Wearable tech maker Mio hopes to make exercising easier with this new metric

A manufacturer of wearables for elite athletes is hoping to appeal to the masses with a single new metric that simplifies what you need to know when you’re working out, according to the company founder.

With the introduction of its new data tracking system called personal activity intelligence, or simply ‘PAI,’ Mio Global is looking to branch out into the world of the everyday athlete. PAI is a metric designed for the average user, avoiding complicated jargon and overwhelming statistics. It combines a user’s heart rate data and personal profile information into a single number. The goal for users is to simply keep their PAI score at or above 100 at all times. PAI is available as a beta app for current Mio products, but will be launched fully in September with the new Mio Slice.

“Based upon the incredible feedback we have received so far; we expect Mio Slice will be our most popular product ever,” says Liz Dickinson, founder and CEO of Mio Global in an email.

With countless wearables on the market offering to track even the most obscure metrics, Mio Global’s strategy has been to keep it simple. Traditional chest-worn heart rate monitors can be irritating for the athletes using them, which is why Mio produces wrist-worn heart rate monitors with a high level of accuracy.

In 1999, Liz Dickinson started the company before there was an established heart rate monitor on the market.  “I like to call [wearables] a transitional technology. In the future we will all be connected to the Internet of things by devices that sense signals from our bodies and brains,” says Dickinson. “Heart rate for athletes is just the start!”

Since its founding, Mio has tried to build its reputation as a brand for people who are dedicated to improving their athletic performance.

“A lot of consumers who are not really serious athletes look at products [and pick the one with the most features,]” says Joseph Gray, an endurance runner and athlete ambassador for Mio. “A lot of that stuff is irrelevant.”

He’s referring to devices that collect and present users with an enormous amount of data and statistics. Often, people aren’t really sure what to do with the information or how to track it effectively. Gray has won nine USA national championships and has represented the USA at eight world mountain running championships, so he knows a thing or two about high-level training.

By simply monitoring fluctuations in his heart rate, Gray explains that he can keep better track of his physical condition. When his resting heart rate rises multiple beats, he knows it’s time to cut back on training. “There was a period of time where I felt like I was overtraining, especially in college,” says Gray. “I’d be tired and going to a workout feeling like I wasn’t ready.”

This is a common problem for athletes, and since partnering with Mio in 2012 Gray feels he’s got a better handle on it. According to Mio, “maintaining the right intensity level throughout your workouts helps to prevent injury caused by overtraining and improper pacing.”

See below for a video of Liz Dickinson discussing the science behind PAI:


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Jackie Atkins
Jackie Atkins
Jackie Atkins is a competitive alpine skier, student and aspiring writer who primarily contributes stories about the intersection between technology and sports to ITBusiness.ca.

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