When it comes to designing exercise devices for women, I suppose that it is best to have input from actual people in order to properly address the end-user’s needs. One such device, which came on to the market only a few weeks ago, is the Elvie, designed to help women strengthen their pelvic muscles and created with feedback from more than 150 women.
The basic idea behind the device, a small, pebble-shaped pod which connects to a smartphone app (available for iOS and Android) through Bluetooth, is that users will complete 5-minute workouts, which gradually increase in difficulty, in order to strengthen their pelvic floor muscle, a set of muscles that can cause issues with childbirth, sex, and in other areas if left untended. The startup says that working this muscle out can sometimes be tricky and 30% of women actually hurt themselves in the process of exercising it, so they have designed the device to be capable of alerting the user if they are using it improperly. And speaking of exercises, the startup says that they have listened to their users and made it so that the device can be used, discreetly, while on the go. And then, when then user is finished, they can just wash it with water. The waterproof device is battery-powered, capable of lasting 2 months on a charge, but includes a case that doubles as a charger.
How much customers pay to purchase an Elvie depends on where they order from, as it costs 149 pounds, $199, or 199 Euro. It is worth noting, however, that they do not accept returns.
Chiaro, the developer of the Elvie, appears to have a solid team behind it, as co-founder Tania Boler holds a doctorate in HIV prevention and has spoken on issues relating to sexual and reproductive health, while co-founder Alexander Asseily previously founded Jawbone. In terms of backing, they currently claim more than 3 million pounds, as well as more than 500K pounds in government grants, from a group that includes Google Maps founder Lars Rasmussen, ICAP CEO and founder Michael Spencer, and Nicole Junkermann.