Startup Showcase: Awear Technologies
About 10 million students and 60 percent of adults are struggling with attention challenges, according to Rod Greder, founder of Awear Technologies. Greder believes he has a product that reduces the cost of dealing with diagnosed attention deficit disorder and without the side effects of the drugs commonly used to treat it.
Awear Technologies’ initial product is the ConfiBoost Trainer. This is a set of glasses which are a neurosensing device that detects when one’s mind wanders. The glasses darken to get the “attention” of the wearer. Awear claims that repeated use of the device strengthens neural pathways controlling attention.
Founder: Rod Greder
City you live in: Pine City, Minn.
City of birth: Denison, Iowa
High school attended: Dow City-Arion, Iowa
Colleges attended: Iowa State, University of Minnesota, University of Illinois.
Rod Greder, a Ph.D. and certified new product development professional, has been teaching young adults for the past decade. He has experienced firsthand the inability of some students to pay attention when they don’t want to or when there is no “high stimulus” to engage them. Rod has observed that there now appears to be an attention deficit epidemic manifesting itself in the classroom and workplace. Rod, who has a doctorate in genetics, has been involved in discovering, developing and launching new products most of his career.
Rod has teamed up with Gary Jader, an experienced product tinkerer and clinician who is passionate about making a difference in the lives of young people. Gary also has experienced the struggles of poor attentiveness with his two sons being diagnosed with ADHD — Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Company Snapshot: Awear Technologies
Business Start Date: 2011
Number of Employees: 2
Number of Customers: 1
The students’ faces gave it away. As a teacher, I’d say three straight sentences and all I got were blank looks. After 10 years in education, I’d been told that children learn differently now. They say we must hook the video game generation with high stimulus — “shiny stuff” — to keep them engaged.
Yet I resisted. I understand the benefits of videos and games. But, I also know that while “the world is a stage” it is not a video game.
Improving attention skills in low-stimulus environments has become my passion.
Awear Technologies wants to help students rewire neural pathways to strengthen focus skills and improve distraction control. If we can create awareness about mind-wandering and distraction in the moment, we can begin to resist these debilitating impulses — without drugs.
Read the Q&A here.