Our Design Journey
The Prana wearable was in development for over 5 years by our multi-disciplinary team of mechanical, electrical, and software engineers as well as medical doctors. Our patented technology packs advanced sensor and biomechanical engineering in a compact new retractable form factor enabling the integration of our 3 key wellness features. Our firmware and app in turn embed advanced algorithms and signal processing to help ensure accuracy of data and measurements, as well as a top-level program to make your training intuitive and simple.
One of the obvious questions with any new wearable device is “How do you wear it”? The requirements of our features made the answer to this quite a challenging journey. Our team initially explored many different options such as bulky belts, adhesive skin patches, and various clips and magnetic clasps. All of them fell short due to a variety of limitations. Skin adhesives can loosen due to moisture, need to be re-purchased, sometimes require shaving hair, and aren’t
convenient for rapid and frequent deployments such as for a 3-minute training session. Clothing clips on the other hand require a particular configuration of non-loose clothing, like a tight waistband, shirt, or bra. And neither of these would support the challenge of simultaneously and reliably tracking both breathing and posture--diaphragmatic breathing in particular—and let alone body measurements. This led us to our retractable design, featuring many innovations along the way. Prana started off three times as large, and slowly evolved and miniaturized over several years to a design which supports a reliable production process today, and fits in the palm of your hand.
Andre is an engineer, patented inventor, computer book author, and entrepreneur. He has launched startups ranging from game development studio Casual Mechanics to a new angioplasty technology in treating heart disease. He is named as inventor on more than 10 U.S. patents and pending patents, including successfully developing and licensing the technology in patent 6,130,666, a pen computer system which was incorporated in the Cpen product line and distributed around the world. Andre’s interest in merging breathing and technology was sparked after spending a week living /meditating at San Francisco Zen Center’s Green Gulch Farm, and observing the profound impact good breathing can have on our sense of wellness.
Dr. Paul Abramson
Dr. Abramson MD received his medical degree from the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and comes from a multigenerational lineage of medical doctors. He is Board Certified in Family Medicine, Certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine, and completed a Residential Senior Fellowship in Integrative Medicine at Dr. Andrew Weil’s Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona. He is also a former electrical engineer and programmer. He has been a pioneer in the use of self-tracking technologies in medical care, blogging and speaking as The Quantified Doctor and developing the Quant Coach Program within My Doctor Medical Group. He has been self-tracking for health and greater awareness for many years, both with technological tools and through Vipassana (mindfulness) meditation.
VP Interactive & Design, Co-Founder
Alex is a video game industry vet who has worn virtually every hat in the business, from game designer to executive producer. Alex has been involved in the iOS industry from the start, founding popular iOS app review site AppVee, which was acquired in 2010, as well as founding App Minis—an iOS game company with over 20 million downloads and creator of the Top 10 Grossing game “Design This Home”. He brings his considerable design experience and front line understanding of user engagement to gamifying Prana’s user experience. Alex has been immersed in Yoga from a young age, with his mother teaching it for 40 years, and growing up being taught the importance of breath.