Innovations That Matter

Intelligent yoga mat could replace your instructor

Work & Lifestyle

The SmartMat uses sensors to intelligently measure users' yoga posture and balance to deliver personalized advice and help improve their practice.

Technology is changing the way we exercise — whether it's wearable fitness trackers or apps such as FitStar, which acts as a digital personal trainer that reacts to users' workout performance. Bringing these capabilities to yoga, the SmartMat uses sensors to intelligently measure users' posture and balance to deliver personalized advice and help improve their practice.

Currently seeking funding via Indiegogo, the device is just as thin and flexible as a standard yoga mat, but is filled with lots of tiny sensors and is able to connect to mobile devices. Before it's used, a calibration process helps the mat to learn about its individual owner. Users can input details such as their gender, height, and weight via their tablet or smartphone. Then they must lie down on the mat and the sensors are able to determine body type and unique measurements such as arm span. They're also asked to do a few basic poses to help the mat learn their individual technique.

The mat comes with a marketplace app where users can download curated and user-created lessons that guide them through a routine. The mat detects the pressure being place on it and is able to determine whether users' posture or balance needs guiding towards a more optimum stance for their body. Smartmat can be used in 1 of 3 modes — Home Use, Class Assist or Zen Mode. In both Home Use and Class Assist, the mat monitors users' performance and delivers real-time feedback for improvement in a fittingly soothing voice. Zen Mode also records their performance for checking later on, but doesn't disturb users while they practice.

Watch the video below for more details about SmartMat:

SmartMat can be pre-ordered through the Indiegogo campaign for an early bird rate of USD 297, although the retail price will be USD 447. The campaign runs until 30 October. Are there other activities that could use intelligent trackers to help improve technique?




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