If you’ve been around the endurance sports tech scene long enough, you’ll know that Moxy has been around this connected sphere longer than most – even if you didn’t quite understand exactly what their product does, or how best to utilize it in training. They’ve been a bit of the stable hand in the muscle oxygen saturation monitoring game over the years as various other companies have come and gone (including BSX, and more recently Humon Hex). Of course, they’ve also been the most expensive option.
However, up until now, using a Moxy device to monitor your muscle oxygenation largely required some other device or app to analyze that data (either in real-time or afterwards). Today’s Kickstarter aims to change that. Now, before I lose you to boredom – just one teaser: This Kickstarter gets you a new Moxy device for cheaper than they’ve ever sold it before – plus access to the platform they’re pitching. Meaning, you basically come out a winner if all you wanted was the device. But let’s not get distracted.
Today Moxy is launching their Moxy Portal, which is a combination of both an app and a web platform. The app acts as a real-time monitor for the device, while the web platform is both a place you can analyze workouts (including in real-time), but also where 3rd parties can link-up via API. Basically, Moxy is making all this glue, versus previously they were fully dependent on devices like a Garmin watch. That worked fine and was often used in demos from Garmin at developer conferences on how to leverage the tech (and ultimately was implemented natively on some Garmin devices as well as Wahoo devices). But as Moxy saw growth in non-running/cycling sports (namely, cross-training), they found most of those users didn’t have a Garmin watch.
Now, before people get all worked up about pricing – keep in mind this device is mostly aimed at elite athletes and their coaches. Meaning that while many consumers did get into the muscle oxygen game via BSX & Humon Hex, the pricing realities here make this less appealing for more casual athletes. Athletes use these types of devices to get more granular data on how their muscles are responding to a very specific load, by measuring at the actual muscle (versus measuring via proxy, like heart rate, which is more laggy). It’s both a more finite way as well as a more complicated way of tracking structured workouts – hence why it tends to be used more by elite coaches than regular users. BSX & Humon Hex attempted to change that game by simplifying it, but ultimately Humon couldn’t make it work financially with less expensive devices. While BSX got distracted making faked Kickstarter updates for a product that didn’t exist.
In any case, I got a bit of a quick walk-through of the platform. So I’m going to briefly cover some key points.
The Platform & App:
First up is that this entire platform requires a Moxy 5 or newer unit, which are basically Moxy units made after mid-2018. The reason for that is that those units have Bluetooth Smart on them, which is how the app connects. Moxy isn’t launching a new piece of hardware today, but instead giving people a steal of a price on buying the Moxy units (or even trading in old Moxy and non-Moxy units).
The next notable is that while the platform *looks* impressive, at present, it’s largely mock-ups of the final design. Which, is kinda the norm for Kickstarter projects. They have already begun on elements of it, but the final styling may not match what is seen in the screenshots or videos. Some of their midrange Kickstarter rewards attempt to mitigate some of this by also giving a full training course from Evan Peikon that they normally sell for $300 via their Moxy Academy.
Anyway, with those notables out of the way, let’s talk what it all is. Their platform starts at the mobile app, which pairs up to three Moxy units concurrently, plus one heart rate strap. Again, this is the reason/need for the newer Moxy units that have Bluetooth Smart. You can see the assignment of the sensor location below.
Within the app you can record workouts, but also do structured workouts. Remember that since the Moxy is focused on training to specific muscle oxygen levels, it’s less focused on elements beyond that (which might be sport-specific). In this case, Moxy is including three workout groups (strength, endurance, and interval), and then also a free-workout mode when you just want to capture data, but not be guided.
Once in a workout, you’ll see the time and duration of the intervals/workout, as well as the current oxygenation status (SmO2 and THb) for each sensor. The chart below is color-coded, but the coding isn’t zones, rather whether the oxygenation is increasing or decreasing. The main thing Moxy is going for here is simplicity. They noted that they didn’t want people fumbling around when in a hard interval or lifting weights.
All of this data then gets pushed live to their web platform. Live being the interesting part, especially in an age where athletes and coaches often can’t be in the same spot. A coach could open a Skype/Zoom/whatever call while live-coaching the athlete with the data on the screen coming from Moxy.
The coach can change the athlete using the usernames at left, after linked up to that athlete (authorized by the athlete).
Users (and coaches) can dive into previous workouts, and the data from them. They can change the amount of data shown, and how it’s presented in terms of graphing styles.
Interestingly – they plan to allow markup atop the graphs to send to athletes (as in, drawing on it, adding text boxes and such). Why on earth don’t other training platforms allow that? Seriously – do you know how many workout comments I’ve had marked up using random tools from a coach? Why not have that built-in? Seems logical.
The platform allows for the athlete to export in both .FIT format as well as .CSV files. Most sports/fitness applications will use .FIT, while more researchers tend to gravitate towards .CSV files.
However, medium to longer-term they’ll aim to get it linked up to 3rd party platforms. Specifically, they’d like to have your Garmin workouts sync to it (so they can merge if they want to, kinda like Stryd does), and then also push out files as well to platforms like TrainingPeaks.
The Kickstarter Details:
Now again, some caveats: This is Kickstarter. It’s not a store. There’s no guarantees. You might end up with nothing.
With that caveat, this is a bit different than a normal Kickstarter. In fact, I’ve never seen anything like this in all my years. Unlike normal Kickstarters, this company already has half of what you’re potentially buying (the sensor). Whereas they don’t yet have the app/platform built. The app/platform is slated to be finished in June of this year. However, your sensor will ship on April 15th of this year – a touch over two months away. So in some ways, even if the platform is delayed (or worse), you’ll still have your fully functional Moxy device (which has zero dependencies on the platform itself).
Moxy has a slew of Kickstarter award levels. Note that normally a regular Moxy costs $819. Here’s the simplified version:
Base level – $199: Permanent access to the Moxy portal (no future subscription fees)
Moxy Portal + Evan Peikon course: $329
Moxy Portal + Course + Older Moxy trade-in: $549
Moxy Portal + Course + BSX/Humon Hex trade-in: $649
Moxy Portal + Course + New Moxy 5 Sensor: $799
Got all that? Good. Next, some timelines. These are all pretty self-explanatory, though, I was impressed to see scheduled backer Zoom calls. Seriously – I’ve never seen that before in any Kickstarter campaign. Kinda neat.
The Kickstarter closes Feb 27th, and as usual with Kickstarter, if they don’t reach the funding goal – then nothing gets funded and you get your money back. If they do reach it, then upon completion that kicks into motion all of the above.
The exact pricing for what the platform would be for non-Kickstarter folks isn’t yet decided (Kickstarter backers get a permanent subscription with no further fees). Moxy says they’ll likely offer both a monthly and one-time cost option, but again, haven’t finalized that piece yet. Ultimately though, I suspect the bulk of their Kickstarter backers will probably come from coaches/labs that would have bought a Moxy anyway, and this is simply cheaper with more benefits. Kinda a no-brainer for them.
With that – thanks for reading!
(And again, one last warning that Kickstarter is not a store, and like life or eating airplane food – there are no guarantees.)
Very impressive Kickstarter launch, I hope this is a big success for Moxy!
Just curious, does anyone know if the three sensors (4 with heart rate) is a limitation of common Bluetooth Smart hardware or something else?
The 4 sensors is not a BLE limit. There are HR apps that connect to 20+ sensors at once. It’s just a limit of GUI design.
At least now I have an option of what to do with my Humon Hex
How is this cheaper than they were ever sold before? They were sold in the 700 range before. This was the cheapest I found it talked about but pretty sure I saw it less: link to newatlas.com
Granted they raised the prices since then.
I wish they figured out how to get the price down more. Have a larger market to get more training platforms (xert trainerroad etc) use the extra data. Obviously, Humon went too low to be sustainable but there has to be some middle ground. Would love to have structured workouts with the warm up and intervals influenced by the muscle oxygen data. I know this new app attempts to do that but I’d rather have a workout where I don’t need to figure out what I’m supposed to do as the trainer makes me hit the targets by controlling erg mode and I just have to keep pedaling.
Yeah, they never sold the Bluetooth enabled models that low I don’t believe.
Wish I hadn’t recycled my BSX.
I am not sure we need another app and portal to look at. I would have looked very closely at partnering with Stryd to get there faster.
Hmm, I’m confused. Just a week ago you said:
“Stryd’s website (PowerCenter) and the app are basically useless and buggy. I love the footpod and its accuracy but I wish they would hire competent software people to revamp the website and the app.”
I’m not sure those two comments mesh. 😉
Good point. Here is why I wrote this. By combining these two sensors that appeal to “serious” athletes and making them available on one website, these two organizations can share cost and start from a place that is better than not having anything. Stryd website and app can definitely use work, but it is still better as a starting point than zero. Moreover, by combining data from these two sensors, I am sure interesting analytics and performance metrics can be derived.
The last thing I need in my life is another performance related app and website. I already look at Stryd, Garmin Connect, Strava, ….
Consolidation of these sensor based businesses is a good thing for the consumer and good thing for the businesses as well.
I tried looking throught their campaign to understand if this can be used with Garmin Connect IQ and if so, does it record data to garmin fit files.
It seems that previous models have this setup, but I am nit sure if they write to fit files, and if they still have ANT+ signal or only BLE now
Yes, still works with Connect IQ (and will still write to those .FIT files). It’s dual ANT+/BLE.
link to apps.garmin.com
I still don’t understand the purpose or value of this device especially for the price where the potential output can be identified and trained many other ways?
The best way to figure out if this device can be of any help for you to train is first enroll in one of the moxy academy courses and then decide if the device can be of any help to you. I highly recommend the course of Evan Peicon
link to moxy-academy.teachable.com
I use the moxy’s in a structured way now for over 3 years as an amateur athlete, and it gave me good progression in cycling and running minimal available time, more than the use of hart rate and power has done.
If you don’t watch the videos… the kickstarter page doesn’t actually tell you at all what Moxy does or what it can be used for.
I am an owner of the Humon Hex (and very satisfied with it ; also despite Hex is discontinued Humon Data fields are still supported in Garmin IQ surprisingly > last version in Dec 2020).
Couple of questions
– will the Moxy Portal recognize the Humon Hex (which is both BLE and ANT). There was an IOs Humon App very similar to Moxy Portal.
– any (future) Moxy App for Apple watch?
The Moxy Portal Mobile App is planned to use BLE to communicate with the Moxy Sensors. This is due to ANT+ not really being practical on iOS devices. The Humon Hex BLE signal is proprietary so we won’t connect with that. So, no, the Humon won’t interface with the Moxy Portal App.
I don’t recall the format of the .fit file created by the Humon ConnectIQ data field. However, we may be able to import those .fit files into the Webtool.
We don’t have any plans for an Apple watch application right now.
“The Humon Hex BLE signal is proprietary so we won’t connect with that.”
what does that mean exactly ?? don’t you want to connect it or can’t you?
It means 1) It’s not a standard protocol so it won’t “just work” like an ANT+ protocol would, and 2) we don’t have access to the technical specifications for the signal so it would require reverse engineering and additional programming to make it work which is not where we want to spend our resources for the project.
Ok,understand … The work to get to the protocol has already been done by Aaron Scheiner link to aquarat.co.za.
Maybe it helps you and you include it in your project, find a pity that so many devices just end up in the trash when you could use them further
So, I might be enough of a data geek to actually buy this, even if the real-world impact might be quite limited for my training level/volume. However, the idea of applying adhesive tape to the sensor and then to the skin each time I train is a bit of a show-stopper as I am already quite time-crunched.
However, I am training only on my indoor trainer. So, while the sweat level is high, the motion level is relatively controlled (and we are talking about usually 1h efforts, not an Ironman). Therefore, I am wondering whether it might be enough to simply slip that thing with the shield under the bib shorts. Anyone got any experience with that or any other trick to simplify the use?
I use 3M 1522 dubbel-sided tape; my sportswear does the additional fixation.