By Pete Carey
San Jose Mercury News.
Running shorts that talk to you. A dress that adjusts to your mood. A clip-on that acts as a posture coach.
The Bay Area is alive with wearable startups and Silicon Valley’s largest companies have dived in, seeing a potentially vast market on the horizon. Fitbit, which makes a fitness tracker, went public in June. Intel has engineers working with New York fashion designers on wearable tech and sponsored a “Make it Wearable” contest which CEO Brian Krzanich helped judge. Apple sold 1 million watches on the first weekend.
A small part of the Internet of Things market that Cisco Systems sees as a future $19 trillion industry, wearables are becoming “trainables” that not only track your biometrics, but also double as digital coaches.
That’s just for starters. Someday your body may have its own set of Internet of devices monitoring various vital signs and relaying them back to trainers and doctors. I recently borrowed a gadget called the Lumo Lift from its maker, Lumo Bodytech in Palo Alto, and wore it around for a few days.
Lumo Lift attached to my shirt with a magnetic clasp and communicated with an Apple iPhone app. After calibrating it for my best posture, it vibrated whenever I slouched, reminding me to stand up straight like my mother told me to.
Lumo just launched Lumo Run, smart men’s shorts and women’s capris with a 9-axis sensor that fits in the waistband and measures the wearer’s movements and biometrics, offering real-time tips via headphones for improving running style and avoiding injuries.
The feedback from Lumo Lift and the data on the app helped me work on my posture, but Lumo’s CEO Monisha Perkash has a bigger vision for the running shorts.