12/04/2016

Balancing act

Viclink start-up Swibo is poised to take its innovative product—a gamified balance board that takes the chore out of physiotherapy exercises—to the world, thanks to new partnerships it is developing in Australia and the United States.

 

The team of Victoria engineering and design alumni—Benjamin Dunn, Lukas Stoecklein, Connor Broad and Zac Bird—first formed the idea at the Victoria Entrepreneur Bootcamp two years ago, and has been developing it into a marketable product ever since.

 

The system—a lightweight balance training board called ‘Tilt’—allows users to play games by standing on and tilting the board, strengthening their muscles and improving their overall balance as a result.  It uses any smartphone to connect the board to a computer which runs the games, and analyses the board’s movements and measurements, helping physiotherapists to track users’ improvements and provide tailored training as required.

 

“Statistics show that only 35 per cent of physiotherapy patients do all the exercises they need to recover—which means that 65 per cent are not recovering from their injuries properly,” says Benjamin, Swibo’s Managing Director. “We wanted to make physiotherapy exercises fun, so that people are motivated to keep doing them and recover fully. And what could be more fun than playing a game?!”

 

A company which distributes products to physiotherapy clinics across Australia seems to agree. “They are interested in adding our product to their existing line, which means we can leverage their networks without having to build our own—a huge time-saver for us,” says Benjamin.

 

With so many potential applications for the technology, Benjamin says that it is easy to get lost in the opportunities. “Tilt could be used to improve balance in the elderly and therefore prevent falls, or to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities that relate to balance, like amputees. Thanks to continued support from our Viclink-funded mentor, Michael Elwood-Smith, we’re able to stay focused on our first markets of choice—the physiotherapy, sports and fitness industries.”

 

In line with that direction, Swibo is in the process of partnering with a gamified fitness equipment company in the United States, which exhibited Tilt at a recent sports/fitness trade show in Florida. Benjamin says that interest at the show was high, and they are now considering what form the partnership will take, be it sales channel or full development partner.

 

“We believe we can make a real difference with Tilt and are excited for people to start using it and seeing its benefits.”

 

www.swibo.co.nz

 

For more information on Swibo Tilt, contact Emily Grinter by phone 04 463 9604 or email emily.grinter@viclink.co.nz



Photo credit: Olivia Pitcher