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  • 1. Edward Likovich on 2014-04-02 at 10.03 For Internet Ari Meisel: Hi everyone. Welcome back at [0:00:03] podcast. Now, I’m going to be speaking with Ed Likovich who is the CEO of a company called SunSprite which has an Indiegogo campaign right now and he is concerned with how sunlight affects our body. So Ed, thank your for taking a time to talk to me. Edward: Thank you for having me. Ari Meisel: So first of all, tell me about more a bit about SunSprite is. What is this device? Edward: Yes, so SunSprite is wearable bright light and UV tracker. It’s completely solar powered, connects to the low energy boot to an iOS device that provides an app for coaching and lifestyle changes. We’re concerned about making sure that people get enough sunlight and SunSprite is there to track it all for you. Ari Meisel: So where do you wear this? You wear that on your shirt? You wear that on, I mean how do you use it? Edward: Yeah. It’s got a flexible magnetic attachment, so you can wear it basically any way that you want. We’re concerned about the effect of light coming in through your eyes which helps set your circadian rhythms. So you ideally want to wear it in a place that roughly approximates what your eyes see. Ari Meisel: Okay and what is the optimal level that it’s measuring? I mean how is it, what have you based that on? Edward: Yes. So there’s decades of medical research about 30 years of research that have kind of identified a gold standard, a bright light which is 30 minutes a day of 10, 000 watts of intensity. So it’s both duration and its intensity and there’s a time of the day factor to because you want to get your bright light early in the day so that it signals your brain to wake up and on the other side of that when it comes time to go to sleep, you want to avoid light so that your brain knows it‘s time to go to sleep. Ari Meisel: Okay and then the Indiegogo campaign is going on right now. This, when this podcast comes out the Indiegogo campaign will still be going but this is, you’ve developed it, you’ve tested it right? When do you expect it to be able to actually deliver it? Edward: Yes. So we plan to ship in late June, early July right now. We’ve just started up production and we’re really excited about it. We’ve got a great reception and we’re really looking forward to improving people’s health. debbierojonan Page 1
  • 2. Ari Meisel: Okay, great. So that’s about the device which is great and I definitely recommend people to check this out. We’re going to talk a little more about it but I want to get into the sunlight stuff now. So first of all, so I like that you said the goal standard is 30 minutes, 10, 000 watts but what happens when somebody is you know in Alaska or something in the winter like what is that person supposed to do or someone who works in an office all day like how can they benefit from this kind of information? Edward: Great questions. For people who work indoors, there’s often very little lifestyle changes that you could do to get light. So one of the most popular ones our betatesters has been eating your breakfast or doing your morning e-mail or drinking your coffee facing a sunny window. So you don’t even need to be outside, it’s just bright light coming in through the eyes. Now, for people who are in areas where you get virtually zero light or that’s not even an option. There are number of companies who sell bright light boxes which are about they sound like a giant light box that you can set onto your desk and sit in front of it for 30 minutes a day. Ari Meisel: And is there, so now this is going to measure just the amount of light you’re getting right, but how are you, I mean is there anyway to sort of see the change with this device or you’re just going to be able to see like a pedometer that you’re getting enough? Edward: So our initial release is focused on just measuring the light and then showing you how your light surface score based on this 30 years of medical research. We hope to build out a ton of other features and work study to have so many early doctors to help us drive that process forward. Ari Meisel: So what are some of the other uses you may be kind of see or so many other information you might see using it for later on. Edward: Sure. So right now we’re tracking bright light through the eyes. We also measure UV light which is of interest to a lot of people for vitamin D, for sunburn, for skin cancer and those sorts of things. So there’s a lot that we can do with bright light for energy, bright light for sleep, UV for vitamin D, UV for skin, and this is all going to be driven by our early doctors in what they are interested in. Ari Meisel: And then with the device, the iOS app itself. So there’s a really great imagery on the campaign which will include on my show notes, but basically is there something you think people should be checking throughout the day or you debbierojonan Page 2
  • 3. know it’s like oh, it’s 6 o’ clock or 5 o’ clock and you haven’t gotten enough light like go do something or how is that going to sort of a natural lifestyle change? Edward: One of the interesting things we’ve found is just how largely unaware people are about their lighting exposure and even those who are kind of focused on it. So the eye is very good at adapting to different brightness levels. You think of leaving a movie theatre. It’s dark and everything seems bright all of a sudden and a minute later, it seems normal. So we do like and we found in our betatesters that they are checking out quite a bit because we report the crane intensity of light. So people are often interested in how much light am I really getting in my bedroom and how much light do I get up on facing this window and oh, I’m outside on a sunny day. Wow, that’s a lot of light. I didn’t realize it was that bright. So there’s a lot of learning and education that can go on as well as tracking your progress. Ari Meisel: Great, okay and then sort of what guide are you interested in this range or out of this area of science I guess? Edward: Yes. So I say it’s a combination of two things. First is the team. I’d known our CTO and co-founder Kasey Russell from our days at grad school and the team is really a great collection of people and they captured my interest from the start. The second is that I’ve had an interest in health and wellness. When I was an undergrad, I worked on a Mental Health Awareness and Advocacy Council and we were focused on raising awareness of things like seasonal depression which is a real condition that affects a lot of people and that can be alleviated by something as simple as getting the right amount of bright light at the right time of the day. So I’m really motivated to make people happier, healthier and to improve lives. Ari Meisel: I mean, so I see you sitting in an office, is there something that you sort of used to make your own changes in your life and the benefits you’ve seen from it. Edward: Yeah, absolutely. We’ve, I think everybody in our families has tried it, we’ve tried it and it makes a big difference. We have a light box to the left of us which you can’t see very well here because our office is not the most windowed place. As a tiny start up, we don’t have the money to afford a nice corner office. So we have it on every morning and we make sure we get our light, we take walks outside and they’re really small lifestyle changes and they do make a difference. Ari Meisel: That’s great. Okay. So the campaign, when does the campaign end on? Edward: Friday. debbierojonan Page 3
  • 4. Ari Meisel: Oh, okay, this Friday. Great, so where should we go to find the best place to get the SunSprite and afford them. Edward: Yes, if you see this while our Indiegogo campaign is running, you can go to indiegogo.com and just search for SunSprite near the top search box. Otherwise, sunsprite.com and we’ll continue accepting pre-orders on our website after the campaign is done. Ari Meisel: Great. Ed, well thank you for that sort of that quick overview and I appreciate you taking that time. Edward: Thank you for having me. debbierojonan Page 4