PEAR Sports Receives Phase I Contract from the United States Department of the Air Force Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR)
PEAR to Now Pursue a Phase II Contract for Up to $1.5 Million in Matching Funds to Provide A Custom Digital Fitness Program for Airmen Physical Training and Readiness
Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
PEAR Sports, creators of the PEAR Health & Fitness Platform that delivers digital smart coaching technology, today announced it was awarded a Phase I SBIR contract to investigate how the PEAR Coaching Platform can be used to solve some of the Air Force fitness readiness challenges. The PEAR Coaching Platform is a customized solution for building and delivering dynamic, on-demand coaching and workout sessions through its app and online portal.
Over 63% of Air Force service members are considered overweight or obese. That’s according to a 2018 RAND report that surveyed 18,000 participants across each military service branch. Furthermore, as of March 2019, over 6,000 active duty Airmen had failed their physical fitness tests, and many more are at risk of failing. It is very costly for the Air Force to discharge well trained, technically proficient Airmen for failing to meet physical fitness standards. At this time, the Air Force does not have a universally adopted exercise program that coaches Airmen about how to exercise safely and effectively to achieve results.
According to Lt. Col Adam T. Keith, Director of Operations for the 1st Operations Support Squadron, Joint Base Langley-Eustis VA, “Large squadrons at Langley Air Force Base need to improve group physical training knowledge and resources in order to maintain unit readiness. This is not a problem local to my squadron, but one that is shared with every large unit that takes fitness seriously. As leaders, we have a responsibility to give our Airmen the tools to maintain physical fitness standards for the Air Force and for their own well-being.”
The PEAR Coaching Platform being offered to the Air Force is based on 25 years of science and experience working with thousands of athletes, and it was developed through commercial partnerships with companies like Samsung, Life Fitness, Bose and TRX. When implemented, Air Force Fitness Facilitators will simply assign access to the coaching system, and the PEAR AI Coach will create a personalized training plan based on each individual Airman’s profile. The patented AI software platform takes a 360-degree view using multiple context readings to provide adaptive workouts for each individual that delivers faster results and at a lower cost to the Air Force.
Janet Gund, Health Promotion Coordinator, USAF 11th Wing, Washington’s National Capital Region (NCR), said, “We are very encouraged at the prospect of deploying the PEAR Coaching System to provide an effective, smart digital coaching solution to address the 11th Wing fitness initiatives. It is exciting to pilot a program that uses artificial intelligence to achieve optimal results for both individual and group exercise regimens to improve Airmen readiness and overall fitness measures.”
After meeting with Air Force leaders in June, Tom Davin, PEAR Sports Board Director and a former US Marine Corps Infantry Officer, Reconnaissance company commander and tactics instructor, said, “It is clear that the Air Force has an immediate need for a proven solution that will allow Air Force end-users to build and deliver customized digital fitness training programs for individuals and groups. We are excited about the interest that has been shown in the PEAR Coaching Platform, and we look forward to demonstrating the benefit of our solution to improve Airmen fitness and readiness.”
Phase II of the program provides 1-1 matching funds on private investments and 2-1 on government investments up to $1.5M. This award also establishes the company as “sole source eligible”, allowing for easier contracting within the military. More information about the SBIR program can be found at https://www.afwerx.af.mil/sbir.html.
About PEAR Sports
PEAR Sports is perfecting the personalized delivery of digital health, wellness and fitness programs. Our platform and solutions deliver smarter customized coaching that creates great experiences for users and enterprises. For more information, visit www.pearsports.com.
About Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and AFWERX
AFRL and AFWERX have partnered to streamline the Small Business Innovation Research process in an attempt to speed up the experience, broaden the pool of potential applicants and decrease bureaucratic overhead. Beginning in SBIR 18.2, and now in 19.2, the Air Force has begun offering “Special” SBIR topics that are faster, leaner and open to a broader range of innovations.
Anita Habeich, firstname.lastname@example.org