Greta Kreuzer is so highly concentrated during the interview that she starts to sweat. Her pulse rises to over 80, her body temperature by 0.3 degrees. She can follow this live on her cell phone because the head of the Munich-based startup Cosinuss wears a very special button in her ear. The Cosinuss One wearable, which is most reminiscent of a hearing aid, constantly and, above all, extremely reliably measures important vital signs such as pulse, oxygen saturation and body temperature in the ear canal. These are then sent wirelessly via Bluetooth to a device of choice.
"Above all, continuous temperature measurement via sensors is completely unique. Until now, the only way to do this wirelessly in the mobile sector was via uncomfortable rectal probes," says Kreuzer. The new wearable is particularly appealing to endurance athletes in the leisure and elite sectors, who can do without the uncomfortable chest strap. Jan Frodeno, Olympic triathlon champion and triumphant competitor at the legendary Ironman in Hawaii, is so enthusiastic that he even wants to be involved in further product development.
Olympic champion Jan Frodeno enthusiastic about Cosinuss
"For as long as I can remember, I have always had to wear a chest strap to measure my pulse during training. This is now no longer necessary and much more accurate thanks to the small sensor in the ear. And in addition to the pulse, the wearable also continuously measures the body temperature. In the future, we will also use this additional measured value as an important parameter for analysis and thus optimize the training or competition. Especially in extreme heat, body temperature has a direct influence on performance," says Frodeno.
More measuring device than lifestyle product
The special feature of this wearable is that it is not primarily a lifestyle product like the popular wristbands, but the focus is on the function of the measuring device. This also makes the Cosinuss One interesting for completely different business areas. For example, the vital functions of elderly people who want to live at home instead of in care could be continuously monitored without major physical impairment. Incidentally, more reliably than with pulse watches or finger clips. In the event of a shock, only the core of the body is supplied with blood - this does not include the limbs. But it does include the head, where the button is located in the ear.
From contraception to research
Another possible application could be pregnancy prevention - as is well known, a woman's body temperature changes during the fertile phase. "Researchers are also hot on our product and have bought it - whether from the field of sleep research, in the military or brain research. The latter, for example, have put a Cosinuss One in each ear of test subjects - and found that body temperature changes depending on which hemisphere of the brain is engaged," Greta Kreuzer reports.
Together with her husband Johannes, she has been building up the start-up, which now has ten full-time employees and six student workers, since 2011. The basis was a doctoral thesis by the founder. In the meantime, the company has a six-figure turnover and is working on satisfying the demand that has so far existed exclusively via online orders even faster. Even though the break-even point has not yet been reached, seven so-called "business angels" are supporting the young company with their venture capital.
Spectacular developments in the pipeline
The company has further spectacular developments in the pipeline. Lifestyle elements such as music are to be integrated into another wearable, and in the future there could be direct recommendations for users beyond the bare data. Greta Kreuzer believes that her company has a bright future, but would like to see better framework conditions for startups in Germany: "There is a lot of talk about digitization, but at the same time there is a great fear of trying out new things. In Germany, the problem is often seen first; the basic mood needs to become more positive." Then Greta Kreuzer would certainly stop sweating so much.