LAS VEGAS, Jan. 9, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Seismic, an apparel company making clothes fused with discreet robotic muscles to create Powered Clothing™, today announced four new strategic partnerships with leading companies across the occupational safety, wellness and lifestyle, and healthcare industries at CES® 2019, the largest consumer electronics show in the world. The news signals Seismic’s expansion beyond personal wellness to multiple Powered Clothing applications spanning a breadth of industries. The partners include:
- Cintas Corporation, the largest supplier of corporate identity uniform programs in North America;
- Obayashi, one of Japan’s largest construction companies;
- Transforming Age, a national non-profit offering modern wellness and lifestyle choices for older adults;
- and Solid Biosciences, a life science company focused on solving Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
Seismic’s first collection of Powered Clothing debuted on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt 2018, the world’s largest technology startup conference. Named the “core wellness suit,” the garment is designed to augment human strength for the everyday consumer looking to enhance his core strength and posture. The bespoke suits have robotic components that provide up to 30 watts of power to each hip and the lower back to support daily activities — like sitting, standing, lifting, or carrying — and give people a physical advantage in their personal lives.
Demonstrating the broad potential of its core technology and team, Seismic will address new verticals with the support of strategic partners, creating innovative applications of Powered Clothing extended now to occupational safety, wellness and lifestyle and healthcare fields.
“We have strategically pursued different market verticals with significant partners that share our vision for impacting quality of life in their respective areas through Powered Clothing,” Seismic CEO and founder Rich Mahoney said. “Today’s news confirms the value of our mission to create apparel innovation to deliver broadly industry-changing impact. I’m thrilled to open our programmable platform to our partners and enhance Powered Clothing’s utility in new ways to achieve unprecedented results in industries beyond personal wellness like occupational safety, wellness and lifestyle, and healthcare.”
In a space where the dominant approach so far has been based on exoskeletons, Seismic is forging a different path as a clothing company, and at CES 2019, the most influential global technology show, is announcing new vertical partnerships, which will be key to the company’s growth strategy:
OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH
According to Pew Research Center, more than 150 million Americans are part of the U.S. workforce and the majority of them (102.6 million) work in the service sector. Service work include goods-production, transportation, construction and retail trade — jobs that generally require a level of physical strength and core wellness in order to meet work requirements.
However, the core wellness industry has still largely unmet needs. Postural weakness is the second most common cause of disability in U.S. adults and a common reason for lost work days. Postural weakness can lead to back pain, reduced mobility and a decreased quality of life. The amount of lost wages and loss of productivity is estimated to be a total annual cost of $100 billion.
Seismic Powered Clothing addresses the need for core wellness on-the-job as it enters the occupational market in partnership with Cintas Corporation. Cintas serves more than one million businesses and every day, more than 5 million people go to work in a Cintas uniform. Cintas is a publicly held Fortune 500 company traded over the Nasdaq Global Select Market and is a component of both the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index and Nasdaq-100 Index. Co-development plans between Cintas and Seismic will begin immediately in areas of product and distribution for service worker support in industries including food service, automotive, hospitality and others. Cintas and Seismic will collaborate to bring Powered Clothing to the workforce.
Seismic has also entered into an agreement to begin co-developing next-generation industrial Powered Clothing with one of the largest construction organizations in Japan, Obayashi Corporation, a global team of 14,000 employees across 14 countries. The collaboration focuses on producing industry-specific clothing distributed and worn by Obayashi’s construction workforce. Seismic suits will be worn as a base layer to support workers’ core muscles to help augment strength when lifting, carrying or extended standing. Manual labor positions demand considerable physical exertion and this partnership aims to alleviate worksite fatigue. The first phase of this partnership will focus on initial product prototyping and pre-market testing this year.
WELLNESS AND LIFESTYLE
Having grown 12.8% in the last two years, health and wellness is the new trillion dollar industry, now valued at $4.2 trillion according to The Global Wellness Institute. As people incorporate more wellness values into their lifestyle, interaction with the wellness economy is becoming more intentional and less episodic.
Well ahead in recognizing that wellness is already a dominant American lifestyle value, Transforming Age, a wellness and lifestyle network serving older adults, is the first industry company Seismic is partnering with in an early-stage membership program designed to offer advanced access of Powered Clothing to people living across the lifestyle brand’s modern retirement communities. Transforming Age has reserved the first 200 suits as Seismic becomes available in market. Residents have the opportunity to be the first consumers to try a limited-edition release of Seismic suits and participate in a VIP membership program. Feedback from beta test wearers — some many months already into the program — will continue to help refine Seismic apparel performance.
Seismic’s first-ever brick-and-mortar boutique studio opened late last year at Skyline, a modern urban retirement community in downtown Seattle owned and operated by Transforming Age. As part of the membership program, Skyline residents have access to the personal, high-touch customer service offered in this sleek, upscale studio. Custom suits are tailored for individual fit which are available to members only. Members will have access to Seismic’s apparel studio team comprised of experts trained to deliver the optimal suit experience and help improve the wearer’s muscular movement using data collected by an activated suit. Additional membership benefits include access to VIP events and educational seminars.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Seismic and be involved with emerging technologies that further our mission to transform the perception of age,” Transforming Age CEO and President Torsten Hirche said.
Based on new data about the size of the booming $8 trillion healthcare industry, technological advancements in the health sector are on the rise still with many unmet needs. Seismic is entering healthcare to demonstrate innovative applications with Powered Clothing, and is partnering with life sciences company Solid Biosciences to collaborate on the latest advancements in technologies for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The goals of the partnership are to apply Powered Clothing to help patients perform day-to-day activities with greater ease while ensuring development is guided by feedback from the Duchenne community to deliver appropriate design and functionality. New advancements in Powered Clothing derived from this research and development will help Seismic expand to other disability populations and rehabilitation partnership programs.
Seismic creates apparel integrated with discreet robotics. Its Powered Clothing™ augments human strength and gives mobility to muscles and joints. The company’s first-of-its kind suit is custom-fitted for each individual’s anatomy and programmed to their lifestyle goals, enabling wearers to overcome limitations and achieve full physical potential. Seismic’s technology was originally developed at SRI International for a DARPA-funded program. Based in Menlo Park, Calif., the company has assembled a team of experts in textile innovation, robotics, biomechanics, and artificial intelligence. Seismic has raised more than $22 million in equity financing from Global Brain Ventures, Horizons Ventures, Sinovation Ventures, Root Ventures, as well as multiple strategic investors.
About Cintas Corporation
Cintas Corporation helps more than one million businesses of all types and sizes get Ready™ to open their doors with confidence every day by providing a wide range of products and services that enhance our customers’ image and help keep their facilities and employees clean, safe and looking their best. With products and services including uniforms, floor care, restroom supplies, first aid and safety products, fire extinguishers and testing, and safety and compliance training, Cintas helps customers get Ready for the Workday™. Headquartered in Cincinnati, Cintas is a publicly held company traded over the Nasdaq Global Select Market and is a component of both the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and the Nasdaq-100 Index.
About Obayashi Corporation
Obayashi Corporation is a construction company based in Tokyo, Japan, which was founded in 1892 and has nearly 10,000 employees worldwide. With projects spanning 30 countries around the globe, Obayashi builds office, industrial, commercial, medical and residential projects as well as roads, bridges, railways, dams, power plants and water treatment facilities, including the completed San Antonio River/San Pedro Creek Flood Control Project and, currently under construction, the Seattle Beacon Hill Station and Tunnel Project and Golden Gate Bridge Seismic Retrofit Project in the United States. Obayashi’s other notable projects include Beverly Hills Hotel renovation; Walt Disney Concert Hall garage; Roppongi Hills Mori Tower, the largest office building in Japan; and the Tokyo Bay Bridge. The company was first introduced to the U.S. market in 1967 when it built the Surfrider Hotel in Hawaii. Obayashi’s U.S. building operations, now under Obayashi USA, LLC, include E.W. Howell Co., Inc.; John S. Clark Company, LLC; J.E. Roberts-Obayashi Corporation; and OC Real Estate Management, LLC.
About Transforming Age
Transforming Age is a leading not for profit organization committed to improving the lives of older adults through community housing and services, technology development, research and advocacy. Founded in 1956, the organization currently operates 16 communities in Washington, Minnesota and Nebraska. In addition, it provides operations and management as well as a variety of other business services to the industry. Transforming Age has a history of creating innovative solutions and advocacy opportunities for older adults. The Transforming Age Foundation provides support for the organization through a variety of philanthropic programs aimed improving older adults lives and society as a whole.