SmartPlate From 'Shark Tank' Isn't Available To Buy Yet, But It'll Be Worth The Wait

The health and fitness industry is already saturated with products. These days, this is getting to be more and more the case in the wearable tech and mobile app space. However, I have a feeling the upcoming Shark Tank product SmartPlate will have a much easier time standing out from the crowd.

That's because SmartPlate uses technology not just to be flashy or a bit more efficient but to solve a real problem in a way that I don't think any company has ever done before. I have to admit that I'm generally impressed with the products that come into the Tank. However, it's been a long time since I've really been blown away by a product as much as I have been by SmartPlate.

And that's just from researching it online. I can't even imagine how giddy I would be if I got one of these babies in my hands in real life. I just hope that it lives up to my expectations when it appears in Friday night's episode of Shark Tank and enters the marketplace in the future.

I think I've done a pretty spectacular job of piquing your interest to learn more about SmartPlate, if I do say so myself. Hopefully you do, because I'm serving up a big, heaping helping of the basic info you need to know about SmartPlate right here, right now. So pull up a chair, get comfy, and dig in.

Measuring Food Just Got A Whole Lot Easier

Portion control is everything when you're trying to eat healthy. However, eyeballing a serving size doesn't usually cut it, and who wants to break out a scale every time you eat? That's why SmartPlate is such an ingenious invention. The device is a plate that comes equipped with cameras for food recognition and weight sensors to weigh food. The SmartPlate then sends the image and weight information to the cloud for analysis. You can get information about your meal, such as the amount of calories in it, through a mobile app that can be accessed on iOS and Android devices as well as with MyFitnessPal and FitBit. And since SmartPlate is also safe to put in the microwave, refrigerator, and dishwasher, there's almost no excuse not to use it.

It's Not Available To Purchase Yet

SmartPlate is currently only available for pre-order through the product's official website. You can buy one plate plus a lid for $119 (originally $149), two plus a lid for $225 (originally $298), or four plus a lid for $425 (originally $596). You also have a choice of purple, black, or white. The SmartPlate is expected to ship in Fall 2016, according to the product's website, so get excited for that.

It Got Huge After Kickstarter

A Kickstarter campaign for SmartPlate was launched in May 2015, and almost immediately after it got a ton of buzz on the Internet, getting featured everywhere from The Verge to The Daily Mail to Vice's Motherboard vertical. All of that media coverage definitely worked. SmartPlate successfully funded its Kickstarter campaign, raising nearly $111,000.

It Already Has Some Impressive Backing

Fitly, the company that makes SmartPlate, is backed by the University City Science Center, a Philadelphia-based innovation, entrepreneurship, and tech hub. The company was also a part of Dreamit Health, a health tech startup accelerator whose partners include Penn Medicine and Independence Blue Cross. Talk about having friends in high places.

The Invention Was Inspired By Something Personal

Anthony Ortiz was inspired to create the SmartPlate after watching his dad go through a triple bypass heart surgery, which could have been avoided with a better diet and some exercise, he explains in the video above. Ortiz created the SmartPlate so that people like his dad don't have to go through something potentially life-threatening that can actually be prevented.

Being the founder and CEO of Fitly isn't Ortiz's first business experience. He previously founded EcoExpress, a transportation logistics company that grew to a 30-person team and was sold within 18 months of its launch. It sure sounds like Ortiz is going to have enough business savvy to impress the Sharks.

There Have Been Some Personnel Changes At The Company

However, we won't be seeing Ortiz in the Tank during Friday night's episode. Martin Dell'Arciprete, Fitly's former head of marketing, will be pitching the product to the Sharks because Ortiz likes to stay behind the scenes, according to BizPhilly. As BizPhilly also points out, Dell'Arciprete left Fitly in September 2015 to work as a senior account executive at Moroch Partners, according to his LinkedIn page. Well, hopefully the Sharks weren't too attached to him.

Shark Tank Really Wanted SmartPlate On The Show

Instead of having to audition for Shark Tank, SmartPlate was actually sought after by two of Shark Tank's head producers, who reached out to the company to be on the show, Ortiz told BizPhilly, also adding that they look in places like Kickstarter and Indiegogo in order "to find the most interesting and fundable types of companies."

Clearly, a lot of people are interested in SmartPlate. So will the Sharks be, too?

Images: Michael Desmond/ABC; Giphy (2)