of the BioBand’s target market will encompass a wide range, from 16 – 60 years old. People in this age range can be physically active and understand technology as well. They generally also have the funds necessary to purchase technology of this kind.
In the figure below, several personal characteristics and interests of people for whom the
BioBand is designed for are illustrated. The target market can be defined by psychographic and behavior segmentation to be health conscious, enthusiastic about fitness and sports, tech savvy, physically active, organized, change-oriented, competitive and connected.
Figure 6 Personality Analysis
22.214.171.124 Health Conscious
Health conscious people care about the quality of their sleep. The BioBand incorporates this into its features with the sleep tracking function. Health conscious people are also more likely to know approximately how many calories they have eaten and can compare it with the amount of burned calories the BioBand tracks. As a result, users will be able to determine if their lifestyle is balanced or if they have to compensate with more food or more physical activity.
126.96.36.199 Enthusiastic About Fitness and Sport
During physical activity, it is beneficial for an athlete to know his or her heart rate. This is especially true during running and jogging, as it is an easily accessible metric with which to measure physical exertion during cardiovascular exercise. Experienced runners typically know their optimal heart rate when exercising, and can use the BioBand to help monitor it; the BioBand also provides feedback, allowing runners to increase or decrease their speed to maintain a certain heart rate.
188.8.131.52 Enthusiastic About Technology
This specifically refers to people who are interested in new technologies. They always want to have the newest products and technologies in the market and want to figure out how it works. BioBand used many integrated sensors, and this target group could be interested in how the sensors, microcontroller, and the e-ink display interact.
184.108.40.206 Physically Active
This target group consists of people who are actively participating in different sports/activities. They can use the BioBand to compare the effectiveness of the different activities in burning calories, check their heart rate during the sports, or even compare their progress with teammates and friends.
Another target group is comprised of organized and structured people who like to plan and control aspects of their lives. The BioBand provides data about the users themselves, which can be used to track sleeping patterns, burned calories over a few months, and figure out how changes in their lives impact these patterns.
This refers to people who want to change something in their daily lives such as becoming more active, losing weight, or getting stronger. This target group also includes those who are simply curious about themselves and want to find out more information about their day to day lives. BioBand also helps instigate this change in the user’s daily live by providing personalized data and feedback as well as motivation to achieve the user’s goals.
A sense of competition keeps athletes motivated, and people always play harder against others than when alone. Competition is a more effective motivating factor and is simply more fun. With the BioBand, goals can be set between friends and enables users to compete against others online.
After the collected data is transferred to the smart phone or computer, it is possible to share the data through the BioBand web application/interface with friends. Thus, the
BioBand allows users to in contact with friends and make new dates for the next sport activity or challenge.
3.2 Market State
The current market situation in North America will now be defined to emphasize the potential for the long-term success of BioBand in this market. First, it is important to outline a concerning problem in the US and Canada. From the following diagram, it can be seen that
34.4 % of the population in the US are overweight.
Figure 7 Obesity/Population
Over time, people have begun to realize that a healthy lifestyle is extremely important in maintaining personal health and minimizing medical complications. Persons who are not affected from obesity take more care of their health to prevent becoming overweight. More and more overweight people want to change something in their lives (such as doing sports) to live healthier lives. As a result, the number of health conscious people is increasing. This idea is supported by several articles written about a fitness boom in the US. This table illustrates the massive amounts of money spent by Americans on the fitness sector and the continuing growth:
Table 1 Fitness Sector Revenue
This indicates that there is a significant change in the public’s mindset and an increasing number of people enjoy a health and fitness oriented lifestyle. Being healthy, losing weight, and gaining muscle serves as a kind of motivation. To achieve this, it has been shown that people are willing to spend a lot of money; a survey even shows that people want to spend
more money in health and fitness. For example, people with a college degree and a minimum income of $50 000 per year plan to spend $130 per month on fitness equipment.
The market volume for wearable devices in 2012 was approximately $800 million. It is estimated that the market will reach $1.5 billion by 2014 and hit $6 billion by 2016. One reason for the huge growing market in wearable devices is the rapid development of sensors, batteries, and wireless devices. The quality of these is simultaneously increasing; as well, they are decreasing in size and, through mass production, are very affordable.
3.3 Competitive Analysis
Table 2 shows a comparison of the BioBand competitors released between 2011 and 2013.
The market for wearable fitness and health devices is a young and emerging market.
Advertisements of BioBand competitors, technology blogs and newspaper articles made the new technology of fitness and health tracking in bands popular. Consumer surveys show that owners of currently available fitness bands generally find competitor products lacking in aspects that would make it worth their while to wear every day and night. Consumers are also hesitant to spend the $99 to $149 for competitor products.
The most recognized competitor is the Nike+ FuelBand, but the bands consists only of an accelerometer in an attractive package. It is criticized for using technology that is already available in all smart phones, making the band unnecessary for all smart-phone users.
After the competitive analysis of the current market place, it is seen that competitor products of the BioBand lack the ability to include all the functionalities that their customers want into one band. This is why Accelsior’s new multifunctional BioBand will be highly attractive to current and future fitness band users, becoming the user’s daily companion, motivating them to achieve their goals and live healthier.
Table 2 Competitive Analysis
Figure 8 Fitbit Flex
Fitbit Flex was released in spring 2013 and is the latest BioBand competitor. The Flex has no display, and feedback is given to the user using five integrated LEDs. Fitness progress must be viewed on the Fitbit Flex smartphone application. Daily limits can be set through the application, and the five LEDs will light up depending on the progress of the user’s daily goal.
Figure 9 Jawbone Up
The Jawbone Up was released in the end of 2011. Because of faulty units and massive user complaints, Jawbone Up was taken off the market. The band was relaunched at the end of
2012 with some new features. This competitor’s smartphone application only works with iOS, limited its market. It also lacks a screen and any form of real-time user feedback.
However, the design of the band is well done, and users find it comfortable to wear and aesthetically pleasing.
Figure 10 Nike FuelBand
The Nike+ FuelBand was launched in spring 2012. It contains an LED matrix of 100 white
LEDs and a 20 LED strip which can display red, yellow and green. Pressing the single button can switch the matrix display between calories burned, time, and distance covered. The LED strip displays progress of the user’s daily goal, similar to the FitBit Flex. This large display is very aesthetically pleasing, but uses a lot of battery. Also, the band consists only of an accelerometer in an attractive package. It is criticized for using technology that is already available in all smart phones, making the band unnecessary for all smart-phone users as there are not many additional functions, if any it can perform.
Figure 11 BodyMedia Fit Core
The BodyMedia Fit Core a band that is worn on the upper arm as opposed to the wrist. The
Fit Core is the only device in which can measure heat flux, skin temperature and galvanic skin response. For the measurement/calculation of burned calories, activity level, covered distance or even the sleeping patterns the Fit Core uses four sensors. The calculated data is very precise, but an extra fee is charged for the data to be analyzed and viewed. The band is also not very aesthetically pleasing and not ideal for wearing every day.
3.4 Market Survey
To get a better understanding of the market and the customers, a started a survey about wearable fitness and health devices was carried out. Data was collected from 90 people currently residing in North America that were also part of the BioBand’s target market.
Information on the BioBand and its features were presented along with six questions. 79 of the 90 people responded, some of which are currently users of competitor products, or plan do purchase one in the future.
The first question asked was: “Do you already use a similar product? If so, which one?” The results of this question are displayed in the graph below. About 45% of the interviewed persons own a competitor product. The Nike+ Fuelband is the most used band, with 17 people who currently own one.
Figure 12 Question 1 Response
The second question asked was: “
How satisfied are you with it? Rank your device from
1-4 (1 is the best mark)”. Overall, users were fairly satisfied with their products, but saw room forimprovements.
Figure 13 Question 2 Response
For the third question, people were asked to rank the BioBand’s product features according to their needs. These features included the web application, sleep tracking, design and comfort, calorie counting, the e-ink display, and the heart rate monitor.
Figure 14 Question 3 Response
This question was used to determine the needs and wants of potential customers.
Surprisingly, the web application was the most important feature, as nearly 35% of the surveyed people who already owned a fitness band indicated that a simple, user friendly web application is the most important factor for a product of this kind. From these users, it was concluded that they were not satisfied with the web applications of BioBand’s competitors. This means a well-designed, simple web application is very important. 7 out of
17 of the Nike+ FuelBand users answered sleep tracking as the most important BioBand feature, so it is definitely a feature that users find are lacking from this competitor.
The fourth question asked the surveyed people how often they would wear the BioBand if they purchased or owned one. Under the assumption that the band is not irritating and will allow the user to continue with their daily lives with minimal disruption, over 40% of the survey population said they could wear the BioBand for a majority of the day.
Figure 15 Question 4 Response
Question 5 asked: “Given that the product is available, how interested would you be in buying it?”
Figure 16 Question 5 Response
Nearly 25% of the survey population was not interested in buying the BioBand. 8 people preferred purchasing a competitor fitness band. 4 already owned bands that they were fully satisfied with. Those not satisfied with the competitor bands were mostly interested or definitely willing to purchase the BioBand. The conclusion from this question is that most competitor users feel their products are missing features.
The last question asked how much potential customers would be willing to pay for the
BioBand. The results of this question shows that over the half would buy the BioBand at a price higher than $140.Even though the BioBand is a multifunctional band with more features than its competitors, the price must be kept in the lower range so that more customers can be captured.
Figure 17 Question 6 Response
3.5 SWOT Analysis
Using the SWOT Analysis is one of the most common structured planning methods.
Performing and competing with other companies in a complex marketing environment makes it necessary, to understand where the SWOTs of the own products are. The Analysis points out the marketing value of the developed product. Furthermore the aspects of this analysis can be used for making decisions about the future marketing strategy of the product.
BioBand combines the functions of sleep tracking (sleep patterns, ideal sleeping time, smart alarm) and health and fitness tracking (calories burned, average speed, distance ran, calorie tracking). The BioBand’s multiple functions makes it the only product on the market which provides all desired user functions integrated into one device.
The usage of an e-ink display provides a big advantage to all the other competitors. BioBand is the first product on the market that displays key fitness and health information in realtime on the band itself.
In order for the BioBand to be wearable for most of the day and during sleep, it was designed to be very comfortable. The final design of the BioBand is ergonomic, allergen free, and breathable. All this guarantees free movement and the ability, to act without any constraints.
Simplicity is a main fact which BioBand provides for all users of different ages and with different skills in the usage of modern electronic devices. The e-ink display can be controlled with only two buttons, with intuitive and memorable button sequences for the user to use.
The web application provides detailed information for the user, providing suggestions for being healthier. The application also allows the user to compare statistics with friends, which can motivate them to do even better.
The magnetic charging connector provides the ability for the BioBand to charge while the user is at their computer or laptop. This makes it possible to wear the BioBand continuously for more than the 7 day battery life.
Firstly, Accelsior is entering the market as an unknown start-up company. It will take time to establish customer loyalty, which may affect the company profit initially. Once the product and its advantages against competitor products are advertised by marketing, reviews, and word of mouth, sales will increase.
The demand calculated is not completely accurate because there are no concrete facts as a base for calculations, and numbers forecasted are still speculative. The forecasts are based on past market trends, but in this aspect, the BioBand’s competitors have the advantage because they have already been in the market for some time.
Many customers in North America have a big brand mentality, meaning that they only purchase famous and trusted brands like Nike. For these customers, the reason behind owning big brand products can be for having a status symbol rather than a useful technical device. This means that BioBand needs to capture these customers through its quality and many technological functions.
The BioBand is most beneficial for users that wear the product continuously throughout the day. Customers have to get used to wearing the device, checking their personal data with the web application, and reading the recommendations made. It may take new users some time and patience to realize the full capabilities of the BioBand.
In addition to being a weakness, being a start-up company also brings many opportunities to develop the product and company exactly the way it is envisioned to fit perfectly into the target market. In large and well established companies like Nike, there are many restrictions on the engineering development process. These engineers must ensure that company identity rules are followed for all products in all their different markets. It is not uncommon for some product features to be left out at these larger companies because of the many people involved in making decisions. Accelsior has the freedom of having a small creative staff that can adapt quickly to create a more innovative and desirable product.
Because the BioBand is not the first fitness band being introduced into the market, Accelsior engineers can also incorporate new features in the future. Once the BioBand product is well established, more generations of it can be produced with even more functions. With the correct marketing, the BioBand can be established in a long term and ever expanding
market. The BioBand will be able to reach all of North America and technologically advanced parts of Europe and Asia in the future.
Accelsior uses existing technologies in the BioBand, incorporating them into one useful and unique package. After the launch of the product, it will not be long before competitors start to integrate many features into their devices as well, and it will be easy for them to engineer a comparable product. These competitors may have many more assets for investment than
Accelsior, which will become a threat for this start-up company.
As the world financial markets are currently not very stable, it is possible that a period of economic downturn will significantly decrease the sales output of BioBands. This means
Accelsior needs enough capital saved for these periods of economic decline.
Other large companies like Apple are rumoured to be entering this market as well. If the
BioBand cannot be established before new competitors enter the market, there will be more competition for potential customers. Accelsior must act fast to capture as great a market share as possible.
Currently the BioBand is the only profit earning product from Accelsior. If this product does not succeed, Accelsior will not have enough money to continue as a start-up.
The BioBand has three main mechanical components: a glass cover over the e-ink display, the band and the band-adjustment clip. All other components in Figure 1 are electronic components that are assembled into the BioBand. The figure below shows a 3-D CAD model of the BioBand, including the placement of all biosensors, e-ink display, and buttons. Two
LEDs shine through the buttons for additional feedback to the user.
Figure 18 CAD Model of BioBand
4.1 Glass Cover
A glass cover exists over the e-ink display in order to keep the BioBand waterproof. This glass cover must be scratch and impact resistant, and not obstruct the display capabilities of the e-ink screen.
The glass cover will be made of Gorilla Glass, which is used in approximately 20 percent of mobile devices today. It is manufactured by Corning, and is a thin, lightweight and damage resistant alkali-aluminosilicate sheet glass. It is highly scratch resistant due to a protective coating, and is very strong for a glass sheet of its thickness.
The band that encloses the electronic circuitry and attaches the device to the user is one of the most important components. It is over molded onto the assembled electronics. The comfort of the user, functionality and durability of the BioBand all depend on the band material and design. The band must fulfill the following requirements:
Durable, tear resistant and minimal creep for product lifetime
Fit snugly on the user’s wrist, allowing sensors to contact skin and read data
Fit comfortably on user’s wrist, allowing for skin breathability
Flexibility at different temperature ranges
Resistant to bodily fluids, water, and common consumable fluids
As a result of the band requirements, a polyester based thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) was chosen for the band material - Desmopan 9370A. Produced by Bayer Material Science based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, this material has many characteristics that make it ideal for the BioBand application.
The mechanical properties of Desmopan 9370A, seen in the figure below, make it durable and tear resistant for the product’s lifetime. Desmopan 9370A’s very good hydrolysis makes the material chemically inert to common bodily and consumable fluids that the BioBand will be in contact with, ensuring the product is durable. The TPU has good flexibility at both low and high temperatures, which is quantified by the flexural modulus at -30°C and +23°C.
Good flexibility makes the material suitable for the different environments that the BioBand will be subjected to and will allow for a snug fit on the user’s wrist.
Several of this TPU’s characteristics make this material very wearable, safe and comfortable for the user. Desmopan 9370A is naturally odourless, so no unpleasant plastic odours will disturb the user. The TPU has a high vapor transmission rate, which means the speed at which water passes through the material is high, allowing for good breathability and preventing user discomfort from sweat staying between the skin and the band. The material complies with FDA regulations for Polyurethane Resins, Rubber Articles Intended for
Repeated Use, and “Biological Evaluation of Medical Devices” for tests with human tissue contact of 30 days or less, making it a safe material to wear.
Figure 19: Mechanical Properties of Desmopan 9370A
The Desmopan 9370A band will be made using injection molding processes by an injection molding company in China to minimize labour costs. The tooling for the mould will be designed in conjunction with the company chosen. The typical injection molding conditions for Desmopan 9370A in the figure below and the part information for tooling in Table 3 will be referenced during tooling design. The injection molding process will also require all electronics to be held in place during molding and the integrity of all the components must remain intact.
Figure 20: Typical Injection Molding Conditions of Desmopan 9370A
The part information for tooling in Table 1 is used for tool pricing information and is calculated from the BioBand 3-D CAD model.
Table 3: Part information for tooling
Max. wall thickness
mm mm mm2 mm3
The band will be produced in four different colours using different colouring agents – black, white, red and blue. CAD renderings of the injection molded band can be seen in the following figure.
Figure 21: Injection molded band in four colours
The band will come in three different sizes – small, medium and large to account for the wrist size variations in the target market. The three different sizes will only differ in band length, as the features surrounding the electronic components will stay the same.
In order to increase breathability, eight air channels are located on the inner surface of the band. These channels span the width of the band, allowing for greater air flow between the user’s wrist and the outside air.
The Band-adjustment clip seen in Figure 18 allows for the user to make adjustments to the length of the band to fit their individual wrist size. The requirements for this part are:
Resistant to bodily fluids, water, and common consumable fluids
Durable for product lifetime
Fit comfortably on user’s wrist
The clip that holds the band in place on the user’s wrist will be made of stainless steel, as it is cheap to manufacture, durable, and aesthetically pleasing. It is also resistant to many fluids and cost effective.
The clip will be made of extruded 2mm thick stainless steel that is stamped into shape.
The mechanical assembly process for the BioBand is quite simple, as it only involves attaching the clip to the band, and will be performed in China.
The BioBand will require custom made electronics in order to achieve all of the required functionality. The team at Accelsior team worked hard to develop a novel architecture that is capable of meeting the required goals whiles still balancing the challenges of size, cost and power usage. The figure below - BioBand System Overview shows a simple flow diagram of how the system will be connected.
Figure 22 BioBand System Overivew
The system will be controlled by a 16-bit Series 5 Texas Instrument microcontroller. Data communication will be achieved with a low power Bluetooth 4.0 sensor. During connection downtime, data will be stored in a CMOS Serial Flash when it cannot be uploaded to the phone. A custom lithium-cell battery will be charged using a magnetic clip-on USB cable.
There are 5 sensors which will be used to monitor the state of the user. A Gyroscope and
Accelerometer will provide motion data that will be compared to existing motion patters to determine what activity the user is performing. A heart-rate monitor, temperature sensor and galvanic sensor will provide feedback on how much the user’s body is being engaged.
The user will be able to interact with the device using an e-ink display, some input buttons
and status indicator LEDs. This setup is able to tackle all the challenges and provide all the required functionality for the user. Appendix A – Electrical Part Datasheets and Appendix B –
Electrical Part Suppliers contains all the links to suppliers and datasheets for each of the parts discussed.
5.1 Component Selection
The parts chosen for this project were carefully compared against other alternatives and similar parts. The following chapters give an outline of each selected part and the features that made them desirable to other options. All the parts chosen can work at the Vdd rail voltage of 3.3V.
The first components to be chosen were the power delivery chips. It was decided that the system would run on a single cell battery. In order to avoid conversion losses and inefficiencies it was decided that a single 3.3V rail would be used for the entire system. A step-down regulator would be needed in order to achieve this functionality. A standard linear regulator was out of the question for two reasons. The first reason is that the low voltage margin of 0.4V between a 3.7V nominal Lithium battery and a 3.3V rail meant that a linear regulator would not be able to run at the end of the batteries charge when the battery voltage approached the rail voltage. The second reason is that the efficiencies of standard regulators were far too low for this application (ranging at about 60-70% for low lower systems).
As a result was that only an LDO or Switching regulator were viable architectures left. The chosen regulator needed to provide about a hundred mA in order to ensure stable functionality of the system in any state. The chosen part was the Texas Instrument
TPS62730. While other parts such as TI LP295X Series LDOs were considered, the higher price of the TPS62730 was well justified. The TPS62730 provided good characteristics with a few special features designed specifically for low power device applications. This switching regulator provided the required power output at a high frequency (to avoid noise on the rails) and an efficiency of about 90%. The footprint of this device was very small and did not require any large inductors or capacitors. Finally, the main features that made the TPS62730 attractive was its ability to reduce power draw during Bluetooth RX and TX transmissions via a high efficient step-down voltage conversion.
The only other rail on the board is a
/2 rail that will be used as a virtual ground. This rail
will be about
A preferred solution would have been to use the TI TLE2426 rail splitter
IC, which is made specifically for this function. Unfortunately this part only works down to
5V levels and no known existing solution existed to achieve this task for a 3.3V rail. A custom circuit was designed using a buffer amp and is shown in the circuit below. The Linear
Technology LT6003 Buffer amplifier was used because of its low current consumption, low supply current and low error margins. The output from this circuit will be used to bias instrumentation amplifiers used to detect heart rate and galvanic skin changes.
Figure 23. Buffer Amp Rail Splitter
It is important to note that the system relies very heavily on low-power and sleep modes when parts of the system are not in use. Almost all the parts in this architecture support some kind of off, sleep or low-power modes to conserve battery power. Based on the duty cycle and power consumption shown in the figure below the system is expected to run for about 8 days on a full charge. For comparison, if the system did not make use of these power saving modes, the power consumption would skyrocket to 122mA resulting in complete battery drainage in under 2 hours.
Battery Charging Circuitry
Low Current Fuse
VBPW34FAS/R custom custom
Figure 24. Estimate of Power Consumption
For the battery a Lithium-Ion battery was selected due to the lower weight requirements and longer runtimes as compared to NiCd or NiMH batteries. Lithium Ion batteries are the industry standard for portable electronics. Lithium Ion batteries also have the advantage that they can be custom made to any dimensions and mAh rating. Depending on initial orders it may be more economical for Accelsior to have custom made batteries in China. For the first revision of the project a mass produce battery was chosen with a capacity of
210mAh. This battery weighs in at just 3 grams and fits perfectly under the screen. Future revisions could employee a custom made battery that could be made to be even thinner than this.
Figure 25. First Revision Battery
One of the requirements of this product was to ensure that it could be submerged in water if the user goes for a swim or takes a shower. This presented a unique difficulty to designing the connector for the BioBand. Standard USB or TRRS connectors were no longer an option as ensuring a watertight seal with them provided many challenges. Instead the team decided to use a magnetic connector that mimicked the USB pin-out. The figure below shows two concept images of the proposed connector. On one side the connector would be a standard USB cable that the user could connect to a wall charger or their computer. On the other side would be a 4 contacts surrounded by a magnetic shroud. To charge the
BioBand the user would simply clip on the magnetic shroud on the corresponding metal band on the BioBand. The 4 pin contact provides the standard pin output with USB+, USB-
,5V and Gnd. In addition to providing the power needed to charge the BioBand the data pins are used to transfer any data on the BioBand to the PC.
Figure 26. Charging Connector
On the electrical side the device chosen to perform the charring was Ti’s BQ24230. This device was chosen because it is designed specifically to work in portable low power
Bluetooth communications and was easy to interface with TI’s Bluetooth Transducer
CC2540F128RHAR. The device was also quite small and had a low price. The Charging Curve figure below shows how this chip charges a battery.
Figure 27. The BQ24230 Charging IC
Figure 28. Charging Curve
The first phase is a pre-charge phase that is used to bring the battery up from a very low voltage without damaging it with a large current. Once the threshold voltage is met, a fast charge mode turns on that uses constant current to charge the battery very quickly. In the last phase a constant voltage charging is used to slowly taper off the charging current to avoid any failure of the cell. It is important to note that because users will usually be charging their device when it is only partially discharged the most likely scenario will be the
“CC Fast Charge”. This means that usually the device can have the battery charged to about
80% very quickly, meaning that even quick charge times will give the user several days of use.
Selecting a microprocessor for this device was not a simple task. Several options were considered ranging from powerful ARM processors down to low power 8-bit controllers like the Atmel ATMEGA series. In the end the 16-bit MSP430 series offered by TI was chosen.
This line of microprocessors was chosen because they have the lowest battery consumptions while offering some powerful computational power to allow preliminary data compression and analysis on the BioBand. The MSP430 series has many processors (11 families of processors with unique features). In the end the cheapest processor that met the project requirements was chosen -this happened to be the Series 5 MSP430F5528.
Figure 29. The MSP430F5528 by TI
This device offers very low energy consumption particularly in sleep mode. Works at 3.3V levels and offers a Full-Speed Universal Serial Bus interface, two peripheral serial interfaces
(configured as UART and SPI for our application), precision internal clock, along with all the required ADC and GPIO pins needed to control everything present on the device.
Generous programming resources are also available 128 KB of Flash memory and 10KB of SRAM, as well as support for 32-bit operator support for heavy computational tasks. The figure below shows all the resources available on this microprocessor.
Figure 30. MSP430F5528 Architecture Overview
This Bluetooth transducer chosen was the CC2540F128RHAR by TI because it offered lowpower Bluetooth 4.0 at a low price point and can be interfaced with the chosen voltage regulator TPS62730 to improve battery performance by up to 20% by using special modes during transmission and receiving of Bluetooth data. Other transducers by companies such as CSR PLC and Atmel could not provide this extra power saving feature and were thus not chosen for this project.
Figure 31. Bluetooth 4.0 Transducer
This chip will give the BioBand the ability to interact with other devices wirelessly via the
Bluetooth protocol. This device uses the same
frequency as standard Bluetooth with a simpler modulation scheme. Transmission of data will be done using a 50 Ω antenna that will be etched into the PCB and connected to the Bluetooth transceiver, a sample of such an antenna can be seen in the figure below. The device has a link budget of 97dB which corresponds to an ideal range with line of sight of approximately 50 m. This range will be decreased by barriers such as the human body or clothing but is more than enough to pair with a cellphone that a user caries with them.
Figure 32. Board Etch Antenna
This device also has an integrated 8051 microcontroller core which could be used as a slave to the main microcontroller to help offset some of the required computation or mate peripheral devices. The 8051 core will be used to control the voltage regulator TPS62730 to allow for maximum energy saving based on transducer usage.
The ADXL344 accelerometer was chosen because it is a very widely available (and thus inexpensive) accelerometer solution. This device uses very little power and provides sleep modes for extra battery saving. The device can withstand shocks of up to 10 000g and provide reliable 13-bit data readout on accelerations ranging from ±16 g. The small form factor of the device also made it perfect for our application. While other companies offered many different accelerometers none provided all the basic features that we needed at a more affordable price point.
Figure 33. Accelerometer
The L3GD20 gyroscope by ST was chosen because it offers very low power consumption, temperature compensation and user-selectable bandwidth. This device offers full 360 degree readout on 3-axis at a user selectable rate of ±250/±500/ ±2000 degrees per second.
This allows flexibility in the sampling rate depending on how active the user is, providing higher accuracy during intricate tasks such as exercising and lower accuracy during simple tasks such as running. It is important to note that all MEMS gyroscopes tend to be large power users during operation. As such, the gyroscope will be held in its sleep mode and only woken up when the accelerometer detects vigorous motion.
Figure 34. Gyroscope
Although several other sensors used have an integrated temperature sensors it was decided that a dedicated MCP9700 Thermistor by Microchip should be used to measure skin temperature. This thermistor was chosen because it was very small and only cost approximately 20 cents. In order to take the readings this device will be mounted under one of the metal pads that contact the skin and the top will be covered in heat sink compound.
The metal tabs on the underside of the bracelet provide the best thermal contact to the body and will give readings that will closely approximate the temperature of the user.
Figure 35. SOT23 Temperature Sensor
A simple way to detect heart rate was required for this project. Currently existing solutions are usually based on an ECG approach. While an ECG is more precise and the standard of practice in a medical environment this solution used too much power and was far too complex for this application. Instead the team developed a much simpler solution using IR photodiode and LED. The system works on the basis that the opacity of human skin changes slightly as heart is pumped by the heart. In order to detect this change an IR LED will
constantly shine at skin and the photodiode will pick up the slight changes in luminosity as shown in the figure below. Both of these parts are hidden in a small cavity on the underside of the band ensuring that no ambient light leaks in to disturb measurements.
Figure 36. Heart Rate Detection System
The IR emitter chosen was the VSMS3700-GS08 and the photodiode was the VBPW34FAS/R.
These parts are both produced by Vishay and tuned to work at a frequency of 950 nm. Both parts are very small high performance components designed for space critical applications.
These parts were chosen because of their high efficiency and the fact that Vishay spectrally matches these components to ensure that they work well together. The IR emitter will always be on using a PWMed GPIO pin from the microcontroller. The duty cycle of the PWM could be changed in order to improve signal quality and have the sensor self-adjust to people of different skin tones. The photodiode will be amplified using an instrumentation amplifier that will be configured as a trans-impedance amplifier. A sample circuit is shown below in the Heart Rate Circuitry diagram.
Figure 37. Heart Rate Circuitry
The amplifier used for this circuit is the TI INA333, this is a very popular instrumentation amplifier that works rail-to-rail at low voltages, provides up to 1000 gain, is temperature compensated and has very low noise margins. The INA333 will run from GND to 3V3 using the virtual ground of 1.65V as a reference. The internal structure of the amplifier can be seen below.
Figure 38. INA333 Internal Wiring
Similar configurations have been used before for the same purpose and a sample output can be seen in the figure below – Output from IR Heart Rate Monitor. The vertical axis is luminosity while the horizontal axis is time. While this circuit setup is crude relative to an
ECG, it is able to detect heart rate and even has enough precision to detect Artial systole and Ventricular systole (as shown by the two spikes for each heart-beat.
Figure 39. Output from IR Heart Rate Monitor
The galvanic resistance circuit works using the same instrumentation amplifier as the heartrate circuit – the INA333. For this circuit however is arranged as a differential amplifier as shown in the figure below.
Figure 40. Galvanic Resistance Circuit
The circuit works by sending a small current between the two electrodes. This current will be significantly less than 1mA, the point at which a user can feel it. This current will generate a voltage when it flows through the skin of the user. The resistance of the skin changes as the user sweat and this difference in voltage will be detected by the instrumentation amplifier. The INA333 will then amplify this voltage change to levels that the microcontroller will be able to interpret. A fast blow 50mA fuse is put in line with the circuit as a safety precaution to ensure that the user will never be electrocuted by the
BioBand, even in the event of catastrophic failure. An example of expected output is shown below. As the user begins strenuous activity his body will begin to sweat causing an initial spike in voltage. Once his body reaches equilibrium the skin resistance will level off. These measurements can be used to determine if the user is performing Aerobic or Anaerobic exercise and how well his or her body is responding to exercise.
Figure 41. Typical Output from Galvanic Resistance Circuit
For the BioBand a custom E-ink display will need to be made. Preliminary quotes from
Pervasive Displays Inc. suggest that displays in our small size (0.5” by 1.5”) and order quantity can be purchased for around 7 dollars per unit. A sample display made by Pervasive
Displays Inc. can be seen below.
Figure 42. Sample E-ink Dsiplay
These displays come with a rugged screen and a flat-flex cable to interface with. The display will be driven by some serial protocol such as SPI and I2C depending on the driver population option chosen. E-ink was chosen for the display over traditional methods such as
LCD or OLED for several reasons. E-ink displays are cheaper than any other technology when
produced in sufficiently large quantities. E-ink displays are black and white and provide high contrast and wide reading angles – meaning that users will have no problem seeing the display outside. The other major benefit of e-ink displays is that they use very little power.
This is achieved by the fact that energy is only used to refresh a display but not to keep a still image on. The image below shows a cross-section of an e-ink display. Individual pixels can change between black and white by polarizing a top and bottom plate to force charged pigment particles to float to the top or the bottom. Once the plates are polarized the display will hold an image without continuous supply power – this helps to further reduce energy usage. For the BioBand the data from the accelerometer and gyroscope will be used to determine when a user is holding the display up towards their face and the display will only be updated then, allowing for power conservation when the user is not interacting with the device.
Figure 43. E-ink Display section view
The device will also contain some components to allow the user to interact with it not only through the display. A sealed coin vibration motor will be used to provide haptic feedback or to wake the user up from a nap. This motor is very small and capable of operating at 3.3V
Figure 44. Motor
Two push buttons (select and ok) are also implemented on the device and are placed next to the screen to allow the user to cycle through the menus available. The pushbuttons are integrated on the PCB and will have a silicone overlay to protect them from moisture.
Figure 45. Buttons
There will also be two indicator LEDs, red and green, incorporated into the product to allow to indicate charge and provide other notifications to the user. The LEDs chosen are a small
0402 package by Vishay.
Figure 46. Indicator LEDs
The flash memory selected for the BioBand is the S25FL032P by Spansion. This memory chip is a 32-Mbit CMOS Flash memory device. The interface connection used will be a SPI bus.
This part was chosen because of its low price and high memory capacity. The flash memory consumes very little energy in standby and only needs to draw several tens of milliamps during write or read operations. Flash Memory chips are quite common and this part could be replaced with a compatible part at the time of production based on market prices.
Figure 47. Flash Memory
5.2 Electrical PCB Construction
A considerable amount of forethought and planning went into designing the PCB that would carry all the electrical components listed above.
The size of each component was calculated and summed together to obtain an estimate of the area required to place all the components on the board. The figure below shows all the parts and their footprint size. It is important to note that the majority of the area is not
taken up by any of the ICs but mostly by discrete components such as capacitors, inductors and diodes. Extra clearance area was added to account for things such as vias and mechanical holes. The PCB will have 4 layers, with two dedicated signal layers, making routing a not very complex problem for this PCB given the number and complexity of components.
Battery Charging Circuitry
Low Current Fuse
Passives (Diodes, Resistors,
Part Number QTY per Unit Length (mm)
VBPW34FAS/R custom custom
1 lump price of approx 50 parts
100 Metal Can
40.5 SMT Low Profile
9.2925 SMT Custom
24.96 SMT Custom
0 Not on Board
0 Not on Board
5 SMT Custom
50 Board Etch
200 Clearance Space
One PCB Side
Dimension 4.5 x 2
9.1928625 cm^2 cm x cm
Figure 48. BioBand Board Area Estimate
The manufacture and assembly of this board will use the common industry processes used for low layer count boards. The board used will be a common FR4 with a green solder mask and white silk screen. The solder will be deposited leveled using HASL (Hot Air Surface
Leveling), because this is a cost efficient method that is compatible with a hot air reflow oven. Parts will be placed using standard pick and place machines and reflowed using a hot air oven. There are no thru-hole parts or unique part designs on this board and as such no technician soldering is expected to be needed, helping to reduce manufacturing cost. A
Chinese manufacturer will be contracted to manufacture the boards and assemble the components. Given the small size of the board and large quantities of boards being manufactured this can be done for a very economical price. The board will be a 4 layer board with a single core and two outer layers of prepreg. The top and bottom layer will be copper pours of GND and 3V3 nets. The two
inner layers will be used as signal layers with traces running perpendicular to each other on the two layers to reduce noise. The figure below shows a cross-section and expected thickness of the board.
Figure 49. Board Stackup
An estimate of the total price for all electrical components and assembly is given below. In total the entire purchase of parts and assembly with testing is expected to cost approximately $40 to $30USD depending on the quantity of units ordered.
Figure 50. Estimate of Production Costs
The software behind the BioBand is an essential part of the core value proposition. It is the eco-system that comes with the band and all the processes and architecture that supports it.
There are 5 main components to the BioBand’s software.
1. Storage – How are we going to store and persist the data we collect?
2. Communication – How does the BioBand communicate with the phone, the computer and the cloud?
3. Analytics – How are we analyzing the data?
4. Front End – How are we building the User Interface?
5. UI – What does the user interface look like?
Memory and storage is a necessary component of the BioBand and its ecosystem in order to record information about the user. It facilitates storing and persisting the data onto the
BioBand and beyond it to the smartphone, computer and the cloud.
The data collected by the band’s various sensors will be stored on an XML database on the band itself on its flash memory. It will be hashed into 4 byte words allowing for 2^32-1 different values which should be sufficient to capture the entire range of all the sensors to a precision of 9 significant digits.
The following is the schema:
Table 4 BioBand Schema
(4 byte words)
(2 byte words)
This will be encrypted by an MD5 hash when transferred over to the phone/computer. If directly offloaded to the cloud, the data will be encrypted using an AES 32 bit encryption.
Given we’re using a 32 MB card, this is sufficient to sample the sensors every second, however we will only be sampling every 10 seconds.
Once the data has been transferred to the smartphone and/or computer, it will need to be stored on the device. Since smartphones typically have significantly less storage capacity than a computer the data will have to be compressed. The smartphone application will compress the data using the Lempel-Ziv compression technique. Because of the statistical redundancy of the human condition, a lossless compression technique can be applied. On both the smartphone and the computer, the data will be stored in a normalized noSQL relationship hybrid database where each relationship is defined by the sensor and the date.
This data when be then offloaded to the cloud server encrypted in an AES 32 bit encryption.
The following is the schema:
Figure 51 Smartphone/Computer Schema
Once the data has been offloaded to the cloud, it will be stored in a partitioned database.
This is to facilitate parallel computing and increase database retrieval and write efficiency.
This data will be distributed and stored in a cloud database. This information will be stored, segmented and distributed using location and a unique user ID as the key. It will be distributed over 365 partitions one for each day.
The user will be able to download a copy of their data and if they decide to, they can delete all the data we store on them.
The analysis performed on the data will be done by a custom analytics engine built upon a
Gephi, D3 and R layer. We will be providing analysis and recommendations on 4 aspects of the user’s life: sleep, health, eating habits and play. One of the most significant advantages of running the analytics engine on the cloud is that Accelsior may iterate on the analytics and provide rapid improvements to the engine.
Sleeping is an integral part of people’s daily lives. Everyone sleeps for approximately 4-8 hours every day. However, people usually don’t sleep efficiently and are always tired in the mornings. This can be attributed to many factors such as: interrupted
REM cycle, delayed circadian rhythm, temperature, bladder i.e (Scholsberg &
By providing sleep analytics and recommendations, the aim is to help the user understand when they sleep the most efficiently and have the best rest. In addition to this the ultimate goal is to provide accurate recommendations on how the user can sleep better.
The BioBand will track sleep patterns of the user using the following metrics:
Motion (gyroscope, accelerometer)
The analytics engine will extrapolate a base line on sleeping patters for people within the user’s specified age, weight, gender, and height group. The engine will the use the user’s input such as their rating of the last sleep cycle and the users expected number of sleep hours to determine the optimum sleeping pattern. This will be conveyed to the user in the form of recommendations which will iteratively improve as the engine receives more data on the user’s sleep pattern.
Additionally, the engine will provide the optimal wake up time given the time the user wants to wake up. The BioBand will vibrate at this time to wake the user up. This time can be extrapolated by inferring when the user is out of their REM cycle by their movement patterns and heart rate (Cleiszer & Zimmerman).
Health and fitness levels are an important part of our lifestyle. They influence vital choices in people’s lives such as how much time they should a lot to exercise and their diet. It is important to know this. However people only really gain an understanding of their health levels when they visit the doctors and this occurs extremely infrequently.
The BioBand will provide an aggregate health score displayed on the BioMeter. This will be the user’s BioLevel.
The BioLevel is a score that combines various sensor data and health information. The following are the metrics used to calculate this level.
Resting heart rate,
Exercise heart rate
Daily calories burned
Calories consumed ( if the information is available)
Perspiration levels, and motion patterns.
The analytics engine will use all these metrics and compare them against a baseline BioLevel for their appropriate weight, age, gender and height. From there, an appropriate level will be determined. Motion patterns are important in this extrapolation as they provide extra information on the type of activity a user is performing which allows the engine to more accurately calculate calories burned.
One important advantage of the BioLevel is that if at any time, the user is in danger, such as a heart attack or seizure, the BioBand is able to identify this based on metrics and alert the user that they are in danger by changing the BioLevel to “red alert.”
In Summary the BioLevel is a score determined by the BioBand based on the sensor and health information available to the analytics engine that provides the user insight into their fitness and health levels for their respective age, height and gender groups.
Determining how well somebody is eating is a difficult problem. The main obstacle is figuring out what the user is eating and its nutritional information. Because there is no comprehensive catalogue on the world’s food and their nutritional value, it is very difficult to get this information. Our system will use a simple touch interface where the user can
click pictures of what they ate and select a rough portion size. From this the BioBand is able to determine the user’s eating patterns and whether they are receiving their due nutrients per day and whether or not they are consuming the appropriate number of calories.
Of course, this is not a very accurate system. However, we believe that in the long run as we calculate and determine the user’s eating habits over months we will be able to provide some import insight to the user such as large trends in their eating habits. Of course, we won’t be accurate at the micro and daily level, but over the long run, we believe that we can provide information that can provide rough clues and alerts to the user. For example if the user is not getting enough vitamin C, we will be able to inform the user. Keep in mind that we won’t be able to do this on a day by day basis because daily information isn’t very accurate but we have the ability to understand if there is a trend in vitamin C deficiency over months and then because of that, we are able to inform the user about this.
In summary determining eating habits is difficult and largely inaccurate. However, by tracking eating patterns over months we will be able to tell the user significant insights into their nutritional and caloric intake. We can do this precisely because it is over months rather than days. This provides us a significant competitive advantage because since we don’t require very accurate or precise data, we can provide a simple, efficient and easy to use method for the user to track what they are eating.
Playing, having fun – these are very important parts to people’s lives. One goal of the
BioBand is allow users to play harder and have more fun.
People tend to play and work harder when they are competing with each other and when there is a reward. People tend to have more fun when they know they are improving and when they win against opponents.
By introducing gamification concepts into the ecosystem, The BioBand can take advantage of this human nature and allow people to play harder and have more fun. This is done in two ways.
1. Badges, rewards and points
The BioBand will award points, rewards, and badges similar to FourSquare to users if they achieve particular milestones that are determined specifically for them. The BioBand will look at their BioLevel, their sleeping patterns, their caloric intake and calories burned and set appropriate goals based on these metrics. Once the user has achieved these goals they
will be rewarded with a badge or reward or points. This will give the user joy and motivate them to play and work harder.
The BioBand assigns each user to a competitive group based on their gender, weight, age, height and BioLevels. The user then has the option to compete within these groups, against their friends or against themselves. They will compete to achieve goals the fastest or to simply accomplish a difficult challenge. Because of this type of competition, they will work harder and have more fun.
Gamification of the BioBand is done by constructing a social graph that ties all the users with each other. This Social Graph will understand relationships between users if they have one and based on this create groups for the user to compete and fun in.
6.3 Front End
The front end of the BioBand is a portal of the user to interact with the Bio Ecosystem. This is where the user can see their BioLevels, their sleeping patterns, their eating habits and their rewards and badges. In the Front End, the user will be able to input specific parameters about themselves, such as height, weight, gender and age. This is where the user can change the settings of the BioBand and view data visualizations and recommendations
This Bio Ecosystem front end will also act as a Bio Network for the user to create a page about themselves and connect with the friends, competitors and family. Of course, we will be offering our own Bio Network as well as offering users the option of simply leveraging their existing Facebook Network.
The front end will be built on top of ruby on rails with a layer of node.js, html5 and
Google data API will be used to visualize the analytics.
The MVC model is particular useful in our Platform because our entire Front End is centered on visualizing data and recommendations. The model will be the data, the view will be the
Front End, and the controller will be the user, the analytics engine and the ruby on rails framework. We will be using node.js because of its ease to implement and its powerful realtime capabilities. Below is a figure portraying the high level architecture of the system.
Figure 52 High Level Software Architecture
6.4 User Interface
The purpose of the software user interface (UI) is to provide the wearer of the BioBand a visual source of information and a point of interaction between the BioBand hardware and the visualization tools on the smartphone or web application. The UI is meant to show rich, colorful, meaningful and actionable items. Below are some screenshots of what the user interface looks like on various platforms.
Figure 53 The smartphone and web application user interface home screen
The web and smartphone application have similar UI’s and have all the same functionalities except the smartphone application is built for smaller screens. The web application is designed to be viewed in any desktop browser such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or
Figure 54 The smartphone application designed for multiple platforms
The smartphone application is built for iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone. These platforms all show the same information on the application however; the look may be slightly different. The backend is common to all the platforms.
Figure 55 User Interface for sleep tracker and calorie tracker on smartphone application
The sleep tracker UI displays mostly time information such as how long the wearer slept in deep sleep, how long it took them to fall asleep and how long light sleep was. This information is easily visible to the user along with sleep goals that is pre-determined based on sleeping patterns through a learning algorithm implemented in the software. The calorie tracker allows the user to enter data about the food eaten in multiple ways, by scanning a bar code, searching a database or manually entering in nutritional information. The software then calculates a daily food consumption chart and provides important health information based on what was consumed and what food groups the user consumed too much of or not enough of.
Figure 56 User Interface for fitness tracker and health score on the smartphone application
The above figure shows the fitness tracker UI and health score UI. The fitness tracker shows numerical information and charts about the fitness activity throughout the day including
calories burned, time active, idle time, goals, distance travelled and whether the daily goal was reached. The health score screen shows recommendations based on the various scores of each of the three trackers (sleep, calorie, fitness). It will also provide an overall score of your health to post on social networking sites to compete with friends.
Figure 57 Web application showing the UI for the gamification feature
The above web application shows the gamification feature of the BioBand system. The user tallies points and rewards and posts them on the web and social networking websites such as Facebook to compete with friends or to keep track of their individual ranks and scores.
Awards are given out to individuals exceeding their daily limits or goals or setting new ones through activity.
6.5 Data Communication
The data communication of the BioBand and its systems requires several different interfaces and protocols. The user has three different devices to interact with: a smartphone, a computer, and the BioBand itself. These devices interact with each other and with
Accelsior’s servers via the internet.
Figure 58 High Level Communication Diagram
The user will interact with the BioBand through the E-ink display; the user will also interact with the smartphone through a mobile application and with the computer through a web user interface (UI). The BioBand and smartphone communicate via Bluetooth 4.0 and the
BioBand and the computer communicate through a USB cable (the same cable the BioBand uses to charge its battery). The smartphone and computer communicate to the internet and, subsequently, Accelsior’s servers through Wi-Fi (and if applicable to the computer, through an Ethernet cable).
Bluetooth 4.0 (also known as Bluetooth Low Energy or BLE) is a relatively new standard for
Bluetooth technology. Originally introduced by Nokia in 2006 and announced by the main
Bluetooth standard in mid-2010, Bluetooth 4.0 has new technology features such as extremely low peak, average, and idle power consumption and the ability to run for years on standard, coin-cell batteries (Bluetooth SIG, Inc., 2013). Bluetooth 4.0 has an operating frequency band of 2.4 GHz to 2.5 GHz. In addition to its low power consumption and long batter life, Bluetooth 4.0 also maintains an operating range of approximately 50 meters.
These features make Bluetooth 4.0 an optimal wireless communication protocol to be used by the BioBand to communicate with the user’s smartphone.
Wi-Fi is a commonly used technology that allows electronic devices to wirelessly communicate data using radio frequency waves over a wireless local area network (WLAN).
Typically through the use of 802.11 radios (IEEE standards include 802.11 a/b/c/g/n radios),
Wi-Fi will be used by the user’s smartphone and, given that Ethernet is not available, computer to communicate with Accelsior’s servers through the internet. The majority of Wi-
Fi networks operate within the 2.4 GHz frequency band, though some may also operate within the 5.8 GHz frequency band.
Data transmitted through Wi-Fi is subject to encryption to ensure a level of security; the type of encryption varies from network to network. Though Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) encryption is the most commonly used, newer methods of encryption known as Wi-Fi
Protected Access (WPA and WPA2) have been developed to ensure greater security. The method of encryption used will be based on the network the user’s devices are transmitting from (that is, Accelsior has no control over the level of security of the user’s data during transmission via Wi-Fi), such as the user’s home local area network.
The main success of the BioBand and Accelsior depends heavily on the marketing strategy and the first few months before and after entering the market. The United States offers good opportunities and methods to fund start-up companies, so there is an optimistic outlook on the success of BioBand. Recently, many start-up companies have had large successes with their products, and have been established in their markets quite quickly.
Market research shows that Accelsior is entering a market with a promising future. One survey from thefonecast.com calculates that the number of smart wearable devices sold will increase from 15 million in 2012 to 70 million in 2017, a 4.5 fold increase over 5 years. This gives Accelsior the opportunity to expand into other markets following the launch and success of BioBand as well.
7.1 Marketing Overview
Accelsior’s marketing strategy consists of four phases: Pre-launch (Year 0), Year 1, Year 2, and Year 3. The highest investment will be made during phases 1 and 2, as it is important for
Accessior to create a brand out of the BioBand and associate its name with useful and smart technology. To achieve this, different events and internet advertising campaigns have been planned. A low budget marketing strategy will focus primarily on customers of the target group. This will include advertising on specific internet blogs, as this will provide tech savvy customers with a good overview of the BioBand and comparisons to other products.
From the market research in Section 3.0, it was determined that most potential customers would purchase the BioBand at a maximum price of $120 - $140. As a result, a competitive price of $119 per band was set for the BioBand, which still allows for Accelsior to maintain a good profit margin.
7.3 Internet Advertising
The low budget marketing campaign will be primarily internet based, with focus on
Kickstarter, technology blogs and social media as a first step. Popularity of the BioBand will be gained using these platforms during all four marketing phases.
Kickstarter is a well-known North American organization used for the funding and promotion of start-up companies. It can be used for both raising capital and advertising the
Kickstarter is a new way to fund creative products. Since its launch in 2009, it has been used by over 3.8 million people to invest over $558 million in more than 39,000 creative projects.
Currently, thousands of projects are active on Kickstarter raising funds. The filmmakers, musicians, artists, and designers one can see on Kickstarter have complete control over and responsibility for their projects. Kickstarter is a platform and a resource; they are not involved in the development of the projects themselves. Anyone can launch a project on
Kickstarter as long as it meets their guidelines.
Kickstarter has hardware and product design guidelines which must be followed when
BioBand is introduced on the website. The product must be presented accurately using drawings, sketches, or other mediums. BioBand will achieve this through images, a product video, and a detailed description of its features and technology.
Each project’s creators set a funding goal and deadline. If people like a project, they can pledge money to make it happen. Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing — projects must reach their funding goals to receive any money. All-or-nothing funding might seem scary, but it’s amazingly effective in creating momentum and rallying people around an idea. To date, an impressive 44% of projects have reached their funding goals.
Accelsior plans to take advantage of Kickstarter for gaining capital as well as marketing. It provides the opportunity to market and sell devices to customers while raising capital for production at the same time without any risk. The goal for Accelsior is to sell 20,000
BioBands through Kickstarter to raise a total of $1,500,000. Each backer will pledge at least
$75 for one BioBand, including delivery inside of North America.
Sample BioBands will be sent to technology blogs for them to review. One prominent blog is
Hacker News (www.hackernews.org), which covers the global IT business and start-up scene, displaying the best of more than 365 tech news sources worldwide daily. Another blog that Accelsior will approach is Engadget (www.engadget.com), which provides coverage, opinions, and reviews of cutting edge gadgets, consumer electronics, science and technology.
An important requirement for all technology today is to advertise using social media like
Facebook (www.facebook.com) and Twitter (www.twitter.com). Accelsior will have company and product pages, posting relevant information regarding the BioBand and marketing events. Accelsior’s marketing staff will comment daily on posts and answer questions on these platforms.
7.4 Phase Goals and Budgeting
For each marketing phase, a budget and goals have been set, a summary of which can be seen in the table below.
Table 5 Marketing summary of phase budget and goals
May 2013 to
August 2013 to
August 2014 to
Create a brand/image
Enter the market
Reach estimated sales numbers
Convince customers on
Establish image of best product among competitors
August 2015 to
Reach estimated sales
Maintain reputation of quality
During the pre-launch phase, a product video will be produced to be used for different internet marketing methods in the future, providing prospective customers a first look at the BioBand and introducing its features. This video will attract customers and pique their curiosity about the BioBand. A large portion for the marketing budget during this phase will be dedicated to producing this video. The budget for this video will be $5,000.
After the launch of the BioBand, a strong foothold must be gained in the market segment during the first year. Since the idea of a smart wearable wrist band is not entirely new, the main focus of marketing will be showing consumers the specific advantages of BioBand compared to competitors.
In order to reach more consumers, a larger budget of $80,000 will be allocated to marketing in this earlier phase.
In year 2, the marketing budget will be reduced to $50,000 due to the focus on low budget marketing through internet platforms. Potential customers will be reached more directly and personally through this strategy. Also, by year 2, word of mouth will also help advertise the capabilities of the BioBand and increase the sales figures, establishing the BioBand in this market.
The budget will be once again reduced in year 3 to $30,000, as BioBand will be well established in North America after the first two years. The marketing in year 3 will consist of advertising new future features and special offers. By this time, the internet platforms will be well established and additional marketing staff will be hired to manage these forms for advertising. Concrete plans for the future marketing of BioBands will also be established at this time.
7.5 Future Marketing
After year 3, the BioBand will be expanded to other markets in Europe and Asia. As Accelsior is still a young startup, its marketing strategy does not yet cover this expansion in order to remain flexible to market changes. After the acceptance of BioBand into the market, plans will be developed for entering markets outside North America.
Financials are a fundamental aspect of any company and is especially important for a small start-up company. Numerous factors must be considered in order to ensure a certain level of financial safety throughout the lifetime of this company. Firstly, initial set-up costs must be estimated and enough capital must be generated in order to cover these expenses prior to any sales. Various methods of generating initial capital must be identified, evaluated and selected based on its level of feasibility and the corresponding magnitude and timing of repayment. Secondly, the total costs (comprising of fixed and variable costs) that the company will incur must be determined. Cost factors (such as office space rent and the price of data storage) must be considered to ensure that the price point of the product is correct, and that the expected revenue will sustain company growth and profits. Thirdly, based on these results, decisions must be made on how quickly the company can expand. For instance, although hiring additional software engineers may be necessary to maintain and build out servers to support a growing user base, money must first be available to pay for these wages. Ultimately, the company’s overall profitability must be examined, to determine whether there is value in starting the company. This can be done by performing break even analysis, and calculating the company’s internal rate of return. Overall, performing a financial analysis is a crucial step in setting up a start-up company.
8.1 Cost Analysis
In order to determine the financial feasibility of producing the BioBand, a thorough analysis of the business costs was conducted. Costs for businesses can be categorized into fixed costs and variable costs. Fixed costs are costs that do not vary with the level of production
(Value Click Inc., 2013). Costs that do vary with the level of production are considered variable costs (Value Click Inc., 2013). Hence, if the company produces zero units, the variable cost should be zero. The total cost incurred by the business is the sum of its fixed costs and variable costs.
“One-time costs” encompasses one-time payments for legal considerations (such as registering the company as a limited liability company), as well as office set-up costs (such as any furniture and supplies required to make the office suitable for work.) Since one time legal costs amount to less than $1000 each, and no specialized equipment will be required in the office (since production is outsourced to manufacturers in China), these costs were
not covered individually. Instead these costs were accounted for in overhead costs, which are described in further detail in the Fixed Costs section of this report.
Several factors were accounted for under fixed costs. This includes the cost of rent for the office space, utilities, legal factors (such as patents, certifications and warranties), and salaries. Since Accelsior will be based in the United States, in San Jose, California, the cost estimates were based on averaged data corresponding to that state.
220.127.116.11 Rent and Utilities
Currently, office spaces in San Jose range approximately from $10 per square foot to
$50 per square foot (LoopNet, 2014). Hence, the estimate for office space rental was marked at $30 per square foot. Due to the employee growth projected over the first five years, it can be anticipated that renting an office space of 3125 square feet will be sufficient. This estimate was based on allocating 125 square feet per employee, for a total team of 25 employees by the end of the five year period.
In 2013, it was reported that office buildings in the U.S. use on average 17 KWh of electricity and 32 cubic feet of natural gas per square foot annually (E Source
Companies LLC. , 2013). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics U.S. Department of
Labor, the average price of gasoline in the San Jose area as of February 2013 was $4.077 per gallon. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013)Therefore, it was estimated that the cost of utilities for the BioBand office will be approximately $11 790 per annum.
A number of legal considerations will add to the fixed cost of the company. Costs from legal considerations include registering the company, buying a trademark, safety testing and product certifications, warranties provided by the company, and patents.
To set up the company, Accelsior will proceed to register the company as a Limited
Liability Company (LLC) and will also purchase a trademark. In order to register the company as a LLC, payments must be made in intervals. There is an initial fee of $800 plus an additional $20 filing fee, which must be paid 75 days and 90 days after the company is formed respectively. In order to maintain this status, the company must also be prepared to pay either 8.84% of its profits, to a minimum of $800 per annum. If the company income exceeds $250 000, the minimum annual payment is raised to
$865. Purchasing a trademark will cost $325.
Accelsior will also seek to receive certain certifications. The company will seek ISO-
9001:2008 certification of its management system, which has an initial cost of $997, and an annual fee of $3500 for repeated auditing. The company will also seek NEMA 6:
IP67 certification of its product enclosure. This has a cost of $500 per certification test, and $150 per retest. As well, the company will seek CSA, UL, and FCC certification to allow the product to be sold and distributed in the United States and Canada. Hence, the company will set aside $1000 to cover this expense, assuming that the company may need to make a reattempt. It also has an annual retesting fee of $500.
Patents to protect the company’s intellectual property were also taken into consideration to devise a financial model. For Accelsior, it will be assumed that the company will pursue a non-provisional patent. This will cost $545 (which comprises a
$165 filing fee, $270 search fee, and $110 examination fee). Additionally, $755 will be charged as an issuance fee. Maintaining such a patent will cost the company money in intervals: $490, $1240, and $2055 at 3.5, 7.5 and 11.5 years after the initial filing of the patent, respectively. Consideration ($1500) was also given to the need for patent time extensions and possible amendments to the patents filed ($405 per amendment.) These possible expenses will be incorporated into the company’s overhead costs, should they be necessary.
Unless otherwise specified, recurring legal costs were incorporated at the appropriate time intervals as can be seen in the company’s cash flow diagram. One-time costs are assumed to be covered by the company’s overhead costs.
Salaries are anticipated to be a main contributing factor to the company’s fixed costs. It was decided that the founding members will own an equal share in the company, and will earn minimum wage ($10 per hour in California as of 2013) (San Jose City Hall,
2013) to account for their living expenses. Salaries were calculated based on a forty hour workweek. A portion of the money that would typically be incorporated into the founders’ salaries will be invested back into the company to assist with its growth in its first few years. For other hired hands, they will be paid an average salary in accordance with their roles. Table 5. below depicts the types of employees that will be hired over the next few years, and their typical corresponding annual salaries (Indeed, 2013).
Table 6 Desired Employees and their Average Salaries for Employees in California
Designation Wage/Year Wage/Quarter
Designer $82,000.00 $20,500.00
It is anticipated that employees will be added to the team to match the evolving objectives of the company in years 1 and 3. Due to the web and mobile platform that will be provided to complement the use of the BioBand, emphasis will be placed on hiring several competent software engineers to support the growing user base.
Electrical, mechanical and systems engineers will also be added to the team to assist in improving and building the next iterations of the BioBand. The company will also invest in marketing, finance and customer relations representatives to help cope with a rapidly growing user base. The figure below depicts the anticipated employee growth from
Year 0 to 4. The general upwards trend in this figure reflects the company’s projected growth over the next few years.
Figure 59 Employee growth for Accelsior
18.104.22.168 Inventory Warehousing and Distribution with Amazon
For the first few years of operation, Accelsior will use the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)
Inventory storage services to store BioBands for subsequent distribution to customers throughout the United States. Storage fees are based on the number of units stored in an Amazon fulfillment center, the calendar month they are stored, and one’s daily average volume as measured in cubic feet. As outlined by Amazon’s pricing model, it costs $0.45 per cubic foot for the months of January to September and $0.60 per cubic foot for the months of October to December (Amazon, 2013). To estimate the cost of storing inventory from Year 0 to Year 4, the following assumptions were made:
A constant amount of warehouse space will be purchased from Year 0 to 4
A Maximum number of 25000 bands will be stored at any one time
Dimension of 1 packaged BioBand: 4”x4”x1”
Volume of 1 packaged BioBand: 0.00926 cubic feet
Given the listed assumptions, the cost of storing inventory is $312.53 quarter for the months of January to September, and $416.70 per quarter for the months of October to
December. While the cost is typically variable in relation to the exact number of units stored each month, a fixed cost was assumed where there is always the maximum number of units being stored at any one time. This assumption yields an upper bound for the cost of storing inventory and will be used in the financial model.
In order to distribute the product to customers, Accelsior will also utilize Amazon’s shipping services. Amazon’s pricing model requires that companies selling through
Amazon must pay a base monthly membership fee of $29.99 (Amazon, 2013). To add to this, the company must pay selling fees. Hence, a fixed cost of $360 per quarter is used to account for the additional selling fees.
There are a number of strategies that the company will employ in order to increase consumer interest and sales. The comprehensive marketing strategy incorporates advertising on the web (via Kickstarter to launch the product, a company website, and tech blogs), providing free BioBands to key persons (famous athletes, health care practitioners, etc.) to advertise our product, and lastly, by making appearances at athletic events and health related conferences. Such a strategy will require the company to spend on BioBands for free distribution, website fees, set up costs for having interactive booths at public events, and producing print material such as posters and brochures. To account for these costs, a fixed cost was allocated per year in alignment with the company’s marketing strategy. Year 0 is dedicated to producing a prototype to launch at the end of the year, and hence no money will be spent on marketing. However, emphasis is placed on marketing in Year 1, after the initial launch on Kickstarter. Hence, the most amount of money is allocated to marketing in this year, at $20000 per quarter. As shown in Figure 52., the majority of this cost is due to web advertisements. Because the BioBand is launched on Kickstarter and is geared towards tech savvy consumers in addition to health conscious consumers, it was decided to market extensively on websites such as Gizmodo and Engadget. After this initial push, the company can then rely more heavily on word of mouth. Hence the amount spent on marketing per quarter decreases in the following years. $12500, $7500 and $7500 is spent per quarter, for year 2, year 3 and year 4 respectively.
Figure 60 Marketing Cost Breakdown Year 1
As mentioned in previous sections, an additional 10% of the estimated cost of rent and utilities was added to the company’s anticipated expenses in addition to the explicit sources for costs mentioned. This amount is added to cover minor, miscellaneous and any unforeseeable expenses (such as office maintenance costs, office supplies, etc.). It was also added to account for the cost of minor legal expenses, such as registering a company (which costs a few hundred dollars) and data transfer costs for Amazon.com’s cloud computer services.
Several factors were identified as contributing to the variable costs. This includes the cost of the electrical and mechanical components, the cost of labour to manufacture each BioBand, the cost associated with storing user data, and corporate tax.
22.214.171.124 Shipping Costs of Manufactured Goods from China to the U.S.
Since Accelsior will outsource manufacturing to China, the expense for shipping these products back to the United States must be accounted for. The two shipping methods that are available are by air or ocean. To estimate a cost, transfer by air was assumed.
Since the smallest batch the company intends to produce at a time is 11 000 units, at
0.05 lbs per BioBand, a shipping rate of $4.50/lb is used (Cypress Industries, 2013). This yields an upper bound figure.
126.96.36.199 Data Storage
Because the primary feature and selling point for the BioBand is its ability to record data on biometrics and motion and present it to the user in a readable and useable way, storage for all recorded data is required. Each band is estimated to produce an average of 32 Megabits per week based on the values for the five sensors being recorded at 10 second intervals as raw text data. The data for each device can be stored internally to a certain extent, however, the data quickly accumulates and due to memory concerns as well as the need to perform calculations on the data, must be offloaded to an external server. This is accomplished through Amazon.com’s cloud computing services. The costs of the services provided by Amazon.com vary based on the amount of total storage space required. It is estimated that until the 3rd quarter of year 3, the amount of data storage will be less than 50TB, resulting in a price of $0.090 per GB. It is estimated that by the end of the 4th quarter of year 118.72TB of storage will be required.
Figure 61 Data Storage Costs
Figure 62 Price per GB of Data Storage
188.8.131.52 Electrical Costs
The cost of making the BioBand is factored into the variable costs incurred by Accelsior.
Refer to Figure 47. in the hardware and electrical section of this report for a detailed cost breakdown of each part.
184.108.40.206 Mechanical Component and Assembly Costs
In addition to the cost of the electrical components of the BioBand, the cost of manufacturing the BioBand (including the remaining material costs and assembly costs) comprises a large portion of the company’s anticipated variable costs. Table 6 below illustrates the costs associated with producing 40000 units at a time.
Table 7 Price per Part (Based on 40 000 units)
Figure 63 Cost Breakdown for Manufacturing One BioBand
Taxes must be considered when devising a financial model for the company. In
California, the corporate tax rate is 8.84% as of 2012 (State of California Franchise Tax
Board, 2013). Hence 8.84% of the company’s projected revenue is deducted to pay off the taxes in accordance with government policies.
8.2 Revenue Analysis
To insure that the company is profitable a complete analysis on revenue was performed.
Revenue can be easily divided into two primary sections; start-up funding and sales. Start-up funding refers to any funding received prior to officially launching our product while sales refers to the revenue generated by selling our product.
Start-up funding is an important consideration for a new company as it greatly affects how quickly a company can become competitive in the market. Three principal methods for start-up funding were considered in this analysis; personal investments from the founders,
Kickstarter, and Bank Loans. The majority of start-up funding is generated through
Kickstarter, however, this is not a feasible method without first producing a working prototype. For this reason, a loan and personal investments are required to fund the company during the research and development phase, which is expected to last for the first
6 months after forming the company. Of the $1,824,000 required during the pre-sales year, personal investments account for 5.43% of required funding, the bank loan accounts for
12.34% of required funding, and Kickstarter investors contribute 82.24% of the required funding Figure 56. Though Kickstarter funding is a large source of funds, it was decided that the company will wait until the second quarter of the pre-sales year before launching a campaign. It was decided that the extra three months of research and development would better solidify the chances of receiving the funding required to launch our product in the first quarter of the following year.
Figure 64 Breakdown of Initial Funding
Because this is an idea that all members of the company are committed to, each founding member agrees to invest $11,000 in order to cover costs associated with the initial deposit on renting office space, initiating the legal process, creating prototypes, and research and development. The figure of $11,000 per founder ($99,000) was chosen because it was determined that in combination with a bank loan of $225,000, this amount will be able to cover all costs until a satisfactory prototype is created and Kickstarter can be used to generate additional funding without putting too much financial stress on any individual founder.
A secured bank loan of $225,000, in addition to personal investments from each founder, was deemed necessary in order to continue to pay the rent on office space as well as for each founder to make a living during the research and development period until additional funding is received from the Kickstarter project. The loan is to be repaid with quarterly payments at an interest rate of 8% compounded yearly. Although interest rates on secured bank loans typically decrease as the amount increases a relatively high interest rate of 8% is chosen as a worst case scenario (CIBC). The risk for the bank associated in a project such as this is high and with a loan amount of $225,000, an interest rate of 8% yearly is required for the loan to be economically feasible for the bank.
Funding from Kickstarter comprises the majority of the start-up funding. Kickstarter is a website where it was estimated that roughly 20,000 individuals would be interested in contributing an average of $75 per person to the company in exchange for a BioBand once production of the product launches. The average investment amount is projected based both on other wearable technology and fitness devices which received funding through
Kickstarter, while the number of 20,000 investors is based on approximately 0.5% of the overall target market of just under 4,000,000 individuals. This amounts to $1,500,000 in funding which must be repaid with a BioBand for each investor at product launch in the first quarter of year 1. This is equivalent to selling 20,000 BioBands for $75, except the advanced funding allows to pay for the production of 20,000 products owed as well as additional products to sell at full price.
After product launch, sales become the only source of revenue for the company. For this reason, an accurate and detailed analysis of projected sales revenue is important. Some considerations for this analysis include unit selling price, market projections and manufacturing quantities, and returned, defective, or unsold products.
220.127.116.11 Unit Selling Price
The price point of the BioBand is an important parameter that will directly affect the number of sales. The features offered by the BioBand allow a price point of $119.00, which makes for both a competitive edge and a profit of $76.50 per unit when
considering strictly production costs. A competitive edge is maintained due to the fact that products with similar features are sold for a greater price and similar products which are sold for cheaper have only a subset of the features offered by the BioBand.
The large profit margin on the BioBand allows Accelsior to expand rapidly, hiring more employees, increasing production, and maintaining larger servers as required.
8.3 Break Even Analysis
A break even analysis is a tool used to analyze the sales volume required to recover the company expenses. At the break even point, the revenue generated from selling units equals the the sum of the fixed costs and variable costs of the company. In other words, the break even point indicates the turning point at which the company stops making a loss and starts to generate a profit ( Crimson Publishing Ltd, 2013). This tool can also be useful in determining or verifying a price point for the product given a predicted sales volume.
A break even analysis was performed in order to determine how many units must be sold in order for the company revenue to equal the company’s expenses for that year. As specified previously, it was decided that each unit would be sold at $119 each. Since the company’s fixed costs were seen to increase stepwise each year (due to a growing team of employees), a separate analysis was conducted for each year. The results of this analysis demonstrate that the amount of units that must be sold each year increases to balance the extra fixed costs the company incurs to support a growing team.
Figure 65 Break Even Analysis for Year 1 and Year 4
The number of units that need to be sold in Year 1 and Year 4 respectively were calculated as follows:
be the number of units that must be sold to break even in year 1. y revenue
= 119.00x * (1-0.0884) y total_cost_year 1
= 42.74x + 1629568.15
Setting y revenue
= y total_cost_year 0
= ~ 24788 units
be the number of units that must be sold to break even in year 4. y revenue
= 119.00x * (1-0.0884) y total_cost_year 4
= 42.74x + 1944297.94
Setting y revenue
= y total_cost_year 0 x
= ~ 29 576 units
Therefore, approximately 24788 units must be sold to break even in the year 1, whereas 29
576 units must be sold to break even in the year 4. Figure 57. above demonstrates where revenue and costs intersect for year 1 and year 4. The difference between these two time instances reflects the step-wise increase in fixed costs that the company experiences from
year 1 to year 4. Since our forecasted amount of units that will be sold in each year surpasses the minimum amount of units that must be sold in each year, this verifies that
Accelsior will be a profitable start-up venture if each unit is sold at $119 each.
Even after conducting market research and estimating the number of interested buyers, there remains an amount of uncertainty in the projected figures. To account for this uncertainty, it was assumed that 20% of all products manufactured for sales were either unsold or returned in the following quarter. The 20% figure also accounts for products which are unsellable due to defects occurring during production. All customers dissatisfied with the device are entitled to return it for a full refund. A conservative 80% of units produced were estimated to be sold and not later returned. By performing the analysis with this conservative estimate, a reasonable level of error in anticipated sales is accounted for.
8.4 Market Projections
Accurately predicting the number of consumers who will buy the BioBand helps to estimate costs associated with manufacturing as well as revenue generated by sales. This is necessary to ensure money is available to cover all costs in addition to producing more inventory to be sold in the following quarter. It is predicted that, including the customers who contributed through Kickstarter, 27,000 consumers will purchase a BioBand within the first quarter of year 1. The number of customers per quarter is expected to increase yearly, with the first year of sales seeing 10,000 customers per quarter when excluding Kickstarter investors, the second year of sales seeing 12,000 customers per quarter, the third year of sales seeing
16,000 customers per quarter, and the fourth year seeing 20,000 customers per quarter.
These predictions include the 20% buffer for refunds and unsold units. The following charts illustrate user growth as well as the amount of units produced and sold after accounting for the possibility of 20% of produced items going unsold.
Figure 66 Forecast of User Base Growth From Year 0 to Year 4
Figure 67 Forecast of Units Produced and Sold
8.5 Exit Strategy
Although the financial analysis conducted on Accelsior suggests that the company is financially sound, consideration must be given to the possibility that the company fails in this respect. Ultimately, the financial predictions discussed in this section are based of a model of the future - however a model is not a perfect representation of the world and
there is a possibility that an unforeseen circumstance could cause the company to fail financially. While financial margins were input intrinsically into the financial model, there is a slight possibility that there is large discrepancy between our expected sales and actual sales. This could cause a drastic change in the company cash flow. In the scenario that the company fails to support itself financially, two possibilities were considered to restrict losses incurred by the founders.
One exit strategy for Accelsior is to strike a deal to be acquired by one of its competitors.
This is the most probable and favourable possibility. It is probable seeing as the wearable technology market is expected to grow rapidly over the next few years and the niche market will become increasingly competitive. Given this, the company’s employees, and protected intellectual property will likely be be perceived by another company as having great value.
Additionally, an acquisition could boost the acquiring company’s user base. If it is made known to the public that this acquisition has taken place, it is possible that previous BioBand users will transfer their loyalty to the new company so long as they promise to continue to support and improve the service that BioBand users rely on. This aspect will make an acquisition be even more enticing for competitors, and hence increases the probability of this strategy occurring. It is a favourable option for Accelsior, since existing employees and founders will still be able to work in this industry and can use the resources and guidance from the acquiring company to continue to build towards its vision of the wearable future.
Another possibility would be to simply sell and liquidate the company’s belongings.
However, this is not as lucrative an option for the founders since Accelsior will not be in a strong position to ask for a high price and will instead likely have to sell its property at a discounted price. Additionally, the founders and employees will be left to find their own jobs instead of transitioning to take up positions in a new company.
8.6 Financial Analysis Summary
Overall, Accelsior is a profitable company. By covering initial setup costs primarily through
Kickstarter, large loan repayments at high interest rates are avoided. Rather, only a loan to cover costs up until the Kickstarter campaign is required and is repaid in full by the end of quarter 3 of the fourth year. In addition, profit is made from the Kickstarter campaign due to the fact that the only form of repayment for this funding is a BioBand at a reduced yet still profitable price for each investor. After launching the product in year 1, Accelsior expands at a rate which allows for a balance between professional demand and salary expenses. In addition, variable costs increase due to the increased production. However, the revenue generated from sales is enough to cover these costs as well as to produce profit. Although variable costs increase each year, the number of units sold also increases allowing further expansion in following years. Using the cost and revenue estimates previously mentioned, it is calculated that by the end of year 4, Accelsior will have a surplus of $6,137,679.02, or a present worth of $3,811,015.78 at a MARR of 10%, and will have paid the bank loan in full.
Below is a cash flow diagram illustrating quarterly revenue, quarterly expenses, and quarterly net cash flow. Based on the quarterly cash flows in this diagram, a minimum annual rate of return of 10%, and an internal reinvestment rate of 80% per quarter, it is calculated that the internal rate of return (IRR) for this project is 75% making it economically feasible and evidently profitable. A more detailed breakdown of these cash flows can be seen in the appendices.
Figure 68 Quarterly Cash Flow Diagram
9.1 Company Registration
As Accelsior is a start-up company, the business must first be registered in order to legally operate within the United States. Based on the different types of legal structures and their corresponding benefits and disadvantages, it was decided that Accelsior will be registered at as Limited Liability Company. A Limited Liability Company (or LLC) is a hybrid type of legal structure, incorporating the best aspects of a corporation and a partnership (U.S. Small
An LLC’s main advantage over a partnership is that, similarly to the owners or shareholders of a corporation, the liability of its owners (typically referred to as “members”) is limited to their financial investment for the debts and obligations of the LLC. However, like a general partnership, the members of an LLC have the right to participate in the management of the
LLC unless otherwise specified in the LLC’s articles of organization and operating agreement.
An LLC’s main advantage over a corporation is that it is simpler and faster than forming and maintaining a corporation. As well, an LLC does not issue stock, and is not required to hold annual meetings and keep meeting minutes (something corporations must do in order to continually shield its owners from liability). In general, the profits are divided and distributed among the members however they see fit.
An LLC in California is formed by filing “articles of organization” with the California Secretary of State prior to conducting business. For the purposes of California income tax, an LLC with more than one member (as is the case for Accelsior) will be classified as a partnership. The company must be registered 75 days after formation at latest (State of California, 2013).
9.2 Business License
After company registration, a general business license must be obtained in order for the company to conduct business. These licenses are typically city-specific; all businesses operating within San Jose need to obtain a Business Tax Certificate. A business license and a tax certificate are basically the same thing; the name of the document varies from city to city.
A business may need to simultaneously obtain and maintain several different business licenses and tax certificates; this is applicable when the business is operating in multiple
locations. In the case of Accelsior, a single business tax certificate for the city of San Jose is sufficient for the first few years of company operation (City Applications).
A trademark is essentially a brand name. It can include any word, name, symbol, or device
(or any combination thereof) used to identify and distinguish the product of one seller or provider from another, and indicates the sources of the product. Although it is not mandatory to federally register a mark, it has several advantages; these include a notice to the public regarding ownership of the mark, nationwide legal presumption of ownership of the mark, and an exclusive right to use the mark on (or in connection with) the previously identified product.
In order to file an application for a trademark, the mark itself and well as the product (that is, the goods and/or services) the mark is to be used with must first be determined. Next, the USPTO database must be searched to ensure that the mark is not an already federally claimed trademark. The basis for filing the trademark application must also be established. If the mark has already been used commercially, the basis for filing is “use in commerce”; if the mark has yet to be used, the basis is “intent to use” (United States Patent and
Trademark Office, 2013). Essentially, if the mark has already been used on all the goods and/or services specified on the trademark application, the basis is “use in commerce”, and is “intent to use” otherwise.
Accelsior will file a trademark to protect its brand name and corresponding logo.
Figure 69 Accelsior Logo
In addition to the brand, Accelsior will also file a trademark to protect the BioBand logo and slogan.
Figure 70 BioBand Logo and Slogan
These trademarks will be filed on the basis of “intent to use”, as none of Accelsior’s products have been distributed yet. The trademarks will protect ensure the exclusive right to use these logos and slogan belongs to Accelsior as well as allowing for public recognition of Accelsior products and BioBand.
9.4 Management Regulations
International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an organization that publishes
International Standards. Accelsior will be ISO-9001 certified, an International Standard for quality management systems. Specifically, ISO-9001:2008 specifies requirements for a quality management system where an organization needs to demonstrate its ability to consistently provide a product that meets customer and regulatory requirements. ISO-
9001:2008 also aims to continually improve the management system while still maintaining customer and regulatory requirements (ISO).
The importance of being ISO certified is that some manufacturers and potential partnering companies require an ISO certification before working with a company. As well, an ISO-
9001:2008 certification serves as an assurance to potential customers that the product they will be receiving is safe, reliable, and of good quality.
The purpose of a patent is to protect an inventor’s intellectual property. A patent is essentially a statutory monopoly and gives the patent owner the exclusive right to make, use, and sell the invention claimed in the patent. Patents are used exclusively for inventions; that is, patents do not apply to brands, logos, or slogans (which can be protected by trademarks) not do they apply to written works (which can be protected by copyrights).
Typically, a patent cannot be filed given that the invention has been previously disclosed to the public or another party prior to the patent application; however, the United States and
Canada allow for a 12 month grace period after the initial disclosure to file a patent (United
States Patent and Trademark Office, 2013).
In order to protect the intellectual property associated with the BioBand, a non-provisional patent will have to be filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Filing a
United States patent for small entities (defined as less than 500 employees) will protect the intellectual property for 20 years from when the non-provisional patent is filed. A single non-provisional patent covers three independent claims as well as 17 dependent claims.
In addition to the initial $545 non-provisional patent application fee (which includes a filing fee, a patent search fee, and an examination fee) and $755 issuance fee, a patent also requires maintenance fees to be paid in three installments (spaced at 3.5 years, 7.5 years, and 11.5 years after the non-provisional patent is filed). While these costs cover the most basic and simple of non-provisional patents, there are many additional fees to be considered.
After the initial application, the patent will go into patent prosecution and the United States
Patent and Trademark Office will examine the patent; typically, not all of the 20 claims will be accepted. Though the patent owner should be allowed up to 6 months to make corrections to the original patent application, the time period is often shortened to only 1 to
3 months. Time extensions for an individual inventor or small entity cost approximately
$65.00 for a 1 month extension, $245.00 for a 2 month extension, $555.00 for a 3 month extension, $865.00 for a 4 month extension, and $1,175.00 for a 5 month extension.
It is likely that the patent examiner will issue a final rejection, indicating the patent would be allowed given a specific change. Amendments after a final rejection cost $405 per amendment, and have been accounted for in Accelsior’s financial budget. If not all claims can be patented within the same application, a fee between $405 and $540 must be paid to allow for a continuation of the patent application. This most often happens when parts of the application are patented first (i.e. can be patented after a final rejection) and the patent owner wishes to continue to fight for some broader claims (Quinn, 2008).
A provisional patent is a good alternative to the non-provisional patent, particularly for a start-up company and individuals. It is essentially the equivalent to a “stake in the ground” claim on an invention. Less costly and faster to file, a provisional patent provides the patent
owner a method to protect their intellectual property until a non-provisional patent can be filed. A provisional patent requires the full disclosure of the invention; however, the formalities are greatly reduced, making it significantly easier to file. As opposed to a nonprovisional patent, a provisional patent application only costs $110 to file.
It is important to note that a provisional patent will not result in a patent being granted. A provisional patent simply holds the patent owner’s claim to the intellectual property from the date the provisional patent is filed, provided that a non-provisional patent is filed within
12 months of the provisional patent. A provisional patent is typically filed when an inventor makes an interesting discovery or advance and wish to protect the information while the invention is further developed and refined (Quinn, 2008). Accelsior will only file a provisional patent is the development of the BioBand is not fully complete by the time of company registration (that is, at the start of Year 0).
9.6 Safety and Performance Testing
National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), along with the Ingress Protection
Rating (IP), defines the standard for various electrical enclosures, with the ratings referring to the type of enclosure and its permeability with respect to dust and water/oil. As the
BioBand is intended to be worn at all times by the user, it is designed for comfort, breathability, and durability; it must also be able to withstand being submerged in water (to allow for underwater activities such as swimming). As a result, the BioBand will be rated for
NEMA 6 (equivalent to IP67). NEMA 6 and IP 67 means that the BioBand will be dust tight and protected against effects of immersion.
As well, the BioBand will be tested for electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and electromagnetic interference (EMI). EMC measurements are required to ensure compliancy;
EMC testing includes radiated and conducted emissions as well as radiated and conducted immunity measurements (Nemko-CCL, Inc., 2010). EMI testing will ensure that any signal or emission from the BioBand is within the allowed limits. These tests are to ensure that the
BioBand will meet FCC standards regarding radio frequency devices.
Product testing will be contracted out to a certified and accredited testing facility. Sufficient money has been set aside in the financial budget to allow for the initial testing as well as any necessary retests; the financial budget also accommodates annual retesting, which may become necessary as the BioBand undergoes research and development.
9.7 Product Certification
In order to sell and distribute BioBand in North America, the product is required to obtain certifications from governing entities to ensure the product meets with safety standards and performance specifications. As BioBand is not classified as a medical device, FDA approvals will not have to be obtained.
The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Group is a not-for-profit standards organization based in Canada that is accredited by the Standards Council of Canada. The CSA mark indicates that a product has been tested and certified to meet safety and performance requirements.
Figure 71 Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Mark
As the CSA mark is accepted by regulatory authorities and major retailers/manufacturers, a
CSA certified product can be sold in the United States and Canada. A CSA mark indicated that a product has been tested and meets applicable standards for safety and/or performance; this includes the applicable standards written or administered by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Canadian
Standards Association (CSA), NSF International (NSF), and others. In addition, a product certified by CSA International enables the product to be sold internationally as well as in the
United States and Canada. CSA International is recognized by the Occupational Safety and
Health Administration (OSHA) as a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) (CSA
International, 2013). BioBand will be certified by CSA International as there is a planned expansion to the European market after Year 4.
Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is a global independent safety organization dedicated to promoting safety in living and working environments through the application of safety science and hazard-based safety engineering. A product carrying the UL Listing Mark indicates that the representative product samples were found to meet UL safety requirements.
Figure 72 North American Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Listings Mark
There are three variations on the UL Listing Mark for North America. The first mark (UL) indicates that the product is compliant with the safety regulations in the United States. The second mark (C-UL) indicates that the product is compliant with Canadian safety regulations. The last mark (C-UL-US) indicates that the product is compliant with the safety regulations in both Canada and the United States (UL LLC, 2013); this mark is the one
BioBand will required in order to be sold and distributed across the target market. As of
2004, UL and CSA International expanded the 1996 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to allow for the free exchange and acceptance of data between the two testing organizations (CSA International, 2004).
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent agency in the United
States government that regulates electromagnetic interference. FCC Part 15 regulates radio frequency devices and covers unintentional testing and evaluation as well as low power unlicensed transmitters (Code of Federal Regulations, 2013).
Figure 73 Federal Communications Commission (FCC) mark
As BioBand communicates to the user’s smartphone via Bluetooth 4.0, BioBand will transmit data wirelessly using the 2.4GHz radio frequency band. As this is part of the unlicensed spectrum, BioBand (along with other unlicensed users) does not require an FCC license to operate within this frequency band (Milgrom, Levin, & Eilat, 2011). As a result, BioBand will be FCC certified to ensure that any electromagnetic emissions will not interfere with other devices operating at this frequency band.
In order to export BioBand to Europe, another certification will have to be obtained. The
Conformité Européenne (CE) mark is a conformity marking that is required for products sold
within the European Economic Area (countries in the European Union, in addition to
Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway.
Figure 74 Conformité Européenne (CE) mark
Depending on the risk level of a product, a CE marking can be affixed to a product through self-certifications. The manufacturer or an authorized representative can choose the applicable directives and corresponding requirements, assess the products conformity, compile the technical documentation, and make a Declaration of Conformity (UL LLC, 2013).
Accelsior will be offering two types of warranties. Each warranty will serve to cover two main warranty provisions: 1. 12 month 2. Immediate. The immediate policy covers a period of 15 days after delivery while the 12 month one covers a period of 1 year after the delivery.
For any reason if the owner does not wish to keep the device as long as it is in the delivered condition, they are entitled a full refund. Accelsior will then provide a Return
Merchandise Authorization (RMA) and a pre-paid UPS shipping label to your address for return.
A return can only be initiated within 15 days of delivery. Refunds will be issued via credit card.
If the owner has received a defective device, they may opt to replace their device. They can do so by contacting the Accelsior sales team which will then work with them on the next steps to exchanging the device. This is only applicable within 15 days of delivery.
18.104.22.168 Shipment Lost or Stolen
Since Amazon is our distribution and delivery service, we will refer all lost shipments and stolen shipments to Amazon’s policy. Amazon offers a strict delivery guarantee, so if a package is stolen or lost, then the consumer can either choose to receive a new device or initiate a refund.
This covers all concerns about the product after 15 days and up to 12 months after the delivery date. Any manufacture or software defect that emerges within this timeframe is susceptible to a full refund or exchange. Any damage caused by the user will not be refunded or replaced. In order to initiate this warranty, the owner can send the device to
Amazon which will then reroute to Accelsior where we can analyze the product and warranty claim. If it is a sincere and legitimate complain, then Accelsior will provide a full refund/replacement and reimbursement for the shipping expenses up to the owner’s discretion.
There are many possibilities for the future of the BioBand product and infrastructure. The ecosystem was made to be expandable and sustainable for an indefinite period of time with continuous improvement and optimization. New innovations in the field of technology will also help in providing sophisticated new tools for feature packed products.
After the initial first four years of BioBand roll-out, there are many paths that can be taken to improve on Accelsior’s vision. One of the key paths is to create a customizable product line of the next generation BioBand. The product line will include specific features and various price points to cater to multiple target users. For example, if a user is only interested in the sleep tracking feature then a version of the BioBand can be made to only include sensors that require sleep tracking. This would reduce the cost of the band and could also allow for newer versions of the hardware that have the potential to be more accurate and precise. The product line can also include other customizable features such as new colours or personalized engravings for a more user experience.
Another initiative that will add value to the BioBand brand is by marketing and distributing the product worldwide instead of just North America. Capturing European and Asian markets will provide a significant foothold in the wearable smart technology market that could be dominated by Accelsior. With stiff competition from companies like Nike and
Apple, it is essential to reach these markets first with a product that is affordable and useful.
Another feature that Accelsior is providing users of the BioBand is releasing a software development kit for the smartphone and web application. This allows open source development of the BioBand so that customized interfaces of the sleep, fitness, calorie and health tracker features can be developed by any individual or company. Users of the
BioBand will be able to produce their own customized look and feel of the user interface and even provide user built health recommendations instead of the default ones provided.
The above are just a small number of features that can help the BioBand product be sustainable and profitable past the first four planned years. Since the growth of the company and the brand are always increasing it is essential to have a product that is always evolving to stay competitive and keep the interest of the target users.
Bayer MaterialScience. (2008, February). DESMOPAN® 9370A. Retrieved from http://www.bayermaterialsciencenafta.com/resources/d/document.cfm?Mode=view&f
Bayer MaterialScience. (n.d.) DESMOPAN DP 9370A. Retreived from http://www.bayermaterialsciencenafta.com/resources/d/document.cfm?Mode=view&f
Cost Estimator. Retrieved from http://www.custompartnet.com/estimate/injectionmolding/
Gorilla Glass. (n.d.). Retrieved April 11, 2013 from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gorilla_Glass/
Material Exchange. Retreived from http://plasticker.de/recybase/listaog_en.php?aog=A&spec=&stext=desmopan&mat=TP
City Applications. (n.d.). Apply for a Business License - San Jose, California. Retrieved from City Applications: http://www.cityapplications.com/business-licenses/CA-
Code of Federal Regulations. (2013, April 11). e-CFR. Retrieved from Part 15 - Radio
Frequency Devices: http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/textidx?c=ecfr&SID=9f460b4e23cf0a4caa4d5c0108354434&rgn=div5&view=text&node=47:
CSA International. (2004, July 8). UL and CSA International expand Memorandum of
Understanding and complete second phase of Agreement on Acceptance of
Components. Retrieved from CSA Group: http://www.csainternational.org/news/releases/default.asp?articleID=8224
CSA International. (2013). CSA Group. Retrieved from Who Accepts CSA: http://www.csa-international.org/who_accepts_csa/Default.asp?language=english
ISO. (n.d.). ISO Standards Catalogue. Retrieved from ISO 9001:2008: http://www.iso.org/iso/catalogue_detail?csnumber=46486
Bluetooth SIG, Inc. (2013). Bluetooth 4.0 with low energy technology paves the way for
Bluetooth Smart devices. Retrieved from Bluetooth: http://www.bluetooth.com/Pages/Low-Energy.aspx
Milgrom, P., Levin, J., & Eilat, A. (2011, October 12). The Case for Unlicensed Spectrum.
Stanford, California, United States of America.
Schlosberg, A., & Benjamin, M. (1978). Sleep patterns in three acute combat fatigue cases. The Journal of clinical psychiatry, 39(6), 546.
Czeisler, C. A., Zimmerman, J. C., Ronda, J. M., Moore-Ede, M. C., & Weitzman, E. D.
(1980). Timing of REM sleep is coupled to the circadian rhythm of body temperature in man. Sleep, 2(3), 329.
Amazon. (2013, April 15). FBA Inventory Storage. Retrieved from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/?nodeId=200627230
Amazon. (2013, April 15). Sell Your Products on Amazon. Retrieved from Amazon: http://www.amazon.ca/gp/seller-account/mm-product-page.html?topic=200341890
Bank of America. (2013). Unsecured Loans. Retrieved April 13, 2013, from http://www.bankofamerica.com/small_business/business_financing/index.cfm?templat
Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2013, March 28). Average Engergy Prices, San Francisco-
Oakland-San Jose - February 2013. Retrieved from Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/ro9/cpisanf_energy.pdf
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. (2013). Loans and Lines of Credit. Retrieved April
13, 2013, from https://www.cibc.com/ca/rates/loans.html
Crimson Publishing Ltd. (2013, April 15). How to calculate your break-even point.
Retrieved from Startups: http://www.startups.co.uk/how-to-calculate-your-break-evenpoint.html
Cypress Industries. (2013, April 15). Freight/Logistics. Retrieved from Cypress Industries: http://www.cypressindustries.com/faq_freight.html#freight1
Amazon Web Services. (2013). Amazon S3 Pricing. Retrieved April 14, 2013, from http://aws.amazon.com/s3/pricing/
E Source Companies LLC. . (2013, April 15). Managing Energy Costs in Office Buildings.
Retrieved from E Source: http://www.esource.com/BEA/demo/PDF/CEA_offices.pdf
Indeed. (2013, March 31). Salary in San Jose. Retrieved from Indeed: http://www.indeed.com/salary/San-Jose,-CA.html
LoopNet. (2014, April 15). San Jose Office Space For Lease. Retrieved from LoopNet: http://www.loopnet.com/California/San-Jose_Office-Space-For-Lease/
San Jose City Hall. (2013, April 15). Minimum Wage Ordinance. Retrieved from
State of California Franchise Tax Board. (2013). 2012 California Tax Rates and
Exemptions. Retrieved April 9, 2013, from https://www.ftb.ca.gov/forms/2012_California_Tax_Rates_and_Exemptions.shtml
* Your assessment is very important for improving the work of artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project