Yoga is an activity that requires peace and precision in order to work. Practitioners are always trying to adjust their pose in order to get the best results. However, adjusting your position can be difficult when you don't have a teacher on hand. Without these adjustments, practitioners can harm themselves while exercising. That's why a California-based startup has made the $347 SmartMat, the first yoga mat that will track and adjust your posture as you go.
SmartMat looks like any other yoga mat, even if a lot more expensive. However, designers combined a Piezoresistive (electromagnetic) layer with SmartGrip Surface Technology to provide users with a layer of sensors for tracking their position. After users input their body data and calibrate the device, SmartMat will track your positioning to see if your body matches the proper form.
If you're off-form, the mat will tell you via the accompanying iOS or Android app to adjust your body alignment, balance and pose. The SmartMat comes with three settings for recording and alerting the user during a yoga routine; In-Home Private Mode (which provides full feedback), In-Class Assist Mode (which provides less distracting feedback) and Zen Mode (which only tracks your data).
MORE: 10 Best Yoga Apps
The SmartMat comes with a pre-set collection of moves that it will track. However, if those moves are not enough, the SmartMat Marketplace comes with an assortment of programs for tracking and assisting users with their routine. SmartMats are charged via USB and have a 6 hour battery life. The mat connects to your tablet or smartphone via Bluetooth.
The SmartMat team is currently trying to raise $110,000 on Indiegogo. The first 450 backers can preorder a SmartMat for $247. The next 1200 of the backers can pay $297 to get one. All others can pay $347 to get one. If a backer is willing, they can preorder a SmartMat with premium color choices. Most of the mats can be preordered in either grey, light blue or light green. Premium backers can get one in pink or black. The SmartMat will be delivered in waves according the backer level, with the first set of orders arriving in July 2015, and the rest arriving by September 2015.
The SmartMat is a really unique product in the exercise market. By offering yoga practitioners a way to track their posture and make sure they're doing it right, SmartMat helps minimize the potential for personal harm and for getting the best exercise results. We do wonder about how accurate the built-in sensors are, or how much variety the SmartMat Marketplace will have. We do hope this project turns out well.