Most fitness bands do the same stuff — track steps, hours slept, and calories burned. It’s been an exciting first step, but my enthusiasm generally lasts about as long as a New Year’s resolution. Just like morning jogs and barbell reps, it’s hard to stick to the habit of charging, wearing, and actually translating raw data from the devices into real life fitness goals.
Along comes Moov: Finally, a new fitness device that does something new.
Moov not only monitors your movement but can actually make you better at working out. Embedded in the watch-sized device, 3D motion sensors read your every lean, jaunt, and wiggle. Using artificial intelligence and game mechanics, it also delivers real-time coaching via your smartphone.
Once paired with your mobile device, the Moov tracks your movement through virtually any type of exercise you can imagine, including yoga, golf, swimming (yep, it’s waterproof), and even boxing. It tells you what you’re doing right, and wrong, and tells you how to fix it in real time. Thanks to the flexibility of the Moov app, the fancy little doodad even has the ability to get even smarter by learning new exercises and activities, all customized to you.
Moov aims to solve one of the biggest problems when it comes to regular exercise: putting in the time and effort but doing it inefficiently or flat-out wrong. Without proper technique, you’re likely to get hurt, or just plateau, and wonder why on earth you should bother when you don’t see any progress.
Using Moov on a recent run felt like a mini-miracle. You strap it around your ankle and pair it with your smartphone. It logs distance and all that, but what was really cool is how it analyzed my cadence and stride, and coached me through better control of the way my foot was landing and how to take some of the jarring impact off of my knees. That’s really impressive considering that I’ve been running some 20-plus years, competed in dozens of marathons, and have both had a running coach and been one myself in years past. And I’m not alone. Of the 51 million runners in America, eight out of ten report running related injuries. In just one run, a few aches and pains that have been plagued my jogs for the past two years are gone. It also gave me some kick-butt interval training, which is something I just don’t do often enough on my own.
HITTING THE TARGET
I also used Moov with an app on an iPad that gives you a cardio boxing workout. It compared my movements against the ideal input — a coach on a video — offering form tips and encouragement as I perfected my jabs and upper-cuts. Think of it like Guitar Hero or Dance Dance Revolution, but without a camera and a lot more accurate. One thing I wish it would have done that it didn’t though, was show me what to do with the lower half of my body, rather than just seeing the coach from the waist-up. In general, the cardio-boxing workout wasn’t as impressive as some of the other demonstrations’ that the company showed me, so I’m hoping to see it get better by the time it launches in early summer.
A FEW MORE MILES TO GO
I didn’t get the chance to see the promised Moov gamification features in action, where you can pit your workouts against other people’s and earn awards. I also wish the gadget had an OLED display, like the new Samsung Gear Fit that launched in Spain this past week.
The show-nothing device display could leave people wanting readings on the actual device versus just the smartphone, but since this is an early form of this gadget, that may come down the road.
A crowd-funding campaign to bring the Moov to store shelves starts today, with the plan for it to launch to the public this summer. For pre-orders now, pricing is 50% off expected retail after launch. When you pre-order one, Moov is $59.95. Purchase two or more and Moov is $49.95 each. (You need two for things like cardio boxing.) The device is compatible with Apple devices for now, with an Android version expected.
If it does everything it says it will, and performs as well as it did for my test-drive, the Moov will be the first wearable gadget I’ve seen so far that really teaches you how to exercise correctly, and be the closest connected device yet to resemble an actual digital personal trainer.
Courtesy of USA Today