AMSA Global Enterprises LLC, the folks behind the Tushi Pal Kickstarter campaign, is yet another tech company on a short list of wearable manufacturers who get it.
They may suffer the sting of wearables fatigue, but not because their product isn’t awesome. Despite that risk, on the first day of their campaign they’ve raised almost 10% of their goal. That’s not half bad. My money’s on an overwhelming response once word gets out.
This won’t be the first time I’ve mentioned how the wearable technology industry needs an overhaul in the design department. Products don’t sell on benefits and features alone. Otherwise, nobody would ever drink Starbucks. There are better cups of joe out there. It’s the way a product or service or brand makes consumers feel that drives sales.
Wearable companies that understand this will take leadership positions as this technology matures. They need only deliver a solid enough product that consumers feel it’s valuable, but that it connects with the way they feel when they buy it? That’s everything.
More Than Features
Consider Toms, not the Toothpaste company from Maine (but, yeah them too), the shoe company. Consider Pura Vida Bracelets, the bracelets made by Costa Ricans for pennies, but sold for $15 and up.
There is nothing particularly high tech about these products. Most people would complain that Crest cleans your teeth better, that there are more comfortable shoes on the market, and that jewelry should sparkle with diamonds.
Tom’s of Maine’s toothpaste paved the cruelty-free, all-natural pathway. The unrelated shoe company by the same name (with no apostrophe), sold the idea of one-for-one; when you buy a pair of Toms, they donate a pair to someone less fortunate. Pura Vida bracelets are thin bracelets with tiny charms that retailers can’t keep in stock.
People buy these products because they say something about the buyer. They make buyers feel good about their purchase while still functional.
We’ll come back to the ways Tushi Pal makes you feel in just a second.
Good Enough Fitness
Tushi Pal won’t go underwater yet. It won’t track your GPS position. As far as tech goes, it’s the Starbucks of fitness trackers, with a twist.
It tracks your heart rate, your footsteps, and sleep. The heart rate monitor is the optical HR sensor type, but it tracks your rate automatically every 15-60 minutes in real time.
The twist: Tushi Pal will track and record something they call the five exercise stages; code for workout intensity. There is a LED on the face of the tracker, that displays five different colors, paired with your exercise stage.
As with most fitness trackers these days, Tushi Pal will notify you of calls and text.
Tradition Meets Tech
This is where Tushi Pal separates itself. The tracker comes in traditional packaging, handcrafted, bright-colored Mayan artisan style boxes and lids.
They are woven by artists, mostly women, living in Mexico. The group that does this work is Taller Maya, which translates to Mayan Workshop, but the group represents more than 20 workshops.
These are not boxes made by sweatshop labor. The foundation that manages them, Haciendas del Mundo Maya, ensures that the people working for Taller Maya receive equitable pay. Your purchase supports sustainable economic development for these artists.
The case you receive comes labeled with the artisan’s signature, making each purchase unique. The band of the tracker matches the style of the boxes but is still of the silicone type of band.
Comfort aside, what would rocket these trackers into the stratosphere is incorporating bands that are also artisan crafts. The reality is they wouldn’t last too long, but wouldn’t it be awesome while the band lasted?
If you want to feel what I’m talking about, head over the Tushi Pal Kickstarter and pledge today. But, if you’d rather check out their site, you can navigate to the campaign from there. You’ll spend just over $100 for your band and box.
I’m seeing those boxes repurposed as jewelry holders or small kitchen organizers. A salt and pepper set would look lovely in the open box. Then you’ll have a talking piece on your wrist and your dining room table. You’d have twice as many opportunities to tell people how awesome you are.
What would Toms be without the flag on the heel of the shoes or Tom’s without its all-natural label? This tracker could be your Pura Vida bracelet.