Stop slouching! Startup scores cash for high-tech posture-sensing waistband

Now, here’s a product that just seems perfect for desk-bound, laptop-typing geeks like us. Meet the Lumo BodyTech, a device worn around the waist which vibrates when one slouches. Those vibrations are meant as a gentle reminder to sit up straight. (Now, I don’t have to hear it from my mom or wife).

Seattle’s Madrona Venture Group is leading a $5 million investment in the Palo Alto, California-based year-old company, one of the first investments by Madrona in a hardware company. Other investors include Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors.

Madrona’s Scott Jacobson, a self-described chronic sloucher who has used the Lumo to track how much he sits and stands, said he was so enthralled with the results from his own tests that he was inspired to build a standup desk in his office.

“There’s a bunch of research regarding the perils of sitting — the ‘new smoking’ — for your overall health, and I now rely on Lumo to remind me to stand up and get some exercise during the day,” said Jacobson. He continued:
“The other thing I’ve learned using Lumo is that I like to slouch.  Particularly when I’m on calls in my office or grabbing a bite to eat.  And over time, slouching can take a real toll on your back.  The nice thing about the LumoBack is it has a vibrating motor in it like your iPhone so that, when it senses you’re slouching, it gives you a little nudge to remind you to sit up straight.  It’s kind of like having my grandmother follow me around, but less pushy and without the guilt.”

Jacobson noted that there are a number of sensor-based devices which are measuring behaviors in order to generate data to help people live healthier lives.  “The natural progression is from measurement to analysis and recommendation, and that’s where the Lumo Body Tech team really shines,” he said.

We have been reporting on a number of gadgets, which connect with smartphone apps in order to collect data on individuals, such as the Fitbit. In fact, EveryMove CEO Russell Benaroya was our guest on the GeekWire podcast last weekend, talking about the trend.

Here’s a closer look at how the LumoBack, which costs $149, works:

<embed src="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=54267210" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="400" height="300"></embed>

LUMOback from andrew chang on Vimeo.


 

  • http://about.me/courtneyvonnieda courtney

    I think I’d try something low tech like PostureNOW before trying this.