Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Samsung and Maxim invest in hydration-tracking wearables

Steve Rogerson
August 29, 2017

South Korean giant Samsung and US chip firm Maxim Integrated have invested in Texas-based LVL Technologies, a company developing proprietary sensor platforms for wearables.
The $6.75m series A financing round was led by the Samsung Catalyst Fund with participation from Maxim and other investors in the wearable technology and manufacturing industries. Samsung and the round’s other participants were chosen for their innovation in digital health, leadership in wearables, expertise in design and manufacturing, and expansive consumer electronics supply chains.
Formerly known as BSX Athletics, LVL Technologies has developed a sensor platform to measure the body’s most critical vital signs, including for the first time hydration.
“Water is such a critical part of who we all are,” said Dustin Freckleton, founder and CEO of LVL Technologies. “Our bodies are made up mostly of water and yet our internal thirst drive does a surprisingly poor job of helping us stay properly hydrated. This is manifested in numerous ways, from headaches, to joint pain, impaired exercise performance, lowered mental clarity and so much more. All of these can be improved by better hydration habits.”
Accurate measurement of hydration is one of the most important use cases for wearables and preventative health at all ages, particularly in the elderly and young, who are most at risk.
“Hydration is important to anyone who sweats,” said Freckleton. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a sports enthusiast, military service member, first responder, outdoor labourer, or simply care about weight management and living healthier.”
Past attempts at measuring hydration have fallen short, and the approach of LVL is the first validated method for accurate, continuous hydration measurements in an untethered wearable. The company will use the funding to accelerate the production and manufacturing of its second consumer product, a wrist-worn band called LVL One, which simultaneously measures hydration along with heart rate and other key metrics.
LVL’s first product, called Insight, was released in 2014 and is a non-invasive lactate threshold sensor, and is currently used by US Olympic teams and endurance athletes at all levels.
“At Samsung, we’ve long believed that wearables will help usher in the next wave of innovation in digital health,” said Shankar Chandran, managing director of the Samsung Catalyst Fund. “By measuring important data on hydration – which has eluded the industry for years – LVL Technologies has demonstrated the vast potential of wearables technology, and the impact it can have on consumers’ lives. As a leader in the wearables space, we at Samsung are thrilled to partner with a company that will help us push the boundaries of this technology even further.”
LVL Technologies was founded by Dustin Freckleton and Nithin Rajan with a mission of bringing the accuracy of medical device technologies to the consumer wearables market through a combination of proprietary sensors and advanced machine learning algorithms.