This 'Smart' Yoga Mat Has a Built-In Instructor
Sure, morning yoga sound like a fabulous idea. That is, until you think about having to get to the studio across town for your 7 a.m. class. Add to that that stress of showering and battling rush hour traffic to get to the office by 9 a.m., and the whole idea sounds anything but relaxing and peaceful.
Now one company has figured out a way to bring the yoga studio to you -- sort of. It's developed a yoga mat that works as your instructor. Called Smart Mat, the high-tech yoga accessory gives you step-by-step instructions on what to do during your morning yoga, just as if you were with a real instructor. Even better, it knows what you're doing and offers real-time suggestions on how to improve your posture and perfect different moves.
The SmartMat makes the magic happen through a series of built-in sensors. First, it makes sure your hands and feet are in the right position on the mat. Next, it focuses on your on your balance. The mat has a baseline reading for each pose and combines it with what it's learned about you and your body over time to determine the optimal balance for you in each position.
The mat has a mode with built-in workout options (that are read aloud from your phone or tablet) for home yoga, and can also be used in a class setting so you can monitor your balance and position in situations where an instructor might not be able to give you the one-on-one attention that you need to improve.
When it ships next year, the accompanying iOS and Android app for the mat will come with a number of different poses and classes built in. After its initial release, SmartMat plans to allow yoga instructors, or "yogrammers," to create their own sequences for the app as well. Those instructors will be able to record classes, complete with audio and visual cues and corrections, for an experience similar to attending that instructor's class.
SmartMat is on IndieGoGo trying raise money for production. The project has already smashed through its initial goal of $110,000 and has raised a little more than a quarter of a million dollars so far, with around a month of fundraising left to go.
If you want your own SmartMat you can pre-order one now on IndieGoGo for $297, a $150 discount off its planned retail price of $447.
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