Moov is a new wearable that combines fitness tracking with real-time audio coaching. The device can be worn on your wrist or ankle* and sync’d with various apps depending on workout type. Moov is currently compatible with running, cycling, cardio boxing, and swimming. The device transmits your data (for running it includes stride length, impact, cadence, range of motion, etc.) to the app for analysis, and the app transmits in-the-moment feedback via your headphones. For instance, the feedback can tell you to shorten your stride to save energy so you can run faster, to land more softly, to swing your arms up and down (and not side to side), or to run with your shoulders back for better posture.
Running with Moov was fun – the coaching was unobtrusive but still effective. I changed my form while using it, opting for quicker shorter strides rather than large lunging ones to improve efficiency and stamina.
Based on your interval level performance, the app suggests higher or lower levels to try. It keeps track of all your data points so you can compare your progress over time.
*I wanted to test ankle vs. wrist accuracy for the device. I wore Moov on my wrist to do levels 3, 6, 9. The coaching worked great but when I stopped to end the workout on my phone it couldn’t find the Moov on my wrist – perhaps it was because I wasn’t moving it around enough when I stopped – and it lost all the data on that set. For best use and precision in running, I would suggest wearing it on your ankle. It’s light enough to ignore and small enough so it doesn’t affect stride length.
The data tracking on the Moov is excellent, which is a testament to the founding team – Nikola Hu, a former Apple and HALO game engineer, Meng Li and Tony Yuan. The company plans to roll out apps for other activities and uses going forward, and an Android app is slated for November 2014 launch. The second batch is available for pre-order now.
Within several days, GestureLogic reached its Indiegogo funding goal on their first device, LEO. LEO isn’t just another wearable device that counts your steps or tracks motions. LEO measures biosignals (such as muscle activity and lactic acid levels) to calculate exertion – giving users recommendations on how to workout more efficiently and telling athletes when they are pushing too hard. Knowing when to stop or tone down the intensity helps avoid potential injuries. LEO’s feedback loop makes it an invaluable fitness tool. As the wearer changes intensity and speed, so does the real-time feedback from LEO – urging the user to push harder or continue to taper. LEO tracks your physical starting point, noting each specific user’s unique physiology, and sets goals based on these metrics. While it may be obvious that two different bodies with two different weights and peak heart rates should have two different workout plans even if the end goal (say losing 10 lbs) is the same – not many wearables are able to tailor workout routines like LEO can.
LEO’s key capabilities include:
Kurbo is a mobile app targeted towards kids and teens to help them learn about and maintain healthy eating and exercising habits. The app teaches kids about nutrition, labeling foods as green (good to eat anytime), yellow (eat in moderation), and red (eat sparingly).
Games on the app teach users about serving size and portions, and about exercise intensities. The program comes with a weekly coaching session to help provide additional support. Users set their goals and use Kurbo to help structure and plan for the week ahead.
If a user is allotted 35 reds a week and is attending a birthday party on Saturday, he can plan ahead by eating less “red” foods during the week so that he can fit in eating cake on Saturday (cake is definitely a red food). Kurbo doesn’t impose set diets on children, instead it gives them the ability to portion their calories and make small changes for themselves. Initially licensed from Stanford University and stress tested by SUNY Buffalo research, Kurbo aims to be a wellness and lifestyle app for children and teens, and lets them make decisions versus imposing rules. With this approach, 80% of Kurbo users lose weight. You can download Kurbo now for iOS devices.
FreeWavz combines the uniqueness of distraction free, stable (here’s a video of a gymnast with them on) wireless earphones with an expansive suite of health metrics tracking – including heart rate, calories burned, distance traveled, duration of workout, and oxygen saturation. The technology and design aim to give the most accurate readings. Other earbud-type wireless earphones are unable to match the accuracy of FreeWavzs because they only have a front sensor. By wrapping around the ear, FreeWavz pulse oximeters can sense the amount of red and infra-red light traveling through the earlobe, and then collect the feedback with a second behind-the-ear sensor, giving more precise oxygen and heart rate readings.
FreeWavz founder, Dr. Eric Hensen, is an ear, nose, and throat surgeon. Having worked with hard-of-hearing patients, Dr. Hensen brought his practical experience into creating FreeWavz, stating “This product was born out of customer feedback – from people in the gym, to those who bike and run, to patients complaining about traditional headphones – this product was made by combining user feedback and experience together.”
Also unlike earbuds, which block the ear canal (and are often jammed into the ear, causing discomfort while distorting the sound), FreeWavz projects sound into the ear canal, letting the canal “breath,” and in turn delivering crisper sound.
The two earpiece devices connect to a mobile app via Bluetooth, and each earpiece can be individually calibrated for frequency and volume. Additionally, users can use FreeWavz to answer phone calls and the earphones can be adjusted for environmental listen-through to accommodate busy street noise.
President & Chief Financial Officer Harry Ericson calls FreeWavz, “Google Glass for the ears,” because of the product’s expansive usability and reach. While it is now launched as a fitness wearable, potential future applications include use while driving (transmitting GPS directions), traveling (guided tour audio), or learning (classroom/education).
Go to Kickstarter to reserve your pair today; shipments planned beginning this October.
The Skulpt Aim is the first-ever non-invasive wireless device that measures the composition and quality of muscles. When you press it against major muscle groups, the device’s sensors collect thousands of data points to measure fat percentage and muscle quality in individual muscles as well as in the body as a whole.
MQ, or muscle quality, is a measure of your muscles’ strength and definition. The higher the MQ, the stronger and more defined a person’s body is. Recent articles have noted the dangers of being “Skinny Fat,” or being thin but not toned. Time said, “thin people can sometimes carry the most dangerous kind of fat – and not know it.” The Aim assesses the body by measuring four major muscles (biceps, triceps, abs, and thighs), to create an accurate estimate of your total body fat percentage and MQ.
The Aim tracks even the slightest improvements, and shows those results real time on their dashboard so users can easily visualize their progress. In addition to tracking progress and setting goals, the dashboard provides tailored advice, recommending workouts that specifically target muscles that need improvement.
Started as a medical-grade device that has been used in top US hospitals, the technology underlying Skulpt was first used to measure muscle health of patients with neuromuscular disorders. The founders, Jose Bohorquez and Seward Rutkove realized that their powerful and innovative tech could be simplified into a small, effortless consumer fitness device, and the Skulpt was born. Skulpt is a 2014 International CES Innovations Award winner in the Health and Fitness product category and supporters on Aim’s Indiegogo campaign almost quadrupled their fundraising goal amount. You can pre-order the Skulpt today; launch date May 2014.