If we go back to the long tail theory (that Chris Anderson laid out in Wired magazine in 2004), we will be reminded that niches make up a large part of the digital market, both for products and services. Just think about how many specialized social networks are popping up, the recent wearables boom, and the opportunities for making devices with specific functions….That’s what this story is about.
Local content networks, such as Foursquare, Tripadvisor, Yelp or Google Local are too generic. What if you need detailed information about the beaches in our area? The beaches with the best waves? The beaches good for surfing? After this, once beaches are under control, if you’re a surfer, what do you do with your smartphone? What will I do with it while surfing? What if I could… wear it?
This was the idea behind Glassy Pro: the Spanish smartwatch for surfers. The company behind it is Gradient Technologies, founded by Mikel Alonso in Valencia.
The first step: the app
First came Glassy, the application. Its interface and functionality have personalized components (you can keep track of your surf sessions), social components (a timeline with activity from your friends), competition (rankings so users can compete against each other) and content creation: “spots”, or beaches around the world where you can catch waves.
If a spot doesn’t yet exist in your database, the app invites you to create it; if it does, you will find the mapped location, the current weather, the current height and speed of the waves and the wind speed and direction.
The efforts of the company and particularly the community have allowed Glassy to collect more than 4,000 beaches on their database, all with detailed information and ready for wave lovers.
The second step and the great challenge: Glassy Pro, the wearable
And then came Glassy Pro, the watch. Glassy Pro is a smartwatch that makes use of several technical features, such as GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope, in addition to information from the app (waves and weather) all geared toward a very specific niche: surfers.
In a similar way to Fitbit, Jawbone and other devices related to running and other physical activities, Glassy Pro tracks surfers’ activity while they are in the water. The wearable tracks the time the surfer spends in the water, how long it takes him or her to catch each wave, as well as the number of waves caught. It also adds a layer of geolocalization so that everything stored is related to the time and place of the session.
The Glassy Pro wearable device is currently in the pre-sale stage. Orders are being accepted at the price point of 279 euros. Surf lovers will be able to get their hands on them this summer.