If you've ever sat in a classroom or worked in an office then you'll know all about the importance of good posture, but maintaining a straight back and square shoulders can be a tough habit to form. UpRight is a wearable device that sticks to your lower back, delivering a gentle vibration when that perfect posture slips into a harmful slouch.
UpRight is a small silicone stick that is placed over the lower spine using an adhesive strip. Measuring 11 x 3.5 x 1.5 cm (4.3 x 1.3 x 0.6 in), it has a built-in accelerometer and specially-designed strain sensor to gauge when your spine begins to bend.
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The user first calibrates the device to indicate what is the correct posture for their body. The strain sensor then measures the bend of the device and, in effect, the position of the spine. Combining this with data from the accelerometer, UpRight is able to give feedback on the user's posture, vibrating to remind them to sit up straight.
UpRight isn't the first wearable device to tackle crooked vertebrae. Lumo BodyTech made inroads in this area with its Lumoback posture-correcting waistband in 2012, and more recently released Lumo Lift, a small device that you wear on your collar. We've even seen sensors designed for the desktop that emit a warning chime when you lean in too close to your monitor. One of the things in UpRight's favor is its slim design, which allows the 30 g (1.1 oz) device to be comfortably worn underneath your clothes.
The sensor is also equipped with a Bluteooth 4.0 module, enabling it to collect and transmit data to a companion smartphone app. Within the app, users can create personalized profiles and devise training programs to combat slouching, strengthen back muscles and work towards a healthier posture.
UpRight runs on a lithium-polymer battery that can be recharged via MicroUSB, the company claiming each charge to be good for four days of use. The sensor will also come with 60 of the adhesive pads, each of which should last between one and two days.
The company has taken to Indiegogo to raise funds to conduct further testing and take UpRight to market. Early pledges of US$59 are available, with shipping estimated for March 2015 if all goes to plan.
You can check out the team's pitch video below.