Wondercise adds arm and leg sensors to better track your exercise form

They'll work in tandem with the company's fitness band or the Apple Watch.


Before Apple Fitness+ debuted late last year, Wondercise was one of the many companies offering on-demand fitness classes you could take at home. The company's edge, though, is its Live Motion Matching system that uses wearables like the Apple Watch and Garmin devices to track your form while you're working out. For CES 2021, the Taiwanese Wondercise is expanding on that system with a new "multi-point matching system" that brings new IMU sensor straps into the mix, potentially increasing the accuracy with which you can track form and mirror your movements to that of the company’s trainers.

The new straps are add-ons that can be used with either the company's own fitness band or third-party wearables that connect to the service, including the Apple Watch. While hardware isn't Wondercise’s only focus, it's a big part of what makes its on-demand workout service stand out. Form is key and the tech inside Wondercise's fitness band and the new straps monitor your movements in real-time. You'll see alerts over the workout video you’re watching when your form is aligned with the trainer's and when it's not, giving you the opportunity to correct your stance whenever you’re faltering.

According to CEO Eric Chuang, there are a mix of six different sensors in the new straps that allow them to track heart rate, cardio burn and the movements of the wearer, the latter of which are then compared to those of the on-screen trainer during a session. Previously, the motion-matching system was limited to one-sided wrist/arm movements, but the straps will allow you to track leg exercises like lunges and more accurately monitor complex arm routines like boxing. This is reminiscent of the multi-position tracking sensors that Moov offers, although that company’s app is more focus on activity training and coaching rather than perfecting form.

Currently, Wondercise's training videos and courses focus on yoga, tai-chi, HIIT, weight training and similar exercises. The company plans to add more over time, and doing so involves tweaking its motion-tracking algorithms to fit the moves that are integral with new routines (the way you move while practice yoga is a bit different than when you're sweating in a HIIT class). But regardless of if you're using the company's fitness band, an Apple Watch SE or a Garmin watch, it will connect via Bluetooth along with the new straps to the Wondercise app so you can track more about your exercise posture.

The combined hardware-and-software approach to on-demand fitness isn't new, but Wondercise's focus on form could attract those who want hard evidence that they are working out properly (instead of assuming they are doing so while following the orders of an on-screen trainer). But it also helps that Wondercise is fairly affordable when compared to other at-home workout services. VIP access to the service costs $5 per month or $35 per year (roughly half the cost of Apple Fitness+) and integrating with the Apple Watch and Garmin devices — wearables that many already own — means that more people can give the service a try without investing in additional expensive hardware.

While Wondercise hasn't released pricing information for its new sensors yet, we know they'll be available in a two-pack when they launch later in Q1 2021.

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