Hong Kong, which had for long relied on traditional or low-tech businesses to develop as a trading and finance hub, has in recent years seen the emergence of a slew of tech startups thanks to the internet and technology boom.
Among the new crop of firms is Platysens, an entity that designs sports wearables including Marlin, a performance analyzer tool for swimmers.
Founded in 2014, Platysens focuses on sports sensors and analysis. The company launched its first product, the Marlin GPS swim meter, a swimming activity tracker that provided real-time feedback to swimmers. The product was taken to Kickstarter and successfully raised over US$37,000 from 342 backers.
The firm’s co-founder and chief executive, Wong Cheong-yui, told the Hong Kong Economic Journal that Platysens was created by six sports enthusiasts with a mission to equip athletes with better tools to understand their performance.
“Initially we were to apply the sensor technology into rowing training, but investors asked for a bigger target market,” said Wong. “That inspired us to design the product for swimmers.”
Marlin, designed by Platysens, combines GPS, motion sensors and voice technology, the company claims.
It provides important swimming parameters such as lap time, and stroke rate instantly to users through a bone conduction audio headset. Users can also connect Marlin to smartphone devices with Bluetooth to review their data for analysis.
“Marlin users are swimming in different parts of the world,” said Wong, adding that the product has been developed to help keen swimmers like him, to improve their performance in the pool as well as in open water, especially when they are training for competitions.
Platysens has worked with Swim Smooth, a swimming coaching system provider, to get more international market exposure.
According to Wong, the first batch of 3,000 Marlin units was sold out almost in full within a year after launch.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on March 26
Translation by Ben Ng with additional reporting
[Chinese version 中文版]
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