Connected Objects Fitness

Yoga SmartMat provides guidance to make you a perfect poser

Yoga is all about balance. Unfortunately, our bodies are alarmingly lopsided. A pose that we can do perfectly on one side of our bodies is surprisingly difficult on the other side. Yoga teachers are constantly adjusting their students to maintain balance in their poses. The SmartMat does the exact same thing. By connecting with your tablet or smartphone via Bluetooth, the SmartMat collects data about your posture, balance and alignment to assist you with becoming a yogi master. It first adjusts your alignment, telling you, for example, to move your right foot forward. Then, it tells you to shift your weight so there is equal pressure on both sides of the body, a very important aspect of yoga. The app lets you monitor your progress over time and even gives you new yoga moves to try out. Powered by battery, this mat boasts up to six hours of life. For a mat and the Android/iOS compatible app, backers will have to shell out $347, $100 less than the retail price, for estimated delivery in September 2015. SmartMat is hoping to raise $110,000 during its campaign on Indiegogo.

By all accounts, SmartMat looks like a super cool way to get your yoga on. Most fitness monitoring devices focus on higher impact sports, like the runScribe. SmartMat, while expensive, provides a ton of useful information since the entire mat is collecting data from the entire body, pretty cool. Looking like a traditional yoga mat and made out of most of the same materials, it’s a little concerning how long this mat will last. Some mats wear out over time, but with such an expensive investment, it’ll be important for SmartMat to prove its functional longevity. Also, it’s only water and sweat resistant and not proof. Big sweaters and hot yoga practitioners will have to protect the SmartMat with an extra towel. Still, this super cool product is a great tool for yoga enthusiasts looking to perfect their practice.

Automotive Tools

QuickTrick SL/SLX helps keeps your tires aligned

The Premise. Out of whack steering can be scary when you’re driving. Bumps, potholes, hitting curbs or everyday wear and tear can mess up your wheel’s alignment over time. It can be costly and time-consuming to bring your car to the mechanic in order to have the alignment checked.

The Product. The QuickTrick SL is a wheel alignment diagnostic system. The product attaches easily to your wheel on the ground, so no lift is needed. It comes with a digital reader that uses arrows to alert the user whether or not the wheel needs to be realigned. The product is made of metal and is about the size of a tire iron, making it easy to store in the car itself if needed.

The Pitch. The campaign opens with a high-quality video showing the QuickTrick being manufactured as well as narrative from the creator about the inspiration for the product. She goes on to explain in detail how to use the product. The rest of the campaign shows testimonials for people who like the QuickTrick and different statistics about the U.S.’s high rate of tire use. QuickTrick hopes to raise $28,250 in a 30-day Kickstarter campaign.

The Perks. Early backers can nab a first production-run QuickTrick SL for $145 with an estimated delivery date of July 2014. Later backers will receive the QuickTrick for a $195 donation in August 2014. The highest $5,500 reward tier offers a trip to Alabama as well as accommodations. The creators plan to use the money from the stretch goal toward attending and competing in a large automotive venue new products competition.

The Potential. While the Internet offers a slew of “home remedies” for diagnosing alignment problems, all depend on feeling instead of hard data. The QuickTrick SL is a great way to save a trip to the mechanics by doing a simply diagnostic all by yourself. The reliability of the instrument is unknown, but if it is completely accurate, the QuickTrick will no doubt enjoy success on the automobile accessory market.