An Open Letter about OpenBarbell

An Open Letter about OpenBarbell



First I’m going to tell you what OpenBarbell is. OpenBarbell is a device that was made out of necessity. It was made because we physically could not do the type of training we wanted to do, and that we knew could make the time we all dedicate to our sport more rewarding. We knew you wanted a VBT device that could fit in our gym bag, take both accurate and precise measurements, had potential for upgrades and custom features, and most importantly one you could actually afford. We knew you didn’t want to charge it every day, and didn’t want it to be handcuffed to an app (although both device-based and app-based use are coming soon!). It was made because nobody else wanted to solve a problem for a niche market, even if it could have a greater impact than your everyday consumer electronics device.

OpenBarbell is NOT a new iPhone. It isn’t a FitBit, a smart watch or a PS4. It wasn’t made by Foxconn or designed by Jonathan Ive, and it wasn’t venture backed or incubated. It was designed and built by two guys who wanted to help people lift better. To illustrate this further, here’s Samsung’s product development process and here’s our development team for each stage of that process.


No, there are not several Jordan’s and Jon’s on our team.

We’re not telling you this because we want your praise, we hope you read this letter before you decide to purchase a device because we want to let you know what you’re buying.

Your device will have fingerprints on it. It may have some stray glue where it shouldn’t be, there may be little shavings of acrylic tumbling inside your device, and it may have a scratch or two on the tube (we tried really hard not to). Breakage isn’t cheap and we had our fair share, so we did our best to salvage parts that had no structural issues. That is an important point, because we would never put our price-point before quality, and we’re happy to say we were able to maintain both.

If you were following our #100Unitsin10Days campaign you would have seen that we had to do about 100 things 100 times in a row, and in the end we are human. Humans make mistakes and we will have the inevitable ‘string came untied’ or ‘bearing fell out’. We want you to know that we’ll stand behind each device and if there are issues when it arrives on your doorstep we’ll fix it or give you your money back. We also hope that you work with us while we help you, and that you’ll be understanding if OpenBarbell has an un-iPhone-like moment.

That isn’t to say OpenBarbell is for the timid. We built it to last, and we’ve put it through its paces. The general mechanism and internal structure has been tested thoroughly for the better part of 2015, and the data has been validated time and time again. There’s also no question about how well it works, as we have units in the field logging thousands of reps.

At this point you may be thinking to yourself, “That makes a lot of sense, I wonder how I could be a model OpenBarbell owner?”. You can start by reading our FAQ. We’ve added detailed explanations about every question we’ve been asked, and some we are anticipating after launch. If you have any more questions, we’ve made a forum just for our new OpenBarbell owners where you can ask anything you want and we’ll be there to answer your questions. We hope that’ll become a place you can go if our FAQ doesn’t get the job done. Lastly, if you’re looking for documentation on our device about anything from your user manual, to how to update your devices firmware, check out the OpenBarbell V1.0 WikiBarbell. We’ll be adding more and more documentation there in the coming days and weeks. Finally, if you’re still in need of assistance with your device we’ve included a private support email address in the card each of you receives with the device.

In closing, we love every finger smudge and crooked line on OpenBarbell because it makes us appreciate even more what it does best, which is bring you incredibly accurate and consistent readings, enabling you to do your best under the bar. We’re dedicated to helping you get stronger, and we hope you join the small family of OpenBarbell owners this weekend.

Thanks for reading,

Jordan & Jon

  • Brad shepherd
    Posted at 20:55h, 27 October

    How do I connect devise to app ? I have the v2 and the app on my Samsung s7 can’t get the app to connect to device

  • Jordan Berke
    Posted at 21:15h, 27 October

    Hi Brad!

    We’ve been having bluetooth issues with Samsung Galaxy phones. Please see the following troubleshooting steps.

    Please try the troubleshooting steps below and let me know if it works.

    Make sure Bluetooth is on. Don’t pair OB Device through Settings! ‘Forget’ the device if you have.
    If on android os 6.0+, Make sure Location Services is on.
    1. Force kill OB Application
    2. Turn OB Device off
    3. Clear Phone Bluetooth Cache (TODO: video)
    4. Clear OB Application Cache (TODO: video)
    5. Restart Phone
    6. Turn Device on
    7. Start OB Application
    8. Select a OB Device from the list

    If that doesn’t work, try uninstalling and re-installing the app.

  • zacknielsen
    Posted at 11:21h, 14 December

    When is the next batch of units coming out? I am really interested in purchasing one for my training.

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