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Mc10 has raised a $10 million funding round to develop its line of wearable electronics that are light and flexible enough to conform to the human body.
The company’s digital products can be placed inside or outside the body; they include sensors that chart blood pressure, brain activity, muscle function and hydration levels. Rather than making traditional electronics smaller, Mc10′s goal is to turn them into flexible systems that are invisible to users, but are constantly working to monitor the body’s core functions.
On the consumer side, where it has received the lion’s share of attention, the company competes with wearable electronics companies like Battle Sports Science and Impakt that produce tools for fitness junkies. Health and fitness is an early focus for MC10 — one of the first products that will hit the market in 2013 is a scullcap that can be worn under helmets by athletes. Developed in partnership with Reebok, it measures the impact of collisions, and will alert athletes and their supporters on the sidelines, if they need to seek medical attention.
Above: Flexible electronics on a person’s arm.
People are increasingly obsessed with monitoring their health (this behavior is viewed in Silicon Valley as part of a budding “Quantified Self” movement), so there is a massive opportunity for the 30-person Cambridge, Mass.-based startup. From a scientific standpoint, the company has an impressive roster of advisors that include Professor George Whitesides, noted biochemist, and Dr. Marvin Slepian, a cardiologist at the University of Arizona.
Today, the company raised capital from medical device-maker Medtronic, and existing venture investors, North Bridge Venture Partners and Braemar Energy Ventures, among others. To date, the founders has received $33 million in funds.
“With a strong set of complementary capabilities, they [our investors] bring much more to MC10 than capital. These partnerships will help MC10 accelerate time-to-market for the products we are developing in consumer, digital health and medical devices,” said David Icke, the company’s CEO in a statement.
Fitness tracking image // leungchopan, Shutterstock