Posture tracking wearables aren't exactly new, but Namu believes that tech like the Lumo Lift has been addressing the slouching problem in the wrong way. Well, the wrong place.
Alex is a wearable that tries to fix your posture from the neck and will coach you to prevent that bad form.
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It's already smashed its goal on Kickstarter and has jumped onto Indiegogo where it's raising big bucks there too. Namu now has a working model and I tried it out at MWC.
The device, which you wear on the back of your head, kind of resembles a pair of neckband-style headphones. There's two squiggly silicon arms that sit on the top of the ear, while the sensor box sits at the base just above the neck. It's surprisingly light and alleviates my concern that wearing something like this for a long period of time might not be comfortable.
The way it works is pretty straightforward. The built-in sensors are able to detect the position of the head and feeds the data in real time to the companion app.
Inside the app you can set up an avatar (profile) and calibrate the bad posture angles. When you fall into that bad posture zone, the big icon on the screen turns red and sends a vibration to the the sensor box. It's quite a gentle vibration at the moment, like the kind of inactivity alert you'd get on a Jawbone tracker.
I gave it a spin, doing my very best 'text neck' impression and the real time data is instant inside the app, which was running on a Samsung phone. The vibration does feel a little on the feeble side at the moment but it already works pretty well.
Yongjun Jeong, Namu's business development manager, assures me that you'll have more control over the strength of the vibration in the final device. You can adjust the duration of the vibration, the frequency of the slouching alerts and see your progress on a weekly and a daily basis. The app is pretty easy to navigate through and that's definitely a good thing.
Will someone want to wear one of these in an office? Probably not. I imagine this is one to use in the privacy of your own home as it's nowhere near as discreet as something like the Lumo Lift. It costs $69 and Indiegogo backers will receive their devices in June. That's not a bad price for something that could do some real good for your health.