SmartBeat was founded in 2015 by a couple of application developers that were more interested in running trails than developing software. Part of this included volunteering as test athletes in physiology labs, which made us wonder why wearables were not being used more in research.

This question led to a part time project to “build a kind of cloud based physiology lab”, which we laughably thought would work, and would take us a few months. When the scale, difficulty and potential of the idea became clear, the project grew into a collaboration between developers and research physiologists in the UK, South Africa and Australia to develop SmartBeat as an athlete/researcher community, allowing physiology studies of athletes at a vast scale, and giving recreational athletes an app providing some cool insights on what was going on under the hood. This idea manifested in two interlinked projects.