• Melissa Forstell -MIT

Haloties

The hair tie that tracks your movement


Haloties is the first fashionable and functionable electronic hair tie that tracks posture, movement and exertion. Haloties solves two problems. First, back pain has increased as people spend more time sitting at their desks, even though evidence has shown that improving postural awareness decreases back pain. Second, women do not like their hair ties and hair ties could be greatly improved using a more durable material with a smarter design.





The Start of Haloties

While teaching a Pure Barre class at Harvard Square, Liliana noticed women constantly adjusting their hair ties and ponytails during the workout. She asked herself ‘why can’t someone build a hair tie that actually works?’

At the time, Liliana was enrolled in the MIT Media Lab Human 2.0 class, where her final project was to come up with a machine that could help people accomplish something. Seeing this frequent problem with hair ties, Liliana was empowered to design a better hair tie that solves this problem while also tracking other important metrics such as posture, movement, and exertion. In addition to her firsthand experience in fitness as a Pure Barre instructor, Liliana has a background in healthcare consulting, having also previously worked at CVS on the product development team. She graduated from MIT Sloan in June of 2020 and has been working on Haloties full time. Equipped with a solid foundation from MIT and a plethora of MIT resources, Liliana enlisted her brother Clark and designer Artemisia and decided it was time ready to start working on their first prototype.



The Haloties Product


Haloties is the first fashionable and functional electronic hair tie. Sitting on the midline of the women’s body, Haloties easily measures posture, movement, and exertion. While there are many posture trackers on the market, none are as easy to wear as Haloties. Haloties has the design benefit of combining two products in one: a hair tie that women constantly wear and a fitness tracker. Women can wear Haloties anywhere – while women may not be able to wear a Fitbit or Apple Watch in professional settings, they can easily wear a hair tie. Extensive market research revealed another issue worth solving: women have struggled to find hair ties that they actually like. After many customer discovery interviews, the team discovered the right balance for their first product: not too tight to prevent snagging on the hair, but tight enough to stay in place. The patent-pending Haloties band is very durable, using a material that will not lose its elasticity. Women can also personalize their look with Haloties’ set of modular electronics that are easy to switch out to different bands.


Not only are Haloties sleek and functional, but they also solve a real health problem. Back pain impacts more than 80% of Americans, according to the NIH. Poor posture and obesity are major culprits behind this pain. Increased postural awareness has been associated with reduced back pain and increased mental health in longitudinal studies. Haloties helps solve this problem with easy to track metrics in real time to improve posture.


To date, Haloties has received strong initial traction from medical professionals. Nurses and doctors alike are interested in the product since they cannot wear traditional fitness bands below the elbow for hygiene issues but can easily wear Haloties in their hair. Haloties plans to go after this group as their first target market.


What’s Next for Haloties


Haloties is currently in-market fundraising and looking forward to communicating its value proposition to venture capitalists, both male and female. As a female-founded company, Haloties is excited to bring their product to market, given today, only 13.0% of all VC dollars deployed in 2020 go to female founders, down from 15.5% in 2019. (Pitchbook All In Report 2020)


Haloties has an exciting year ahead. After filing a full patent this past October, Haloties expects to launch their first prototype in March 2021. To date, Haloties has received non-dilutive pre-seed funding from MIT’s Sandbox which helped refine its product market fit, conduct its primary market research, and create its preliminary designs. Haloties is now seeking $200,000 to procure printed circuit boards (“PCBs”) and other electronics, stress test the prototype in different environments, develop a basic Haloties app, and market the product. They are specifically looking to partner with investors that have experience building hardware and in marketing hardware products. To be a part of the first Haloties investment contact mit.haloties@gmail.com.