Integrating software with hardware has become the Holy Grail for tech companies — they can sell better, more specialized products, giving their customers a unified and unique experience. So it should be no surprise that Boulder-based Kindara recently announced a new product called “Wink,” which helps women take control (and gain knowledge) over their personal fertility.
To understand Wink, you need to understand Kindara. The company uses fertility tracking to help women better understand their bodies and reach their fertility goals (for both those women looking to get pregnant and those wanting to avoid it). Tracking fertility means tracking a woman’s basal body temperature (BBT). Until now, the hardware wasn’t fully integrated into Kindara’s app.
Wink is a highly accurate wireless smart thermometer that links seamlessly to the Kindara app on users’ smartphones or tablets. It makes the fertility tracking process easier, because it takes away the step of manually adding in the users temperature every day. It can also prevent user error (entering a 6 when you meant 8) or forgetting to enter it at all.
Integrating hardware into the process was always part of the plan for Kindara, whose mission is “to help women feel powerful with their bodies,” said co-founder and CEO Will Sacks.
"If you look at FitBit, what they knew is that by knitting together the hardware and the software, they were creating a fundamentally different experience for their consumer,” said Sacks. For users now, “it's a little bit annoying to take your temperature manually and then enter it into their phones,” said Sacks. “Knitting together this experience means that more people will be willing to do this,” he added.
More users equals more knowledge and impact.
To hear Sacks speak, Kindara is developing more than just a smart, next-generation thermometer. By creating a unified experience, the company wants to “communicate to women through engineering that we care about their experience enough to go this extra mile for them,” said Sacks.
After all, Kindara isn’t working on trivial pursuits. For those wanting to get pregnant, having tools that perform as they promise is essential. Shelling out for a sub-par thermometer is counterproductive. On the other side, for the women seeking to avoid pregnancy, having an accurate reading that works seamlessly with the overall app and product is just as important.
From App to Hardware
Kindara started with an app. Once they were ready to deploy the thermometer, the company ran focus groups in Boulder to get the design they wanted. They tested multiple parts of the product and then “triangulated” what was most important for success. They then found the partners that could help make it happen.
The product looks more like a tube of lipstick than a thermometer, and it's designed that way. It makes it easy for women to take their thermometers whenever, wherever, without having to tell others what they are doing. In fact, the thermometer vibrates instead of beeping when it’s done, so it doesn’t disturb a sleeping partner (the company encourages women to take their temperature first thing in the morning). It’s also quick: it records a users basal temperature up to four times faster than other thermometers.
Wink is available for pre-order stages for $79. Sacks aims to have full production of prototypes by early 2015 and shipping to customers by June.
A Growing Market
At the end of August, the company raised another $700,000 from SOS Venture, Vast Ventures and Drummond Road Capital. That money has translated into more than 30,000 pregnancies since the company was founded. Sacks said they are now helping around 100 women get pregnant everyday.