Myontec launched its Kickstarter campaign last week to bring Mbody, intelligent sports shorts, to consumers. The shorts are packed with embedded sensors that monitor muscle load, balance ratio, heart rate and cadence. Mbody is currently used by professional athletes (institutions including the LA Lakers, Redbull North America and the National Olympic Committee) to better understand how to maximize athletic performance without putting the body at risk of injury. The campaign will help bring the price down to less than half of what professional athletes pay – for the exact same hardware and software.
Additionally, Myontec is raising awareness for Mbody’s newest feature, the Mbody Coach. The Mbody Coach is a real-time audio-coaching system that analyzes the data from the shorts and gives body function and training insights directly to users through their earbuds. Insights include performance updates, warnings, problem detection signals, and training instructions.
Myontec was established six years ago, and since then has poured time and research into the material and placement of its sensors for best accuracy of data. The embedded sensors in the shorts measure EMG for both the hamstrings and the quadriceps, and relay that information to the MCell that transmits it to the app. The MCell has about 12 hours of charge life, or roughly 8 hours of recording time. The past three years were spent on refining and proving the technology and building relationships with top teams and training centers.
The responsiveness and quickness of the app is startling. Janne Pylväs, sales and marketing lead at Myontec, demoed the shorts. The app reacted in real-time. A tangible example of how Mbody helps with training is in the warm-up period. When you start to run, the app notifies you when your muscles are fully warmed up, which helps prevent injuries.
Myontec has a cloud service where you can analyze and compare data over periods of time. 7% of muscle injuries are because of muscle imbalances. As Janne explains, “The shorts can tell what the ratio of quad to hamstring pressure is. For example, when you are running you should use more hams than quads. For people who are the opposite, it means that they are heel striking. Using Mbody, we can show that you are improving your technique and improving performance.”
Janne mentioned that 1/3 of all their corporate clients have at least one problem. He for one had terrible back pain on his right side. His physiologist gave him painkillers. After wearing the shorts, Janne showed his doctor the data, which prompted his doctor to dig further. Janne was videotaped walking and just as the Mbody data hinted, on one side of his walk, his knee was going in while his hip was going out. The LA Lakers medical trainers found that one of their top players had something similar, which means that the trainers can work with the coaches to better personalize workouts and prevent injuries on an individual level. You might have loose hips, a slightly shorter leg, or a twisted back and not even know it.
Kickstarter folks will get the Mbody kit before it hits general retail in April 2015. If the shorts do well, the Company is thinking of moving towards a sensor-filled shirt for the following year. We are sure to see great things come from Myontec.