Startup enters fitness app market with durable tracking device

Touted as one of the world's thinnest wireless activity trackers, Shine from San Francisco-based startup Misfit Wearables is poised to make a dent in the fitness app marketplace. The device, which clips on to clothing, is about the size of a quarter and weighs less than 10 grams. It's also tough. Made of aircraft-grade aluminum, Shine is strong enough to withstand some serious punishment, and is waterproof.

Shine's proprietary sensor algorithms are what track a person's movements during walking, jogging, and running, as well as cycling, swimming, and other physical activities. To access the activity data collected, all that is required is to sync up the device with a smartphone just by placing it on the phone screen.

Founded in 2011 by Agamatrix founders Sonny Vu and Sridhar Iyengar, Misfit Wearables has its work cut out for it as the company enters an already crowded field of competitors, including Amiigo, Fitbit,  FuelBand, LarkLife, and UP, among others. Shine is the company's first product and is priced at $99.

To be sure, Misfit Wearables is a lean startup. The company had hoped to raise $100,000 on the Indiegogo funding website to put Shine into production by Dec. 16, but already has more than doubled that amount. 

According to a report published late last month by Juniper research, the wearable device market is expected to be worth $1.5 billion by 2014. The report argues that the rapid growth in sensors--like the Shine--component and system integration, and next generation wireless technologies and mobile devices continues to drive the market.

"With consumers embracing new technologies and form factors, wearable devices ranging from fitness accessories to heads-up displays will be more prevalent in the consumer market," Nitin Bhas, the report's author, said in a statement.

To learn more:
- visit the Misfit Wearables website