Canadian Startup Airo Health Cancels Preorders for Wearable Tech, Requires ‘Further Testing’

Last month Airo Health revealed its flagship product, AIRO, a health-monitoring device. The Waterloo-based company described the wearable tech piece as “a sleek wristband that automatically monitors nutrition, stress, exercise and sleep [and] analyzes caloric consumption, stress patterns, daily exertion and sleep quality to provide actionable insights that coach users towards better overall health.”

At the time, Airo said its wristband “stands as a beacon for what is truly possible at the intersection of wearable technology and mobile health.” However, the Canadian company has now cancelled preorders and is issuing full refunds to early adopters, citing a need for further testing and calibration.

“Our early testing of AIRO shows tremendous promise, but through conversations with others in the industry, we have come to realize that it requires further testing and calibration through more extensive trials before it will be ready for general market availability,” wrote founder Abhilash Jayakumar in an email to backers this week. “The additional validation required will take us some time and, unfortunately, we no longer expect to be able to ship the first AIRO wristbands by Fall 2014 as initially indicated.”

According to the startup, nutrition is monitored by the device using different wavelengths of light to look into the blood stream and detect metabolites as they are released while and after you eat. AIRO also utilizes heart rate variability to monitor micro-fluctuations in stress throughout the day. As well, AIRO monitors daily exertion through heart rate and caloric burn. And finally, sleep is monitored by looking at the autonomic nervous system to notice distinct sleep cycles.

Operating out if the VeloCity Garage, Airo Health was founded in early 2013 by three University of Waterloo Engineering graduates: Naman Kumar, Emmanuel DeVries, and Abhilash Jayakumar.