Fitness trackers have been getting a bit of attention lately, with the likes of Samsung and Huawei taking on more established players like Jawbone, Fitbit and Nike. But where existing devices do a decent job quantifying a number of physical activities, a new startup promises to go a step beyond and actually help you get better at whatever it is you are doing. “We designed Moov to end the era of the bullshit workout,” the company proclaims.
Moov is a fitness tracker that gives you audio and visual instructions as you work out, based on your actual movement and form. Its round, waterproof sensor can be attached to whichever part of your body corresponds to a particular workout, capturing moves in real time. Then, through a companion iOS app, you’ll hear a Siri-like voice offering feedback on what you're doing right or wrong and how to improve it.
In a running demo, for instance, users can tell Moov what they want to focus on (run longer, avoid knee injuries, etc.) and the app will analyze things like the rate of your stride and the force of your foot hitting the ground. The result -- at least in theory -- is that you’ll train more efficiently and avoid injuries from poor form.
Moov uses 9-axis sensors, including accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer to track and evaluate form on any of five different activities: cycling, swimming, running, weight training, and boxing. Each is its own separate app and more are reportedly in development -- with yoga and golf coming first. For some activities, like cardio boxing, you can pair two sensors with a single smartphone for improved tracking.
The company is headed by Meng Li, an industrial designer who worked for Microsoft Research, and Nikola Hu, a former Apple and Halo engineer. The duo is running a Selfstarter campaign looking to raise $40,000 to start production and ship the first batch of trackers by summer 2014. The device is expected to retail for $120 at launch, though if you preorder you'll be able to grab one band for $59.95 or two for $99.95.