As you read this, check your posture. Back straight? Shoulders back? If you're like most people, probably not. Back pain is the single leading cause of disability according to a 2010 Census Bureau report, and studies show Americans spend more than $90B annually on back-related medical expenses.
Lumo BodyTech released a slouch-preventing wearable sensor called Lumo Lift at CES today. It sends vibrations to replace your mom nagging "sit up straight!" while providing visual data of users’ bad posture habits in its iOS app.
The small, magnetic clip-on sensor detects when the user's upper-body posture goes out of an upright position, and then logs the data to its iOS app through Bluetooth connectivity. It instantly sends soft vibrations to remind the user to sit up. Unlike your nagging mom, Lumo Lift gives you the ability to turn off vibration notifications while it continues to track activity.
"The main focus with the Lift, is that it's important to stand or sit better with your upper body," BodyTech cofounder Charles Wang says. "When you hold yourself in open poses, you increase your confidence, power, and appearance. It's important for people who care about it for health reasons and also for those who want to look and feel better."
It also counts footsteps, calories burned, posture stats, and daily journaling options. The company says the Lumo Lift’s battery life is five days and it includes a charger that recharges within two hours.
Within hours of its launch at CES today, Lumo Lift's "Early Bird Special" of 500 units sold out. It’s still available for pre-order at $69 with shipping planned for late spring. It comes in three colors: white, black, and silver. The company is also selling a five-color pack of clasps at an additional $10.
BodyTech launched its first wearable sensor in the form of a waistband called the Lumo Back in 2012 after cofounder Andrew Chang wanted a preventative solution for the 12 years of back pain he endured. A newer, revised version of the Lumo Back launched in the summer of 2013 to include a lighter, more elastic waistband. While thin, it’s less concealable than the Lumo Lift, but it lasts up to six days on single charge—one day longer than the Lift. Reaching a bigger area of the back and providing more data, the Lumo Back retails for a higher price at $149.95.
"The Lumo Back focuses on the pelvis and lower back and because it does so, it finds the foundation of the spine," Wang says. "If you get the spine foundation right, the back aligns nicely."
But, when more people began to voice their concerns about neck problems, Wang wanted to create a more specific resolution. "We really wanted to build something that would work for them, says Wang. "People wanted more options that are smaller and potentially even more discreet, so those things really influenced our decision."