A French startup company, Equisense had launched Balios, a real time data collecting system generated not by the rider, but the horse.
The launch in early November this year reveals that it is capable of tracking the condition and performance of each race horse.
Balios takes the form of a device that is fastened alongside the girth of any horse saddle, transmitting data during training sessions through Bluetooth 4.0 to a mobile app, both IOS and Android capable.
In essence, it can be likened to chest-heart rate monitor of a fitness app, tracking movements and cardiovascular health.
Beyond that, Balios also tracks the horse’s cadence, stride length and jump trajectory, movement symmetry, gait and cadence as the race horse goes through its paces.
At the end of the session, the application receiving the data from Balios generates a training report that can be analyzed by coaches, riders and even veterinarians.
Once the measurements are downloaded and processed, users will be informed of any injury at risk, fatigue and determine areas of improvement.
The creators also ensured that Balios was capable of holding its own in harsh environments. Resistant to any sort of elemental damage that could come from water and mud, it can also last up to eight hours after a single charge.
While the idea was fresh on the market early November, Equisense had minimum manufacturing funding.
On a hunch, Equisense launched a Kickstarter campaign to generate capital for production.
“We believe it can change the world of horseback riding.” Says Equisense’s Co-Founder Benoît Blancher.
Indeed, within four hours of the announcement, Equisense reached its funding goal of 150,000 euros (about $163,000) through pre-ordering.
With such early success in this niche market, it will be interesting to see how the device improves the level of riding in equestrian competitions.
Correspondingly, Balios may be the next gadget that influences tech companies to invest more in small niche markets for more specific data analysis applications.