How many times have you heard somebody complain about their posture-related health problems? Chances are if you are a working professional who works most of his/her time in front of the computer, you have done the complaining yourself at some point of your work-life. The founder of Posture.io, Joe Heenan had faced the problem himself as well, he thus tried a lot of products available in the market that promised to improve your posture and thus eventually improve your health; however, he did not find any worthy product or app, besides most of them are too bulky and take up visible space. That’s when the idea of developing his own hardware hack capable of improving a person’s posture struck his mind.
Keeping Track of Your Posture is Now Easier
Posture.io is a magnificent combination of an ‘adhesive magnetic rubber-strip’ and a ‘Texas Instruments Bluetooth Low-energy sensor’. The magnetic rubber-strip is stuck to the back of a belt and the TI sensor is attached to office chairs’ back with Velcro. The sensor identifies the angle and distance of the rubber-strip on belt and calculates whether the person is sitting straight-up and nice or slouching. Finally, the app uses the calculated data to keep track of the posture score of wearer and notifies them whenever they need to make improvement.
Aim for a 100 to avoid the thunder
To explain in the simplest way possible, Heenan states that ‘the belt is basically a magnet and the sensor measures the magnetic field’, ‘calculating the posture angle, however, is just simple mathematics. The distance between the magnet and the sensor increases every time you slouch, thus calculation is done easily’. To maintain a good posture, your score should be closest to 100. The posture score in the app is displayed along with a realistic graphic that gives the user a real-time reminder of how his current position is.
Prevent Hand Strain Injuries Along With a Good Posture
The best part of the app, however, is that it is neither hefty nor too big to capture unwanted attention towards the user. All it does is to give a friendly reminder to the user of how they are doing and how much improvement they need. The app also contains a secondary feature that uses ‘Leap Motion gesture controller’ to suggest the user to perform some atypical hand exercises, taken out from RSI injury recovery sessions, to nullify the damage of constant typing and re-typing and eliminate the risk of developing repetitive strain injury. Performing these hand gesture improvement exercises also contributes towards the improvement of the user’s total posture score.
In case the user’s posture score is very low, the app also presents a feature to deliver exercise-reminder-notifications to the ‘Pebble Smart watch’ and generates a reminder on the Outlook Calendar to perform the recommended micro-exercises from time to time.
Heenan shared this idea in his first ever Hackathon meeting at NY. He states that his goal is to make this app as unobtrusive as possible and make it available to the working class within the affordable range. The app is indeed a luxury that everyone needs.
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