Episode 16: Quantifying Your Biometrics with OM Signal

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Being Seen [00:59]

Mini 3D LILA was M.I.A. in December. LILA admits that she didn’t bring her out very often and is questioning herself as to why. After all, her 3-inch mini me was created as a motivational tool, a visual reminder to help her in her journey.

LILA realizes that she is wrestling with the concept of “being seen.” She has made progress towards improving her diet and exercise habits. Yet, when she looks at mini 3D LILA, it’s a jarring reminder that she still has a lot of work left to do. The image she has of herself in her head doesn’t match what she sees when she looks at her mini-me—or what others must see when they look at her. This is unsettling for LILA. She wonders about the changes that will come when she reaches her goal and is truly “seen” by others.

Interview with OM Signal [10:24]

LILA interviews Dave from OM Signal which creates Smart Apparel—the merger of technology and clothing.  LILA is excited about their newest product, the OM bra.

Dave explains that their products measure the following biometrics: heart rate, breathing rate, calories burned, and steps taken. What makes OM Signal’s wearable products special is that they are the only company that measures breathing rate, or the rate, depth, and cadence of breathing. Dave says it’s important to measure breathing rate along with heart rate—the result has a predictive quality that can potentially keep the user from injuring themselves.

LILA wonders if OM Signal’s wearable products are just for the serious athlete. Dave assures LILA that even the casual athlete is still an athlete and can therefore benefit from their products.

Why create the OM bra? [19:32]

When OM Signal was first formed, the small company of only men created their first product, the smart shirt.  After their success, and the addition of some women to their team, they created the OM bra.  They wanted to create an all in one product that would reduce the uncomfortable bulkiness of wearing a heart rate monitor strap and a sports bra.

What is OM RUN? [23:28]

OM Signal has also created, OM RUN, an online tool for runners. It uses the biometric data collected by OM Signal’s shirt and bra and helps provide coaching and training for runners.

LILA questions why this program is geared just for runners. Dave explains their decision to focus on one large group of athletes to begin with.  Hopefully, in the future, they will be able to tailor their online tools to support other sports.

Can fitness trackers and biometric data “hurt” people? [31:40]

LILA loves technology. In the past, she enjoyed gathering the data that was generated when she worked out, counting her steps she took as a measure of her fitness. However, LILA realized that the “quantified self” was making her sad. This was one of the reasons why she started 3D LILA—to show that there was a different and gentler way to measure success.

Dave shares his concern over people using biometric data in possibly negative or unhealthy ways. He said that OM Signal felt responsible to “not only provide the biometric feedback, but to also give people counsel on what to do with it—how to behave in a data-rich environment.” This is why a biometric coach was added to their OM Run program, to both educate and train their customers in a healthy way.

Fun questions for Dave [44:06]

Favorite food: all vegetables and fruits—and spicy jalapeno potato chips.

Favorite technology: any technology that grounds people back to the real world. He suggests the meditation app called Headspace.

LILA and her Spiralizer [50:15]

LILA has found a new, favorite kitchen tool. The Spiralizer is a fun gadget that creates noodles out of vegetables. LILA loves to use it to cut up a zuchini into spirals. A favorite recipe of LILA’s is to cook the zuchini noodles with garlic, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, and kalamata olives. YUM!

Significant Quotes:


“The goal is to marry technology with clothing.” [11:38]

“The goal is to develop technology that allows the user to train smart and be fit forever—rather than train super hard and injure themselves.” [15:44]

“We realized that our responsibility and philosophy was to keep people healthy, for as long as possible. To do that, we needed to employ moderation in the approach to physical fitness.” [35:08]

“I had quite the Marilyn Monroe figure at 13-14 years old.” [4:27]

“I am acutely aware of the number on the scale…that I need to reach to be seen. So that I am visible to others.” [6:31]

“The quantified self was making me sad. Getting on the scale each day was ruining my day.” [31:46]


OM Signal: www.omsignal.com

OM Signal Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OMsignal

OM Signal Twitter: @omsignal

Headspace Meditation App: www.headspace.com

Conan O’Brien’s take on the OM Bra: https://twitter.com/omsignal/status/684766988636450816

Veggie Spiralizer that LILA uses:

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