They say that any publicity is good publicity, but it’s even better when it is, one, positive and, two, unexpected. Such as been the case with the company founded by Samuel Khamis, GR’09: Adamant Technologies, which has experienced a viral explosion starting with an interview in Business Insider early this year, followed by a write-up in Slate, then coverage in Time (subscription required). All before the company officially had its own PR push.
Perhaps the reason is the exciting and stupefying nature of the technology involved. A couple of years ago, Adamant developed technology that could measure chemicals in breath, and ever since they have been checking off the boxes to get it done. In order to have a real handheld device for consumer consumption, the device needs to be small, light-weight, low-powered and scalable; and consumers must be able to use it without major changes to their personal habits.
Then, inspiration struck. “People use cell phones all day,” Khamis said about their realization.
When Adamant’s device becomes a reality, its uses could range from the consumer health and fitness markets (e.g., real-time tracking of calorie burning and blood-alcohol level checks), personal hygiene (e.g., bad breath alerts, which got them all of that press in January) and ultimately, chronic disease monitoring (e.g., to keep tabs on blood-sugar levels, chronic pain, COPD, etc.).
According to Khamis, Adamant is currently in the process of building up additional usage cases, and in a couple of months, the firm will have their next generation device operational. , In the next year and a half, Khamis believes that devices could be available for limited distribution to get consumer feedback and gain further real-world data.
In the meantime, the company is enjoying the free PR. Since Adamant has splashed into the mainstream media, many strategic partners have reached out to them—including automotive, medical device manufacturers, consumer electronics companies and others.
The company has also enjoyed the benefit of support from the Penn and Wharton community. Artem Mikhlin, ENG’97, W’97, Glen Sussman, W’97; and Penn physics professor A.T. Charlie Johnson have served as advisors. And Wharton External Affairs Regional Director Ken Harootunian has been instrumental in helping Adamant connect with members of the wider Wharton community.