Introducing Peter Twiss, Motiv cofounder and V.P. of Electrical Engineering. Peter excels at ultra-compact, ultra-low-power electronics and sensor systems, making him the perfect man for this job. When he’s not head-down designing the electronics that make Motiv Ring do its thing, you can find him watching old-school bodybuilding videos or meal prepping in the kitchen. He’s the first and only winner of the Motiv “Beast Mode” award — for being such a badass problem-solver — and for keeping office morale high with his infectious laugh and sense of humor.
What did you do before joining Motiv?
I used to design Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) and image sensors for special applications, as well as their supporting electronics and software systems for R&D and space flight instruments. Then I worked as a principal investigator at a military R&D company writing proposals to solve solutions for the military, some of which were wearables. One of them was a computer that was formable to a wrist, meant for skydiving. In another one, I put wearables on people’s joints that would track their motion. Military personnel would use that to track how their equipment and what they wore affected their performance in a war zone.
What do you do on a day-to-day basis at Motiv?
My role has evolved a lot since the early days. Originally I did R&D for the architecture of the system, the electronics, all the hardware, electronics development and the test systems. Now I focus on product validation and the battery technology of Gen 1 of Motiv Ring, and on the architecture of Gen 2.
What’s your favorite Motiv Ring feature?
That it’s a wearable device that can be worn comfortably on your body 24/7. In the past I never wanted to wear wearables, especially when I slept, but the ring is about the same size as my wedding band. I also love knowing my resting heart rate when I sleep. I like seeing that when I have low stress and a good diet, my resting heart rate goes down, giving me positive reinforcement that these things have an almost immediate effect. The holidays and all my work trips to China weren’t helping my weight, but when I got back and was able to eat better and exercise I saw my resting heart rate go down almost 20 bpm.
What are you most proud of?
Being able to define an architecture to meet the requirements of such a challenging product and fit everything in such a small place. I had to think of all the unique ways of trying to solve problems that most people could solve with more room or battery life, but we don’t have those options with a product this small.
What’s your best Motiv story?
I have a few. Probably running through the drywall when we were expanding our office. It started as a dare in the morning, but then we kept hyping it up throughout the day, and I had to do it. I think there’s a video. (Yes, there’s definitely a video.) I also have great memories of working in LA with Curt (Motiv’s CTO and cofounder) in the early days. It was so great to work side by side, just the two of us, able to move so quickly. Even in the summer when it was 100 degrees in the warehouse, we were just having such a blast figuring the challenges out together.