The Specter brightens up your nighttime runs, one flailing arm at a time

With the rising popularity of nighttime exercises comes a higher rate of accidents. Despite this, many choose not to wear safety gear because they tend to be aesthetically offensive. Therefore, the team at Niports Inc. created the Specter.

The Specter is a lightweight aluminum band studded with LEDs that displays images and messages that can be selected or created using the companion Specter app, perfect for keeping active types visible at night. But the LEDs don’t just display the message themselves. Rather, when the band is moved, it creates a streak of light that forms the image or message using the eye’s penchant for stringing together images — similar to how it does with frames in a movie.


Lap the competition with the TUNE running system

People play the long game when they run, seeking to better themselves over time for races and marathons that may be a year or more out in addition to staying healthy.

Made up of a connected inner sole and a clip-on wearable device, the TUNE running system has a ground-level view of all the nuances of a user’s feet while active. It analyzes ground contact time, heel contact time, footstrike and cadence all in an effort to reduce total contact time.


Run right into improved performance with the RunRite running system

Most wearable running devices focus on different variables like heart rate and stride, but with the activity being such a personal activity unique to each body, simply keeping track of disparate variables isn’t enough. Each body has its own potential and limitations so a system needs to not only obtain the necessary data but also analyze it, too.

This is exactly what the RunRite system does. Comprised of two sensors worn around the legs, RunRite takes in common data like heart rate along with more refined data like power output and pace. The system then compiles this data and assigns a running efficiency score, advising runners how best to increase that score during a run and analyzing the data to recommend exercises to improve performance between runs. RunRite works on iOS, Android, and some Windows devices, and goes for $199, with an expected ship date of September 2015.. Its campaign is looking for $60,000 by June 4th, 2015.

Other products like the Stridalyzer and runScribe also serve up valuable information on running performance, but the RunRite has them beat on both the quantity and quality of that information, in addition to the exercise recommendations it provides. Most running systems are best used during the run, while RunRite stays helpful all the time.

Running Wearables

Gaiteye tracks 15 measures to realtime running feedback

There’s nothing like going out and enjoying a good run in the morning in order to clear out the cobwebs and get the day started right. Of course, running at the end of the day can be a great stress reliever. Either way, Gaiteye helps those who enjoy running to learn the biomechanics of how their run can improve. The foot pad sensor measures key gait performance metrics such as the way the foot strikes the ground, stride length and cadence and several other factors. This way, they can learn what they’re doing right and continue optimizing their jog.

This product seems like a great way for runners to watch how they are improving and use that information for self-motivation, especially if they are able to use it in conjunction with a personal trainer. Similar to the runScribe, it takes information from feet instead of wrists to measure key running metrics. This campaign seeks to raise kr100,000 (~$13, 500) by December 19, 2014. Early bird backers can get one product for kr 940 DKK (~$127), with an expected delivery of March 2015.

Apparel Running

JogTog+ wrap holds the phone, covers buns for women on runs

Running is a favorite activity for fitness enthusiasts. It requires no expensive gym membership and is a great way to stay in shape. Just leave the house and go. The only thing is that it’s hard to store keys, music players and other accessories in those tight workout clothes that are all the rage nowadays.

JogTog+ is like a personal mud flap for runners. This wrap fits around the waist and hips and ties at the front, so it fits all sizes and comes in different colors. It has reflective pieces on the back for maximum visibility. With three pockets, you can store snacks, a wallet, music player and keys conveniently and securely. JogTog+ also features a small hole for earbuds to fit through.

JogTog+ elaborates upon existing exercise clothes that have pockets. With multiple pockets, it spreads out the weight of accessories so that nothing is bouncing up and down too heavily. If it just ties, however, the creators may want to consider a stronger method of security. One will cost backers $30 for estimated delivery in March 2015. JogTog+ is hoping to raise $10,000 on Kickstarter.

Fitness Smartwatches/Bands

Avid is a cheap fitness watch with a Pebble-like button layout

We’re definitely in the era of the smartwatch, but the sad part is that they pretty much all do the same things. The Avid Multi-Sport Smart Watch adds to that massive list by being a watch you’ve seen before with a different name. It has a bevy of features for sports, including auto-course recognition, distance to the green, and scorecards for golfers, or calories burned, distance ran, and route tracking for runners. When you’re not out on the green or trying to best the time for your favorite path, the watch can control music on your smartphone and activate the shutter on your smartphone. In addition, its native push support can keep you up-to-date — it just won’t look too stylish doing it. The campaign is seeking $150,000 CAD (~$134,000 USD), with the opportunity to get your own Avid watch for just $99 CAD (~$88 USD).

The little things usually do count, but not when products like the inWatch Z are capable doing just the same with the addition of an HD camera, but even that watch didn’t hit its funding goal. The Avid would have been better served being a more focused product like the Zoi running system. Because it isn’t, the Avid suffers because it’s doing too many, already explored things at once.

Apparel Organization

Runband lets you take your essentials as you exercise

Lots of pockets are essential for storing all the important little things in life. Runband lets active and busy people have what they need right at their fingertips: pens and pencils, pocket knife, small flashlight, even a small water bottle that can be stowed right on the user’s arm! Black netting with elasticity helps keep essentials secure during even the most extreme activities – whether that’s a party where a blended dance genre of hip-hop- break dancing is the hot activity or extreme sporting activities. The product seems to offer a great deal of convenience whether in an urban, suburban or rural setting, and nothing particularly bulky or larger than what fits in a 5.5” pouch is going to be necessary for one’s outing. The pouches are made of cotton, so while they will offer some breathability, they will also retain sweat longer than a polyester-spandex blend. For $40, backers get one product with an expected delivery of March 2015.


Running Wearables

Zoi wearable helps you run better and safer

From the neon-colored, spandex laced marathoners to those simply seeking to keep fit, poor technique is the main cause of running injuries. Avoiding these injuries while working towards a stride and pace that is challenging yet suitable for the body takes consistent feedback and patient coaching. Unfortunately, employing a coach can be cost prohibitive, running apps only telling you how much you run, and technical gait analyses only give you a snapshot of your technique for too much money.

Runteq is positioning their biometric running system, Zoi, as your personal coach. Comprising of a chest and foot sensor, runners can enjoy vocal feedback with the included wireless earbuds about very specific aspects of their technique, all in real time. Feedback takes the form of cheering and gentle encouragement advising you on things like pronation, ground contact time, and overall body motion, all of which can be used to create shareable personal training plans for review on the Zoi smartphone app. There a number of perks available, each offering Zoi for discounted prices ranging from €69 to €119, all contributing to the company’s funding goal of €50,000.

Another company has taken a stab at the same issue of runner education with runScribe, a pedometer sized device that attaches to your foot. Compared to Zoi, though, it has a much narrower focus — limited to collecting information that’s manually uploaded rather than actively feeding it back to the user.

Zoi is coming along at a time where interest in wearable tech is at an all-time high, but where the expectations at what they can do are similarly high. Applications and wearables are saturated with heart rate and blood pressure monitors which provide disjointed information, so Zoi pushes the envelope with their novel, smart feedback system. While the MSRP may be a bit pricey at €149, it will surely come out cheaper than other, more expensive alternatives.

Running Wearables

Universole steps up to measuring pressure tracking in your shoes

For most readers of this site, it will have been decades since learning to walk, and most would probably consider it a skill that they’ve mastered. UniverSole is a smart shoe insole that houses several pressure sensors to point out the ways in which one can improve their walking, running, or sitting to prevent strains or injuries. The sensors in UniverSole are paper-thin, and the feel of the insole is comfortable and familiar, preventing users from walking differently while using the product. Also because the design is so thin, UniverSole fits virtually every kind of shoe available for sale.

By acting as the point of contact for tracking, UniverSole offers more accurate data than a wrist-worn activity tracker, while also not advertising to the world that you use a gadget for fitness. With a Bluetooth 4.0 module built right in, data about weight balance, stride, and distance are all tracked and transmitted immediately to any smartphone or tablet.

UniverSole is looking to collect $75,000 in donations to finalize moldings and start production. Backers can run out and get a pair for $200 in November 2015. It’s a great way to discreetly track fitness data, and is a great addition to the new wave of sole trackers we’ve seen recently, joining similar products like the runScribe that tracks while you go.

Connected Objects Fitness Smartwatches/Bands

$29 Jaha fitness band counts steps, saved dollars

jaha2With the likes of the Fitbit Flex, Jawbone Up, and Nike Fuelband hogging up the spotlight alongside other, lesser known fitness bands, Jaha is hoping their version will stand out. With the options to locate and challenge others nearby or take up the virtual challenges Jaha will throw at you with the accompanying iOS app, the product isn’t content with only keeping you informed, but motivated as well. Of course, the challenge is that we’re starting to see a lot of this step-counting functionality built into the smartphones themselves. Jaha’s campaign is trying to shore up $25,000 to have their band around your wrist by November 2014.