29 Sep Meet The ALEX Team
We sat down with the Jonathan and Chee, CTO and CEO of Namu INC and the brains behind wearable posture coach ALEX.
Guide: Interviewer = I Chee = C Jonathan = J
I: Could you briefly introduce yourselves?
C: My name is Chee, CTO of NAMU. I led the development team that was in charge of the invention and implementation of ALEX.
J: I am Jonathan, the CEO NAMU INC., and one of the founders.
I: I guess a big question is why did you focus on correcting people’s posture? Do you guys personally have good or bad posture?
C: I sometimes have mild chronic pain on my right shoulder. I found that many people I know are suffering from chronic neck and back pain, yet they are trying to find solutions through one-time therapy or quick and easy treatment.
Chronic neck and back pain is caused by the accumulation of bad posture habits over time. Which means it takes some time to create a change in behavior to correct it. That’s when I started to think about a device that can coach people to improve their posture over time.
J: Before founding this business, I worked long hours at my desk all the time. While working, I saw that my co-workers’ and my own posture tended to collapse a few hours into our shift. This lead to chronic neck and back pain.
It was critical that we stayed healthy at that workplace because missing work would cost us money and time. I tried to search for a product that could ease the pain and strengthen my posture, but I couldn’t find one. After that, I knew there had to be a better solution, so why not make one myself?
I: You mentioned that you both saw that there weren’t many devices that did what you were looking for, what are the problems with similar products like ALEX? What makes ALEX different?
C: There aren’t many products like us in the posture coach market. There are posture correctors, but lots of them are for people recovering from surgery and treatment. Usually, posture correctors that we see are combined with fitness trackers, and they don’t solely focus on correcting posture.
Some of the products claim that it is easy to use and corrects bad posture instantly, which is not true. ALEX is different in a sense that it is user-friendly and changes behavior over time and corrects posture for the long-term.
J: Some smart devices like fitness trackers don’t focus on solely on posture. They aim to be posture correctors that can detect and assess every single posture problem people have. However, some of them are not proven to be effective and customers are doubtful that it can actually improve their posture over time. ALEX is different in a sense in that it is easy to navigate and creates behavior changes on the user’s end.
I: What is a big goal you have for ALEX?
C: Bad posture isn’t something you can just improve like any other bad habit. Before, it was difficult to assess what exactly made good or bad posture. Now, by quantifying types of postures with ALEX, users can assess themselves and see their current status and progress with ALEX.
J: Our goal is to help people with posture problems with ALEX’s posture assessment and alert function. I think quantifying their posture data is a big selling point and will keep people coming back to ALEX. By looking at their own data awe hope that with ALEX our customers can improve their posture by themselves.
I: So far, what has been the most surprising thing about ALEX?
C: Personally, the pain on my right shoulder was solved by using ALEX for a while. It was very exciting as a product developer to actually have my own product work and solve my problem. We are also hearing positive feedback from our customers that suffered from chronic pain (migraines) that their pain was gone after using ALEX for over a month. Obviously, its going to be different customer to customer, but again, it was great to see someone use ALEX to correct their poor posture habits.
J:Recently, ALEX won the TRANS Forum for Medical Startups in Taiwan. It’s been amazing to see it earning positive press worldwide such as in the Czech Republic and UK. I excited to see ALEX live up to its high potential and change people’s lives all around the world.