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BSX Announces Kickstarter for New LVL Band Wearable Hydration Sensor

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Update – August 12th, 2017: BSX has delayed LVL till at least Summer 2018, though they’ve also received significant funding from additional investors, including Samsung.  As I noted when I first posted this a year ago, my concern wasn’t the scientific aspect, but rather fitting it into a device this small that would prove challenging for them.  Ultimately that’s precisely what they described in the update.

Over the last month, BSX (maker of the BSX Insight Muscle Oxygen/Lactate Threshold Sensor) has slowly ousted their next product, which shifts away from the lactate threshold testing arena to focus on hydration.  However, today they kicked those efforts into high gear with the launch of their Kickstarter campaign for the LVL Band wearable hydration sensor.

I’ve had a chance to talk quite a bit with BSX about their plans over the last month, in addition to getting a bit of a hands-on look at the size of the device with a non-active unit (more on that in a bit).  Let’s dive into it.

What it is?

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The LVL Band is designed to be part activity tracker, part hydration sensor.  The idea stemmed from an incident involving BSX founder Dustin Freckleton during medical school, which resulted in him having a stroke at the age of 24.  Doctors at the time specified dehydration as the primary cause for the incident.  That stroke resulted in a complete left side hemiparesis, meaning he couldn’t wiggle his fingers, toes, or limbs.  It’d take him three months to learn to walk again.  While Dustin made a full recovery and went on to focus on the BSX Insight lactate threshold sensor, the hydration idea sat on the back burner.

The LVL Band tracks hydration, heart rate, sleep quality, steps, and calories burned.  It measures hydration and heart rate using NIRS (Near Infrared Light), similar to the red light sensors that the company uses within their BSX Insight device.  However, while there are elements of the existing Insight device in LVL, it contains additional wavelengths to detect the hydration aspects.  Meanwhile, the other metrics (i.e. steps) are largely just captured using common accelerometers.  Note that the LVL Band won’t capture Insight metrics such as muscle oxygen levels.  But the company says they’re capable of measuring respiratory rate, blood oxygen, muscle oxygen, and lactate threshold down the road with the LVL Band, should they go in that direction and expand the capabilities of the device.

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Now the previously mentioned sleep quality is an interesting element.  Not because sleep quality hasn’t been done before, but because BSX is claiming they can give you predictive sleep quality by evaluating your hydration state.  Said differently: They believe they can tell you at dinner time if you’ll wake up groggy the next morning.  Whether or not they can take into an account an unexpected alcoholic beverage intake escalation on a Friday night at the club isn’t clear.

The unit will show your current hydration state through a series of simple colors and levels on its OLED touch screen.  The hydration levels on the mockups below being “Very Low”, “Low”, “Medium”, “High”:

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This is then reflected in the companion app, with suggestions on how to remedy it:

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It’s well known that dehydration can lead to performance loss.  Be that athletic performance, or just more life-oriented performance like mood swings or weight management.  For example, BSX will note that a 1-2% dehydration level can result in a 5.8% performance decline.  Anyone who has done a hot weather endurance race can easily attest to the results of failed hydration strategies.  So there’s certainly demand there for such technologies.

Where do they stand on development?

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So…all this sounds great in theory – but Kickstarter projects are notorious for delays.  Especially ones that are slated for completion dates so far away (next summer in this case).  However, it sounds like BSX is a bit further along with at least the underlying technology aspect.

To date they’ve been doing weekly tests with athletes, similar to what we saw them do leading up to the launch of their earlier BSX Insight sensors (way back when).  They’ve tested close to 200 athletes to date. As a result, they’re saying they’ve “completed scientific validation”.  That validation with those volunteer athletes involves a test procedure designed to validate the sensor is producing accurate results.

The test is a 5-hour long session that starts by having the athlete workout at 102-105°F (38-40°C) @ 60% humidity.  They then dehydrate the athlete by having them workout at 50% of lactate threshold level for 2 hours without any fluid intake.  That takes them to a 2-7% body weight loss, with most athletes being in the 5-6% body weight loss range.  Next, they rehydrate them to 110% of the volume they lost during the athletic portion of the test.

Now the point of that flight of fun is the monitoring piece.  During the test they’re monitoring continuously using the LVL sensor technology, and then cross-checking that against both constant blood, urine, and body weight measurements.

The results they’ve had to date have it outperforming the medical industry benchmarks of +/- .5% accuracy for % water weight.

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On the heart rate side, they’re seeing accuracy at +/- 2.7bpm.

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So why launch now?  Well quite frankly it’s because it’s still hot out in many areas.  They could have launched mid-winter for their June release, but by doing so now people are still thinking about heat.  Further, by time they’re having to think about heat and hydration again, it’ll be June and they’ll be shipping (if all goes according to plan).

Initial Thoughts:

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Obviously the technology could be tremendously interesting.  First is of course the athletic interests here. The idea of potentially going into a competition knowing and managing your hydration state is huge.  Obviously there are technologies (namely scales) that can measure water % today, but even if accurate, those scales require you to step on them.  Most of us don’t go about our day to day lives (work, sleep, etc…) stepping on a scale every few minutes.  So by time you’re up for that weeknight long run in 90°F heat, it’s too late.  Or, travelling to a race – the same thing.

However, as interesting as hydration state might be to athletes, the market is far larger outside of it – even beyond just normal people trying to stay hydrated for simple health reasons.   The same goes for healthcare and even military uses. For example, soldiers deployed in hot regions such as Middle East are constantly reminded to hydrate with water plentiful and nearly forced upon them.  The ability to enable not just individuals to monitor their own hydration status in real-time, but also those in command could be huge.  Be it in government, military, healthcare or private sector – there’s massive opportunity here for *accurate* technology that’s portable, connected and wearable.

And those last pieces are key.  Right now we have data from BSX, but not data independently validated outside of their labs.  If we look at the original BSX Insight sensor, that was ultimately validated externally with high levels of accuracy.  So the company has at least set a baseline precedent for gathering accurate data.  But the next piece is ensuring it’s accurate once miniaturized down to the tiny size of the wearables you see in this post.

As I noted earlier on, the company sent me a mockup to check-out.  But it’s just that: A mock-up.  There’s nothing real inside of it, and for some tech companies getting from prototypes to miniaturized can be far more difficult than anticipated.  Hopefully with their past experience, they’ve set reasonable timeframes.

Speaking of which, the product launched today on Kickstarter, and will set you back upwards of $198, depending on which reward you select.  The availability date is pegged at next June (2017).

With that – thanks for reading!

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101 Comments

  1. Matthew

    Ray,

    This could be a really interesting product. Did BSX have a target battery life?

    Also, any conversation with BSX about a 3rd gen BSX insight with the hydration level? It would be interesting to be able to actually measure hydration level & its impact on performance (power) / lactate level.

    • Hi Matthew,

      The battery life is estimated at about 4 days right now! We will continue to innovate and improve the devices we make to help people with their health and safety. We will announce more as we get closer to the future of what is to come.

      Thanks,
      Wayne

    • Matthew B.

      How frequent is the polling for that 4 day figure (1sec/60sec/variable)? Does that include HR tracking for activities (where I would assume polling would increase)?

      Definitely not looking for a super hard number, as it’s early on, but just trying to understand sort of where that number is coming from.

      Thanks!

      -Matt

  2. George

    Thanks for the Heads Up Ray. I live in Phoenix and my daughter’s HS Mountain Bike team practices in the afternoons starting in August.

    It’s really vital to be hydrated before we go out and I think this may help her monitor her fluid intake next year (and make me less of a nag).

    I signed up for two at $198

  3. Dave

    Do we think they’ll be adding Ant+ support, leading to a Connect IQ app?

  4. Adam

    I’ve been on their pre-launch mailing list. For some reason, i’ve found their pre-launch PR really off putting.– too flashy, too scripted, something. Maybe the material was targeted more at a Kickstarter audience. I’m skipping the kickstarter and waiting for a review of real product.

    • RaduT

      I concur… Not to mention the half baked BSX Insights device which after two iterations and 2-3 years in development it’s not a fully useful and working product.

      I had high hopes for the BSX muscle oxygenation and lactate threshold measurements but after spending $500 I have yet to find it’s usefulness real time.

      Fulled me twice, but now I’ll wait for others to try the LVL out first ;)

    • Hi Radu,

      Sorry you have had a bad experience with the BSXinsight. Please email our support team at support@bsxathletics.com. We are happy to help you get up and running. There shouldn’t be any issues seeing SMO2 and THb realtime.

      Thanks,

      Tammy

  5. Duane

    I decided to back this project because they have a good track record delivering stuff, understand the sport market and as far as I can tell this is the first optical HR monitor that doesn’t suck – based on their preliminary results.

  6. Augsburg

    Interesting product. My wife and I do a lot of cycling in the AZ desert and hydration is a big issue. Besides the accuracy of the devise, I wonder about the use of a leather band. I have to wear a second watch with a washable band when cycling or exercising because my “good’ watch has a leather band and I quickly learned it absorbs a lot of sweat and gets stinky fast. After replacing the band a few times, I gave up on leather for sweaty activities.

  7. Husain

    If it works well at launch I’m all for it and would purchase it. Integrating the data with Garmin/Strava/Training Peaks would seal the deal.

  8. JB

    Not to rain on the gadget parade, but is a device that tells you how much to drink really better than using your own thirst as a judge? I can see this as being useful for people with conditions that are specifically related to dehydration, but for the average person, constant hydration monitoring seems unnecessary. Timothy Noakes, among others, claims it doesn’t matter how much weight you lose during a workout as long as you aren’t thirsty — and in fact some levels of dehydration may be beneficial for performance.

    link to tandfonline.com
    link to tandfonline.com

    I don’t see the studies on their Kickstarter site that support their claims of performance improvement using the device compared with merely drinking when you’re thirsty, or studies that support the claim that dehydration “worsens cognitive performance by up to 51%,” or studies that support their claim that hydration is associated with a better night’s sleep. I see the word “research” a lot on their Kickstarter site, but nothing I can actually click on to look at. I don’t doubt the monitor thingy measures hydration accurately (well, I can’t see the research on that either, but I’ll take their word for it), but I’d like to know whether hydration will actually improve my performance before I invest.

    • That Noakes stuff is fine for up to a couple of hours, but is completely invalid for longer stuff like ultramarathons and Ironmans in hot weather. You can be severely dehydrated and not be thirsty at all. I’ve done 4 hour workouts in the Texas heat and lost 5 lbs. of body weight while drinking 44oz. of water an hour… and thinking I’m drinking more than plenty and not thirsty. I felt overheated and the rest of the day was a complete waste as I couldn’t get anything done due to being dehydrated. I added 80 (that missing 5 lbs.) more ounces of water to that same workout the next weekend and finished feeling fine, and was able to get on with life. So that Noakes stuff is a no-go for ultra endurance peeps. And a device that shows live that you’re hydrating enough or not would make champions in those sports, most of which last 8+ hours in high heat.

    • Agreed. A lot of people* misinterpret Noakes and twist what he’s said. Some people even mistakenly saying that you shouldn’t drink at all, etc… That may be the case for a quick 40-minute 10K, but he clearly doesn’t say that for longer races – which is the discussion here.

      This post here actually outlines much more clearly what he’s said: link to sciencebasedrunning.com

      *Like, crap-tons of people, posts, media articles, etc… It makes a better headline to act all rebellious than to actually read what he’s written.

    • JB

      I have read what Noakes has written, Ray. I’m a kinesiologist, not a tech guy, and I’m not trying to be “all rebellious” or anything. Did you read the blog post you cited (which, notably, is from 2011, citing a book from 2001, which probably used studies from before the turn of the century)? “Noakes can find no evidence that drinking even 800 ml actually enhances performance. Marathon runners are a little dehydrated after races, but in fact the winners tend to be more dehydrated than other racers. He suggests drinking 500 to 800 ml per hour, WHATEVER IS COMFORTABLE FOR THE RUNNER (emphasis mine). Slower runners, especially when running in cool temperatures, may need even less than this.”

      No one but you claimed runners shouldn’t drink anything during exercise, and I’m not claiming dehydration doesn’t cause performance issues if you drink nothing for an extended period of time. My interpretation of Noakes’ more recent research is that he’s saying some level of dehydration is not a problem for athletic performance as long as athletes drink when they’re thirsty. My survey of recent (past four years or so) research on dehydration and performance doesn’t provide any scientific evidence that monitoring hydration would provide any benefit over simply drinking when thirsty.

      My larger point, however, is that I’d like to see the research that supports the company’s Kickstarter claims. I’ve found research that directly contradicts their claims about hydration and sleep:
      link to digitalcommons.uconn.edu
      And there’s research that says there’s not enough research to support externally advocated hydration policies vs just drinking when thirsty.
      link to extremephysiolmed.biomedcentral.com

      Shouldn’t a company supply the studies that support their claims?

    • I agree they should post their claims, and I suspect they won’t have any issues doing so.

      My point is a lot of folks twist what Noaks has said. For example, the 500-800ml per hour is actually quite a bit of water. 800ml is a standard cycling water bottle (28oz). I doubt that most runners in a marathon drink enough little dixie cups of water to get anywhere near that – even 500ml.

    • Duane

      Maybe the company will jump in to clarify further, but I think the idea is that hydration level being correct at the start of exercise is a key performance indicator. Thirst while exercising may be sufficient. They should probably share more on the studies that support this.

    • We will be releasing FAQs this weekend which will include a lot of the data that is being discussed.

      Here is some research that validates some of the conversation topics:

      Edward Coyle demonstrated that “even a slight amount of dehydration causes physiological consequences” [1]. In the same study Dr. Coyle notes that “the prevalent thinking from the turn of the century until the 1970’s was that participants in endurance sports did not need to replace fluids lost during exercise (Noakes et al. 19991a; Noakes, 1993). This misconception has now given way to the knowledge that drinking fluids reduces the increase in body temperature (hyperthermia) and the amount of stress on the cardiovascular systems, especially when exercising in hot environments”.

      Additionally, Galloway [2] states that “in order to combat dehydration, hyperthermia, and impending circulatory collapse, athletes should drink fluids before, during, and after exercise. (…) The general consensus is that fluid ingestion should match sweat rate during exercise and that the drink should contain carbohydrate and electrolytes.”

      [1] Edward E. Coyle, “Fluid and Carbohydrate Replacement During Exercise: How Much and Why?,” Sports Science Exchange, vol. 7, no. 3 (1994).
      [2] S. D. R. Galloway, “Dehydration, Rehydration, and Exercise in the Heat: Rehydration Strategies for Athletic Competition,” Can. J. Appl. Physiol., 24(2) (1999).

      Tammy

    • David

      Is hydration the best measurable to maintain high performance for a long period of time? Or should we be monitoring body core temperature instead? There are many reasons to over-heat – a combination of hydration level (%), effort level (HR), fitness level (resting HR), and outside temperature & humidity (degrees and %RH). Some people can handle hot outdoor temperatures, while others cannot, no matter how hydrated they are. If this device could measure both hydration level and body temperature, I think it would be more useful. Then each person could then see how there performance changes as hydration level goes down, and body temp goes up. This relationship is probably unique and varied form person to person. So the data would need to be tracked for some time before knowing where your “sweet spot” is for training and racing.
      I love the fact that this device measures hydration and HR. However, no ANT+ means no purchase for me. If I can’t link the data to my smartphone or laptop (indoor training) and save it for data mining, then it only half a solution. Is there any info on the app for this device? The Halo Edge app still isn’t out yet. Has anybody used that device?

  9. I would TOTALLY get one of these! Need it bad for Ironmans.

  10. Alex

    Will it show hyper/over hydration leading to hyponutremia?

    • Hi Alex,

      The device shows when you are at a fully hydrated state. Users are encouraged not to drink beyond their hydrated state.

      Cheers,

      Tammy

    • Shewey

      Hi Tammy.

      Great concept, I have backed.

      I have a friend who is minus one kidney. They need to maintain good hydration status to stay well, but also drinking too much water can lead to problems. Knowing they had gone beyond fully hydrated would be really useful.

      Cheers!

  11. Robert

    I got in yesterday $99, I don’t sleep well maybe 4 hours and wake thirsty but if I ever drink after 6pm I wake after two hours. Not good at all. Hopefully this will help me figure what’s going on. Hope so

  12. Forrest

    Ironically, a hydration sensor wouldn’t be of much use to me. I’m always thirsty, and when I’m out doing something really difficult my limit isn’t whether I feel thirsty or not, it’s whether I can carry or find enough water to drink. On the other hand, my girlfriend is less into sports and outdoors, but doesn’t get enough water, and this could be very useful for her since she’s just never thirsty. Already sent her the link.

  13. miguel

    so optical HRV at last? At least seem a step forward

    • BSXWayne

      Heart rate variability is a stretch goal that we have. It may not be included at shipping but as athletes we are excited about a feature like this.

  14. Johnny Row

    I used to think that checking the “BLOG” tab would show me all the latest posts, but I happened to check “HOME” just now and see a couple of new products not mentioned in the “blog”. Is “home” or “blog” the best place to see new posts, or do9 I have to check both?

    • It should, but right now it’s being wonky. I’ve got some developers trying to figure out what’s been causing it the last week or so as it comes and goes without any explanation. :( Sorry!

  15. Eric Hanneken

    If this is going to be an activity tracker, then is BSX also going to produce software and a web site so their customers can check their data? Can BSX’s platform compete with the more established ones run by Fitbit and Garmin? Will it last as long? Or is the point of this product to advertise the technology to those companies, in the hope of a buyout?

  16. MarkS

    It didn’t take me long to decide to back this – even considering the early bird specials are long gone, the $119 will be well worth it if this works as their testing suggests it might.
    I am personally familiar with effects of dehydration – had heat stroke pretty bad several years ago, and a few cases of severe dehydration that were caught in time.
    At 53 yrs old, I am in my second youth, enjoying a fitness renaissance. But I tend to perspire heavily, and sometimes struggle to stay on top of my hydration levels. This device could be a real godsend IF it works out. I’m willing to be one of the guinea pigs to find out…

  17. Jon Tiktin

    What a display of the power of Ray, the number of backers is growing by the minute since being featured here. Glad I got in yesterday.

    I do hope they see the sense of making it ANT+ as well, would be great to have an indication of hydration level on the Garmin whilst I’m riding and to ditch the chest strap. Been using the Rhythm+ but as soon as I start sweating to a reasonable level I get constant reading drop outs, always in the latter part of a ride.

  18. G

    Thirsty? Peeing clear? Pinch your skin on back of your hand? Or buy this.

  19. Just out of technical interest: how is measurement of respiratory rate supposed to be added to a wrist band? I could imagine small arm movements when sitting or lying that could be picked up by accelerometers, but during activity?

  20. Phil Barnes

    I’ve gone ahead and pledged for one. I wear contact lenses and being dehydrated really effects wearing them, to the point I have to remove them, an early warning would be advantageous

  21. Hi Ray, Hi folks !

    I’m a huge fan of your website, young triathlete and also a doctor. I work in the anesthetic field in OR and also in Critical Care. I (love) sport physiology.

    I would like to underline the fact that the claim (myth ?) that dehydration impairs performance is not clear. It’s largely spread among sports fans but science is not clear cut. As you know, people even die due to overhydration during marathons (hyponatremia, see Waterclogged by Tim Noakes). Maybe, beverage industry is not against some sports drinks sales growth…

    For sure, the longer the event (marathon -> 70.3 triathlon -> IM -> ultra-trail running) the more I would pay attention to my *thirst* and take fluid (and check my urine outflow)

    But for short event or common training, the claim 1% dehydration 10% less performance often read is #BS

    Check these links :
    link to ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
    link to ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
    link to zotero.org

    Sincerely,
    Rémi aka nfkb

    • Duane

      I don’t have access to read the journals (and wouldn’t be qualified to interpret them) but I think the assertion from LVL is that starting exercise from a properly hydrated state is a performance indicator. I observed one article that seems to imply this:

      link to ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

      Like I said, I’m no expert on this but I’m curious if shift in focus gives you more encouragement about the efficacy of what they are doing.

  22. Rob

    I’m an amateur and I don’t use a scientific approach to sport but my longest rides could be maybe 12 to 16 hard hours off road – by the time I’m at half that, I’ve lost my cool enough that my eating, drinking, navigating and pacing skills are all a bit sketchy. If something could reliably just give me prod when I haven’t drunk enough (or when I can save water by not drinking unnecessarily) then I’d really consider getting one.

  23. Also, optimal fluid status is a kind of Holy Grail long sought in medical devices, especially in anesthesiology and critical care.

    And AFAIK, no device is top of notch to tell the doctor : “ok, give the patient this amout of fluid.”

  24. Neil Jones

    I can’t help feeling that this is going to be a short-lived product as if it proves to be a viable market, the big fitness wearables companies will start to integrate this functionality into their own devices, potentially being able to offer full fitness tracker functionality at the same price point.

  25. James

    I would have thought marketing this as an accurate optical HR sensor with additional hydration sensing function would have a larger target market (pref. broadcasting on both ANT+ and BTLE of course)… but hopefully they’ve done the market research to prove me wrong!

  26. Ian Munro

    Does the unit take into account sodium levels when determining what counts as ‘hydrated’?
    Given that it’s reported that more athletes have died of hypothermia than dehydration, a device that tells you to drink when your sodium levels are low would seem seem to have potentially fatal consequences.

  27. I’ve given a look at the kickstarter.

    Thay claim that accuracy is king in medical device. I can tell you by experience that one part of my job as an anesthetist is to deal with artifacts ! In 2016, a mere medical device like an EKG is susceptible to a crapton of artifacts. Avionic is much more solid.

    Also to compare hydration with their device to a gold standard, we need different statistical data (Bland & Altman test) not this straight (and easy) line they show on a X vs Y graph.

    In a video, a triathlete, says she has lost 8% of her body weight in a 2 hour session. I give serious doubts about this (common figures are around 2-4%) ! And remember that body lost in the first 2 hours at a high intensity is due to the glycogen and its linked water burnt.

    I know, that they do not claim this, but there is nothing analysable in the sweat strongly correlated to the hydration status.

    And I fly over the difference between extra cellular and intra cellular hydration…

  28. Colin Ferguson

    I have trouble giving money to a group that can’t proofread their site and correctly use effect vs. affect. Maybe I’m just weird, but if you’re trying to present yourself as a professional organization, things like that shouldn’t happen.

    • BSXWayne

      Thank you Colin.

      The correction will be made and the designer will be fired. We at BSX Athletics take this error seriously.

    • Chris

      Swift, unilateral action! That’s just what I like. I have backed! Do you think you will add lactate threshold detection in their, and would it work on the bike? I thought you needed to measure this in the leg (since that’s where the cycling muscles are). You know what they say, where they’re’s a will, theirs a way!

    • ash

      I see what you did there.

  29. David Tucker

    This is really interesting. I can’t see, personally, wearing this 24×7. But there are periods of time I would find this VERY useful.

    1) During summer training. I usually get destroyed during my training sessions. I lived in Florida all my life before moving to NOLA a couple months ago. Hot, humid mornings destroy me all weekend.

    2) During race week. Keeping hydrated leading up to a race is so important!

  30. Kevin Conover

    In for one. The lack of ANT+ is disappointing and the size is a question but if it works as advertised then it should be additional helpful data, especially during the summer months. Next summer is a long way away, curious to see how this evolves, and to see how much they learned from the last kickstarter.

  31. Matteo

    Really looking forward to this device, to compliment my BSX Insight :).

    What I really want to say though, is that I can not disagree more on basing your hydration on being thirsty. I may be an extreme case, but I can tell you right now that 99% of the time I am never thirsty. I spent my entire youth feel sluggish and completely dehydrated because I never drank more than a cup of water a day.

    I am a motocross racer and just last wednesdag I did 3×20 minute moto’s on 35 degrees Celsius weather. I was sweating buckets, but wasn’t even remotely thirsty before, during or after the motos. If I’d trusted my thirst, a couple of sips and I would’ve been good to go. Luckily I didn’t and I drank litres of water and still went probably 16 hours without having to pee.

  32. Honestly if this will work and the price will be accessible for the grand public and athletes will be using it correctly, we will see a general health and performance increase. Most people are aware of being dry and dehydrated but they still don’t stand up from those work stations to drink up. Together with sleep feedback and 247 accurate hr monitoring and possible morning hrv measuring, this one single device might be the one.

  33. Robin

    I didn’t see this addressed in the article, and I haven’t read all the comments. Will this device have an audible or tactile alarm to alert the user to a hydration issue?

  34. Charlotte

    Hi – where can I buy the LVL band? What are the costs?

    Thanks,
    Charlotte

  35. Eli

    If the device can’t replace a HR strap (no Ant+ and doesn’t seem to use the BLE hr standard) then HR data doesn’t need to be that accurate.

  36. Don

    Do not buy any first gen bsx products. I bought into their Lt meter kickstarter that was promised to talk ant+ (per the campaign) and they sent backers units that never worked. Instead of sending out backers working 2nd gen units they wanted hundreds of dollars to “upgrade”.

    • Hi Don,

      Sorry to hear about your experience with the BSXinsight Gen 1 device. We didn’t charge hundreds of dollars to exchange the Gen 1 for the Gen 2 device. Please email support@bsxathletics.com so that we can work on getting you taken care of. It is an amazing product and we want you to be able to use it.

      Tammy

  37. Eli

    Ray, any comment on how BSX is claiming green LED based HR monitors are so inaccurate? Their argument sounds good, but then if you look at the graphics they show it makes it seem like green is horrible yet you seem to do well with some optical HR devices:
    link to medium.com

    Also kind of funny when in some of the pics where they show off their validation testing you clearly see the people being tested are wearing scorche hr arm bands.

    I’m not saying red isn’t better but they seem a bit too aggressive.

    • Matthew B.

      Not Ray, but green LED HR monitors based on the wrist (with the exception of Mio — and even then some have issues) have been typically meh to awful for exercise level HRs.

    • I think they were actually saying they were inaccurate for specifically what they were doing (which is more than just basic HR). In the same way that Valencell actually uses two green and a yellow, because it adds more diversity.

    • Eli

      I’m assuming they are talking about exercise based HR. Garmin uses green LEDs and I’m not saying it can’t be improved but seems way better than what BSX is trying to say about green. So kind of feels like they are saying “We are better than X” and set up X as some bad product to make it easy for them to say they are much better. We know they have access to a scorche hr arm band which we know is pretty good, so can they compare their device to that and see if its better?

      Think of it from this perspective, if they make their HW stretch goal and support Ant+ would this be a good replacement for a Scosche Rhythm+ if you don’t mind paying the extra for the hydration monitoring and the other features? BSX is trying to claim they are better

    • Ze

      Red / infrared has actually been around longer, and they take less energy to use (i.e. longer battery life), so really companies would have used red LEDs to do HR if the signal quality was equally as good as with green.

      The wrist sucks no matter the wavelength used. My personal experience is that green gives better signal quality when there is motion artifact, but of course does not work as well on darker skins.

  38. Craig Van Doren

    Where can I find a band size chart or band lengths?

  39. Penny Quist

    I’m bringing this to the attention of my Bariatric surgeon. I am scheduled for surgery in June. The number one problem for re-hospitalization with Bariatric patients is dehydration. This would be a wonderful tool for those having weight loss surgery!

    • Eli

      It might be but I’d wait for it to come out and see how well it works before you depend on it that much. Get a better feeling about how well it works and how well its supported

  40. Don

    I would not trust this company at all. First gen bsx insight Kickstarter backers all go screwed over with promised Garmin ant integration in the crowd funding campaign. Never happened, we were offer a “deal” on gen 2 when it should have been free.

    • Matthew B.

      Don, did you forget you already commented about your negative experience on this thread (like 5 comments above this)?

  41. Bryan Blake

    Being an new electronics geek on top of a bought of Flu that caused “severe” dehydration and a 5 day run of being in Atrial Fib and caridoversion. I’m absolutely into buying and trying this device. Anyone know if they have a size chart not sure if my scrawny cycling wrist are small or large?

  42. Lars

    Hi Ray,
    is the LVL in your In-Depth-Review-waiting-line-up? Are you planning to check on HR accuracy in sports?
    And if anyone of BSX is still reading: are you validating HR accuracy in sports? Even swimming?
    Anybody: ANT+ is was a reached stretch goal, so it’s included.

  43. Cindy Darley

    Does the watch alert you when you hit very low?

  44. Steve

    Well, they just posted an update on Kickstarter. They’re completely retooling the entire design, just received a round of funding from Samsung, and will not be able to deliver until next summer at the earliest.

    • Will Morgan

      Disappointing, but not all together unsurprising. Samsung’s investment is encouraging though. It’ll be a nice surprise when/if it is delivered, I will surely have forgotten all about it :)

  45. Levi

    Just wondering if DC rainmaker has been made aware of the deceptive practice of this company on kickstarter and how they used their funding to raise funding to further their valuation as a startup. Zero communication. During the whole process, leting backers assume things were on track until yesterday. Then they revealed they won’t deliver until, at the earliest, summer 2018. All while raising a round of investing leaf by Samsung. So basically they just used KS funding as a zero obligation, 0% interest loan / equity-less investment.

    • Yup, I saw the note from them (I’m a Kickstarter backer as well), and Tweeted about it roughly 90 seconds after it hit my inbox: link to twitter.com

      I also just added a small update to the top of this post.

      I do agree their communication has been less than awesome. Though I don’t think they were being deceptive on where they stood. Naive, probably, but not deceptive (most Kickstarter companies are naive). And they did indicate delays, such as in both their April and June update. So I’m not sure why you say there was zero communications about delays.

      Ultimately – and this is really important that I think a lot of Kickstarter backers don’t get – if companies don’t raise additional funding, then to me that’s a far bigger red flag than being delayed. The lack of additional funding is a sign that many (likely hundreds) of investors have said no. Meaning that people with smarts about the products have looked at it and said ‘Nope, this is a bad idea’. Ultimately, I’d like to think that any backer wants any Kickstarter company to succeed. The goal of Kickstarter should not just be to get a one-time product to backers, but rather to create a successful long-term product. Else your one-time product will likely soon be useless or unsupported.

      Their post is pretty clear that they underestimated what it was going to take, and that without additional financial support – you’d end up with nothing.

    • Mark

      DC Rainmaker – I don’t know how closely you were following, but it took tremendous pressure from Backers (ultimately who had to involve Kickstarter) in order to get response from the company at all.

      We had calls in, messages to their support line, social media inquiries all happening – and all we got back was vague responses, and nothing of substance. Which is not what they promised. They had promised clear, transparent and timely updates.

    • I’m a backer just like you, and I’ve been checking the site frequently. And I too have had e-mails direct to the CEO (who usually answers my e-mails within minutes or hours) – alas with nothing. I totally get it, they failed in the communication department.

      That said, I don’t really get why people are super angry about the delay/etc… Upset – sure, but some of the stuff I’m reading is just nuts. Folks don’t really understand how Kickstarter works.

  46. Mark

    This project was a failure. Look at the hundred and hundreds of Backers asking for their money back:
    link to kickstarter.com

    • Matthew B.

      Look, I’m as pissed as you are, but you are not buying ANYTHING with a Kickstarter. You are essentially donating money to a company with a chance at a reward IF they actually come through. You are not investing, you are not buying. A company can’t willingly commit fraud, but there is almost always delays.

      Now, the part that could actually constitute fraud is that they were accepting preorders on their website as recently as last week that said “Ships in August 2017”. They knew, without a doubt, that those orders would not be fulfilled in August 2017. That is a huge red flag and I wouldn’t be surprised if they get in legal trouble over it.

    • Eli

      Reading those comments, wow are people impatient. Do they understand what kickstarter is?

      A delay is not a failure. Kickstarter says as much:
      link to kickstarter.com

      Sure it sucks to have a delay but all indications are they are still on track to making a product. Do you really think samsung would give them that much money if they weren’t actually producing a product?

    • chris gachowski

      I agree Ray…

      “I don’t really get why people are super angry about the delay/etc… Upset – sure, but some of the stuff I’m reading is just nuts. Folks don’t really understand how Kickstarter works.”

      It might be even worse that that, those folks “demanding a refund” are wasting BSX and Kickstarter resources and possibly preventing the people with the next great idea from using Kickstarter..

      C

      PS I could be wrong but I think BSX might not have been able to communicate legally when trying to get funding from Samsung.

    • Eli

      They might have been able to legally talk but Samsung would have pulled out if they did. Plus way more uncertainty during talks as they aren’t just getting or not getting money, I’m sure there are strings attached

    • I’d also caution to not overthink the Samsung thing. They’re an investor…they didn’t acquire the company. Yet anyway.

      Companies like Samsung, Apple, Microsoft and others invest in many small startups, usually through various startup accelerator arms. Tons of investments per year.