We first met Andrew Chang -- one of the co-founders behind LUMOback -- when he approached us at the end of our panel at SXSW and offered to show us his smart posture sensor. He was wearing it right then and demoed it for us on the spot. We were impressed enough to stay in touch. Fast forward four months and the device has launched on Kickstarter and already surpassed its $100,000 funding goal. We recently caught up with Andrew to learn a little more about the device's evolution from mockup to pre-production and to get some hands-on time.
While we didn't get the chance to wear the smart posture sensor ourselves, Andrew gave us a thorough rundown and brought along various iterations of the device which you'll find in the photo gallery below. LUMOback is an 8.5mm thick appliance roughly the size of a credit card that's worn like a belt and rests against your lower back. It's packed with sensors, a vibration motor, an iOS-compatible Bluetooth 4.0 LE radio and a Li-Ion battery which provides about 4 days of operation on a charge. The only visible components are a single capacitive button, an LED and a micro-USB charging port. It's splash resistant and features an adjustable elastic strap.
The hardware may be interesting, but it's the software that really makes LUMOback useful. Paired with an iOS device over Bluetooth, the smart posture sensor monitors if you're running, walking, standing, sitting or laying down. When you're standing or sitting, it knows if you're slouching and optionally alerts you by vibrating. It even measures how much you're slouching and to which side, and knows if you're laying on your stomach, back, left or right side. Best of all, the app logs your posture over time, gives you feedback, and lets you journal how you feel. There's a social networking component as well, and you're able to share some of that information with others.
Andrew and his team are still tweaking the hardware and the software (nothing we saw is finalized yet), but the LUMOback smart posture sensor should cost between $100 and $125 when it ships this fall. Hit the break for our hands on video, and be sure to check out the screenshots gallery below.