Sunday, August 4, 2013

BioBeats: Adaptive Media for Better Health

Founded by Nadeem Kassam, BioBeats is a healthtech startup that merges entertainment and healthcare. Believing that our devices and media should interact with us, BioBeats develops adaptive media technologies, which reacts to the human body's environment and vital signs in real time. The startup hopes to help people live healthier, more engaging lives by monitoring themselves with biometrics.

BioBeats' first product, Pulse, launched at SXSW 2012. Holding your finger over your iPhone's camera prompts the app to play music according to your heartbeat. Recently, Biobeats partnered with hip hop group the Far East Movement to create an event powered by more than 1.5 million heartbeats from around the world. Pulse went on to win the Spotify Hackathon Echonest Prize at SXSW.

BioBeats will soon be releasing BioMuse, which builds playlists based on your heart rate, breathing, and other physiological factors. In other words, BioMuse automatically searches for music to fit your mood. BioBeats plans to eventually create a suite of products that “use entertainment to facilitate the wellness process,” including an app that generates custom music from a group of samples. The company is working on a clinical app for hospitals as well.

BioBeats recently raised $650,000 in seed funding from actor Will Smith, music manager Scooter Braun, entertainment lawyer Ken Hertz, actor Damon Wayans, artist management exec Mark Beaven, musician Justin Boreta, record label Cantora Records, Zhen Fund, ENIAC Ventures, and angel investors Kevin Colleran and Gotham Chopra. According to Kassam, he secured more than his target amount due to “the deep interest from all these partners.”

BioBeats was founded in 2012 after David Plans (VP product) and Davide Morelli (VP engineering) pitched to Kassam their program to visualize and sonify brain waves using just an iPhone and a custom-built headset. Kassam immediately saw the opportunity to use heart data to create experiential music, as well as fulfill his dream of uniting healthcare and entertainment.

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