Hula hoopers, desperate to more accurately track their hooping, have been ignored by Silicon Valley startups more focused on making everything from homes to basketballs smarter. The team at VHOOP has finally addressed this glaring injustice with its eponymous smart hoop for those that are fitness-conscious and time-poor.
Although it's traditionally viewed as a playground toy or a crutch for gym teachers short on time and inspiration, VHOOP wants to pitch the product at people who want to tone their tummies in record time. In an ideal world, everyone would be just around the corner from a pristine park with lots of space (and great weather) for workouts, but rapid urbanization means lots of people live in inner-city shoeboxes not necessarily very close to parkland.
According to VHOOP, its smart hoop offers a way for those space-starved urban-dwellers to get their workout fix. For one, it can be disassembled and packed into a small bag, making it easy to store in a cupboard or closet. And unless you live somewhere without enough room to swing a dead cat, you should be able to get your hula on.
The hoop is backed by a Bluetooth-connected smartphone app, designed to track how many calories the user burned during a session, how it compares with past performances, and how it compares with friends with the same hoop. Those lacking in motivation can set daily reminders to work out, too.
People who are keen to increase the challenge can slot heavier weights into the hoop, which is made of waterproof polypropylene and lined with grippy silicon. It looks slightly fancier and higher-tech than your average schoolyard hoop – apt, given that's what it is. The inside of the hoop is home to an accelerometer, along with a battery good for 15 days on a single charge. It takes about 90 minutes to fully replenish the battery.
VHOOP is on Kickstarter at the moment, where it has exceeded its US$10,000 goal by more than 30 percent with five days remaining. Pledging $69 is enough to get a hoop, bag, USB plug and a set of weight, $149 is enough to reserve a double pack, and $279 secures a four pack of hoops, so you can push your latest fitness fad onto the family. If all goes as planned, deliveries are expected to start in December this year.
You can check it out in the video below.
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