The increasingly crowded fitness tracker market has another new entrant. This one, however, appears to offer not only impressive functionality, but a unique approach, too. As well as tracking fitness, Moov uses artificial intelligence to study the user and provide real-time coaching during their workouts.
Reportedly based on biomechanics and sport science research from Harvard and Stanford, Moov will give users real-time audio and visual instruction on how their workout can be improved. The aim is to improve the effectiveness of users' workouts, whilst reducing the likelihood of injury caused by poor technique.
"We felt that other fitness trackers on the market are a great start in terms of making people more aware of their activity, but they don't give you any idea of how to improve," Meng Li, co-founder of Moov tells Gizmag. "As athletes who have been injured before due to improper form, we felt that bringing a 'virtual coach' to everyone would be a huge step forward for the wearable fitness industry."
Li tells Gizmag that the Moov team formed last year, its members having previously worked together on sensor technology some eight years ago. Having realized that the technology had become smaller and more advanced, the team set about working out how it could be utilized to help with fitness – and so, after "many, many prototypes," Moov was born.
The device itself can be worn on the arm, wrist or, like the recently-announced Flyfit, the ankle. It contains an accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer. A series of algorithms are overlayed on top of the hardware that, in the words of Li, enable the device to "see" the wearer without the need of a camera. Although designed for use with a smartphone to provide coaching guidance, Moov can also be used on its own and synced with the user's device after a workout. It will last for 8 to 10 days on one full 30-minute charge when in tracking mode, or 8 to 10 hours in coaching mode..
At launch, the device will provide specific support for running, swimming, cycling, strength training and cardio boxing, with support for other activities including yoga and martial arts to be added post-launch. When used for different activities, the tracker will look for different movement features and will provide guidance accordingly.
For jogging, Moov will track factors such as stride rate and landing impact, with users advised on how to change their running style for greater efficiency. For weight training, the device tracks the user's body shape and advises on how it can be improved for more efficient lifting. And after being worn for a swimming workout, Moov can advise users to lengthen their freestyle stroke or to kick faster. As with other fitness trackers, users can share their workout performances online and compare them with others.
Moov will be available mid-2014 and will retail for US$120. For the next month, however, the device is available for $59 or $99 for two.
The video below provides an introduction to Moov.