The most innovative wearable startups of UK in 2021
One of the most exciting consumer technology trends that’s sizzling right now is wearables.
Rewind a few years, and wearables were limited to smartwatches or virtual reality headsets: the most obvious examples, Apple Watch or a FitBit. Gradually, wearables have transformed into new categories catering to diverse industries. Now there are wearable suits fitted with sensors, wearable prosthetics, and so much more.
Consequently, a cohort of British companies has also mushroomed in the wearable sector in recent years, intending to create a new definition for these products. We take a quick run through these unique and interesting wearable startups which have exciting plans for the future ahead.
Founder/s: David Grey, Sumanta Talukdar
Founded year: 2014
Oxfordshire-based WaveOptics aims to unlock the possibilities of Augmented Reality (AR) for the mass market. Their waveguides and projectors are key components in the AR wearable devices and smart glasses. It develops AR technology that overlays normal glasses.
In February this year, Netherlands-based Luxexcel, an innovative tech company specialising in 3D printed prescription lenses, entered into a partnership with WaveOptics to develop a new fashionable and comfortable to wear AR smart glasses.
Femtech startup Elvie — based out of London — has already gained a lot of popularity via social media for its world’s first silent breast pump.
Along with its original wearable, the company also unveiled Elvie Trainer, an app-connected Kegel wearable. Kegel exercises reduce recovery time from childbirth and improve bladder control.
Back in 2019, Elvie also pocketed $42 million Series B funding led by IPGL and supported by Octopus Ventures and Impact Ventures UK. The startup used the funding to accelerate it’s R&D efforts, increase brand awareness and distribution of products across the Americas, Europe and Asia.
Founder/s: Jason McKeown, Paul McGeoch
Founded year: 2013
Neurovalens, is a Belfast healthtech startup and works on inventing wearables focused on users’ health. The products launched by the company so far include Modius Health and Modius Sleep. Modius Health is a headband, which helps lose weight by buzzing your brain. While the latter intends to solve sleep problems sans any medication.
In January last year, the healthtech wearable maker raised £4.6 million in one of the largest ever funding generated by a Northern startup. The investment came from London-based Wharton Asset Management along with TechStart Ventures, IQ Capital, Beltrae Partners, Co-Fund NI and the Angel CoFund.
Sky Medical Technology
Founder/s: Bernard Ross
Founded year: 2006
Sky Medical Technology headquartered in High Wycombe, has developed a bioelectronic device, which stimulates the human nervous system’s local areas to increase blood circulation. The wearable helps in treating a range of acute as well as chronic circulatory conditions including venous thromboembolism.
Sky Medical Technology raised nearly £30 million with the latest funding round that came from Angel CoFund and Juno Syndicate in 2017.
Founder/s: Roy Hotrabhvanon
Founded year: 2017
Founded by graduates from the University of Edinburgh, PlayerData is a wearable tech startup with a product named Edge. It is a dual hardware and software platform that lets teams and individuals access performance data and monitor their training.
The device provides insights into distances covered, position on a pitch and tracking speed.
The startup investment came from Sir Terry Leahy and other prominent private investors to support market entry and its next phase of growth. Further, it will let the company fast-track the launch of its sports team and individual athlete products.
Founder/s: Rebecca Pick
Founded year: 2014
Glasgow’s Pick Protection has developed a device, which monitors the activity of vulnerable lone workers and provides GPS location services and with an SOS alarm capability that the worker can activate.
PG Pebble, is one of the company’s products, with the others being the PG Smart app, PG X satellite device and others. PG Pebble enhances connectivity in rural and remote locations, too, thanks to roaming SIM.
Founder/s: Leo Scott Smith
Founded year: 2017
Tended based out of Lincolnshire in the East Midlands of England, is a wearable startup that combines artificial intelligence, wearable tech, and the Internet of Things (IoT) to create safety solutions for businesses and consumers.
In 2018, the company launched Tended Protect wearable, which is small, lightweight and incredibly powerful. The wearable keeps employees connected to their teams and alerts them in real-time if anything goes wrong. It detects accidents via AI, motion detection and more. There is also a panic alarm for SOS needs.
The Blackfinch Ventures-backed startup had also been recognised as the UK’s most innovative and exciting tech startups by Tech Nation in 2019
Founder/s: Esther Rodriguez Villegas, Emilio Sanz Pereiras, Anas Imtiaz
Founded year: 2016
Acurable is a venture-backed, fast-growing medical devices company with offices in London and Seville.
Back in October 2020, they announced the launch of its first product, AcuPebble SA100. A small wearable device which enables a fully automated and remote diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA).
The startup has got funding backing from prominent investors including Kindred Capital and Alma Mundi Ventures and two grants worth £1.4 million from Innovate UK.