Investing in Wearable Tech: An Interview with Duncan Turner, HAX Accelerator

The WEAR Conference team caught up with Duncan Turner, Investment Partner and Managing Director of the HAX Accelerator, the world's first and largest hardware accelerator, to discuss lessons learned from investment in wearable technology and smart fabrics.

WEAR: Talk to us about the work that HAX does in the wearables and smart fabrics areas.

Turner:    We have extensive experience of accelerating companies who are in the advanced sensing space. Many of these companies operate in the wearable space and often cross into medical or health care and sports. We have seen companies solving problems like foot complications for diabetics (often leading to amputation) by providing high resolution gait analysis with an inner sole, companies providing unique data driven insight about skiing technique through a connected ski boot, a gestural controller for smart watches which measures tendon movements, a cushion that measures your sitting posture, a wearable to help you manage stress and a new fabrication technology for material to help enable new production possibilities for fabrics.

WEAR: What has been your experience working with product and technology development companies in this space? What are the technologies or products you have seen that will really become game-changers for the industry?

Turner:    Accelerometers as wearables now need to be backed up with some serious data driven insight to stand out from the crowd. The truly successful start-up are developing their own unique sensing technology. 

WEAR: What are the three must-haves for startups to have a successful journey from prototype to product?

Turner:   Get deep into the science of your own sensing tech, relying on other tech seems easier but the competition is rife. Prototype quickly and shoot for multiple product iterations. Think about the end point for all your data. Data is just a waste of space until someone is prepared to pay for it. Figure that out before you mention how valuable the data is. Ask yourself: Why?  Who cares? What is the unique opportunity for innovation that will enabled by this data?

WEAR: What are you looking forward to hearing at WEAR this year?

Turner:    I'm looking forward to hearing what's new and what is doing well, what trends we're seeing and what changes are in the pipeline that could make for new and exciting possibilities?

Duncan Turner will present at WEAR during the Thursday, May 26th afternoon plenary session.  Register to attend WEAR using the link below.

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