The Gatorade Company, Inc., a manufacturer of sports-themed beverage and food products, recently announced the launch of Bolt Breakers, an innovation project in collaboration with CoreSyte, Facebook, Spotify and Twitter to develop new technology platforms that will ultimately help athletes fuel their game. CoreSyte, a company that uses wearable sensors to provide insights about what’s going on inside the human body, is the exclusive athletics partner of Eccrine Systems, a UC spin-off company co-founded by Jason Heikenfeld, PhD and UC College of Engineering and Applied Science Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computing Systems. CoreSyte and Eccrine are working closely to provide Gatorade with a digital sweat patch that has tracking capabilities that can provide real-time sweat profiles for athletes.
Eccrine Systems, born out of collaborative research with Air Force Research Labs and spun out of UC in 2013, is Heikenfeld’s third start-up, and a portion of the company is owned by UC, given its extensive patent filings related to the sweat sensing technologies. The company has been making great strides since our June 2015 article about their approval for a $1 Million Commercial Acceleration Loan Fund (CALF) loan from Ohio Third Frontier. Heikenfeld is currently on an entrepreneurial sabbatical—and his first one at that—to focus on helping Eccrine move forward with its patent-pending Sweatronics® technology, and to support the expanding universe of commercialization activities at Eccrine Systems.
Undoubtedly, Heikenfeld’s sabbatical has proved fruitful as Gatorade announced on March 14, 2016 that they were partnering with tech companies to “focus on making personalized workouts and training easier for athletes of all levels to achieve.” The sweat patch that Eccrine Systems and CoreSyte are developing uses proprietary sensor configurations and specialized software algorithms to measure sodium, potassium and chloride concentrations of sweat in real-time, non-invasively.
Assuming all goes well, the ground-breaking technology work of Heikenfeld and his latest commercial venture will help empower Gatorade’s commitment as “The Sports Fuel Company” by “allowing athletes to know exactly what nutrients their bodies need based on the information their sweat is providing. Additionally, coaches and trainers can meet specific needs of their athletes and monitor hydration levels.”*