Virtual running coach tells you where you're going wrong
While some fitness gadgets can track your activity as you plod around the local park, Shft IQ is aimed at taking things further, by also coaching you to become a better runner. The Bluetooth-connected device works with a smartphone to analyze a host of advanced running metrics and then gives real-time voice coaching to improve your technique, helping you to run faster and further.
Currently raising production funds on Kickstarter, the Shft IQ is designed for beginner and intermediate runners who want to up their game. It works in a similar way to the Moov Now sports coach, but is solely focused on helping runners hone their form. It does this by telling them how to adjust things like steps per minute, stride length and the angle at which feet make contact with, and leave, the ground.
The system consists of a small Bluetooth-connected pod – which features a spring-loaded clip on the rear for attaching to a shoe or an included chest strap – paired with a companion app for iOS or Android. When first using the Shft IQ, runners will be instructed to go on a short "screening run" where the system assesses running style. This allows it to identify the aspects of a user's technique which can be improved upon, and focus coaching on these.
For subsequent runs the app will start off by instructing runners whether to wear the Shft IQ pod on their foot or chest. This allows it to monitor metrics including; Landing Position, Steps Per Minute, Ground Contact Time, Time In Air, Landing Angle, Toe-off Angle, Steps Length, G-landing, Watt, Running Efficiency, Brake Effect, Body Bounce and Body Angle.
Utilizing Intel's Curie module – as previously seen in smart sports bras – the Shft IQ takes hundreds of readings every second. Intel's Artificial Intelligence Pattern Recognition is then used to help offer custom voice coaching via the paired smartphone (which will need to be taken on runs). Shft says the coaching, which sees runners given instructions such as "lean forward from your ankles" or "push your hips forward," will improve technique, enabling them to go faster and further, and avoid injury.
There will also be running-focused training drills to complete, along with the option to turn off the audio coaching for a quieter workout, but still enable post-run data review. The app will give access to coaching reports which include basics like distance and time, along with a breakdown of technique and tips on how to improve. The device itself is said to be good for seven hours of running use before it needs recharging via a custom USB charger.
The Shft IQ is currently on Kickstarter where it will take a super early-bird pledge of US$59 to put your name down for one. Once those run out, the pledge levels increase to $69, $79 and then $89. If the funding target of $50,000 is reached, and everything else goes to plan, the Shft IQ is due to start shipping in September.
You can check out the Kickstarter promo video for the Shft IQ below.