Lumo BodyTech Andrew Chang, newest technology

Our pose is not only hooked up to our overall health and wellness as well as well-being, yet acts as a crucial component of just how we connect to each other as human beings. At the Wearable Tech Show in London previously this month, I had the chance to take a seat as well as chat about wearable technology’s function in aiding to improve our posture and additionally our ability to connect regarding Andrew Chang, CTO and also founder of Lumo BodyTech. Lumo BodyTech is the firm behind the successful wearable position sensing units Lumoback and Lumo Lift. We talked at length concerning the efficiency of wearables to aid correct several of our biomechanical problems and just how this new wave of computing could be the trick to making us more human again.

I’ve covered Lumoback in the past, calling it the ‘unpleasant mother’ of wearable technology. Both Lumoback (a sensor that you band around your midsection) and Lumo Lift (a tiny magnetic sensing unit that you grip near your collarbone) are wearable devices that monitor your pose, and also make use of visual and haptic cues to advise you to sit or stand up directly. As an individual which struggles with persistent back, shoulder and also neck discomfort, I am really thinking about any tool that can help take this discomfort away. I have actually been thrilled by exactly how concentrated, effective, as well as distinct the Lumo products have been, and also would certainly be putting on the Lift much more often if it just weren’t for that its Android application hasn’t released yet (this is coming says Chang).

Where did the connection between wearables as well as body language come from?

This really came from my personal experiences regarding reduced back discomfort. I have actually been dealing with lower back pain for over thirteen years now and also it originated from a crash from when I was really youthful. I have actually done ultrasonic treatments, bodily therapy, chiropractic care, and nothing really functioned long-term. It was recommended to me that I take position lessons and within a number of days mostly all of my back discomfort went away.

Through simply sitting as well as filling in a much better posture I learned exactly how to take care of and also regulate my back pain as well as that was the A-HA moment that led me and the team to ask ourselves how we might assist enhance people’s position, and that is when we began to prototype a lot of various type elements and suggestions to acquire folks much more aware about it.

We never ever really believed of ourselves as a wearable tech business and also we still don’t actually, despite the fact that a great deal of folks call us wearable technology. We consider our own selves as a pose as well as biomechanics company, and clearly right now the most effective remedy is a wearable solution.

We never truly thought of our own selves as a wearable technology company. We consider our own selves as a posture and biomechanics company.

You claimed you were considering different type factors as well as designs, just how did you wind up regarding the back strap for Lumoback?

So for that device we prototyped as well as tested a bunch of different things. We did some picture handling on the computer display to see if we could possibly sense slouching from there. Yet as our concentration was on the much lower back which you couldn’t view, we had to move past that. We looked at the usage of tension sensors and also installing them into seat pillows and into chairs, yet we observed that a great deal of individuals would certainly move throughout the day and do not stay in one chair. We understood we needed to create something that might be placed into the body.

We began with a spot, essentially a clever band-aid kind form factor. We did that for a few months. However the adhesive and also the dampness felt means also clinical, and also a bunch of customers really did not know just what to do regarding it and it would fall off. After that we examined clips as well as the clip kind aspect was really convenient however it was a little as well casual as well as it was shed a great deal – among our early beta testers shed it in the toilet when he was in the shower room. So that is when we transferred to the band. Just what we discovered when we dealt with the band is that it was already relevant and strangely acquainted to people which have back pain considering that they are used to putting on back prepares as well as this was a whole lot much easier than wearing a back brace and also it considered that convenience and confidence and protection.

So what did you pick up from the Lumoback band that you took to produce your brand-new gadget the Lumo Lift?

This brand-new kind element, the Lumo Lift, is concentrating on a somewhat different issue. Where Lumoback is concentrating on lower backpain and pose on your hips, the Lumo Lift has to do with self-confidence as well as appearance. A great deal of the user responses we got from the Lumoback people was that they wanted to repair their top physical body slouching and their neck and also shoulders. They really did not have the much lower backpain however they wanted a product to fix this problem.

Also, the band is a really high commitment gadget that you need to put on and also regarding Lift it’s a great deal a lot more casual and individual friendly, as well as that is just how we made the shift to a more consumer pleasant product.

Both Lumoback and Lumo Lift utilize haptic feedback as a vital means to interact to the customer. Talk to me about the use of haptics as well as why your company is so concentrated on utilizing it as an interaction method?

We have and are remaining to check various ways of offering responses. In real-time it makes the most feeling to utilize haptics considering that it’s quiet as well as it seems like a tip. It really feels like somebody is tapping you on the back to stand straight which is exactly what we were going with. We have actually tried sounds and noises however that made folks self-conscious, they don’t intend to draw attention to something similar to this as this is a pose correction gadget, and also some people don’t want others to know that they are dealing with their posture.

This is also why the gadget can be combined in discretely also. It can be worn on a bra band. It could be used on an undershirt. There are a bunch of different methods that we are attempting to mix this right into the background for people that want it to be discrete. For others that intend to bring it to the forefront, we have fashion jewelry holds they can choose from.

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Why was it essential to supply a range of holds for the Lumo Lift?

Because you are using this device on your physical body it is a quite personal point and also because its individual people love to customize as well as share themselves. A whole lot of consumer feedback and also study aimed to a wearable that you either don’t really want people to understand about or that you wanted to celebrate as well as enjoy regarding. Both sides already existing and also we intended to play with both which is one of the style restrictions that we collaborated with. That is why the top clasp of the Lift is magnetic which makes it interchangeable and also we are right now collaborating with various other artists and also the maker community to develop brand-new layouts for the hold, nearly like open resource hardware, which is also extremely exciting.

Chris Anderson, CEO of 3D Robotics lately did a keynote at the PCH Equipment Hackathon in Toronto, and also he was speaking about several of the key ingredients to successful hardware. He claimed that whatever you do, do not put a display on it. The absence of a display is among things I actually observed regarding the Lumobody Technology products. Was this by design?

This is a very vital point as well as we have thought of it a great deal asking ourselves if we need to have a display or not. When we made the first Lumoback or even the Lumo Lift a bunch of folks wanted us to have a screen due to the fact that folks are used to that. There are already sufficient displays as it is.

The method that we developed both items and also the means that we will make future items is based off of an understanding of the whole environment, particularly as it advances. We are very delighted regarding smartwatches and also heads-up display screens as we designed our items with an understanding that there is going to be a whole ecological community of wearables and also a web of points. We don’t need a screen considering that you already have 3, or four, or five different displays around you, as well as so we just need to connect right into them and also hook up to them. Every little thing is visiting be interoperable in the future therefore we made this design option. Exactly what this allowed us to do was to focus a lot more of our research on resolving this particular issue which is pose. If you are going to play in an ecological community you have to address one issue really actually well. That is our technique as well as that is just how we will certainly continue.

With the Lift you chose not to return to crowdfunding as you did regarding Lumoback but instead elevated funds by means of pre-orders on your own site. Just what was the reason to not utilize crowdfunding the second time around?

We spoke a whole lot about whether we should go back to Kickstarter. When we did Lumoback we really did not have a web site or an establishment as well as the entire e-commerce backend and so that is where Kickstarter made a bunch of sense. Because we launched Lumoback we already had all the framework in area so it made it truly very easy to do the pre-orders on the web site as well as from that we were able to acquire a little bit more data concerning which was coming to our website.

With all this development in communication we are losing our capability to share our own selves and also are failing to remember just how to express ourselves.

So where are you going next off? You’ve dealt with much lower back, you are working with top back and also shoulders. Exists one more put on the body you are targeting?

What acquires me most ecstatic is this huge white room in terms of mapping the physical body. There are a great deal of nice problems that we could now begin solving. What we are concentrating on now are other specific biomechanical issues that there are hardly any remedies ideal now.

One of the important things that me and my team are enthusiastic about is interaction as well as just how we can aid folks much better connect. If you take a look at the modern technologies as well as the products in the previous that actually formed which we are, and really fostered development, they were interaction modern technologies: language, the printing press, email, telephone, message, and also social media sites. We could now interact quicker compared to ever before. All of these new layouts of connecting extremely quickly are taking away from our capacity to connect in the actual globe. There is a lot of research that shows that 60 % of interaction is using the physical body as well as the other is in tone and language. Regarding all this innovation in communication we are losing our capacity to share ourselves and are neglecting exactly how to share ourselves.

So what we intend to do is to begin to map that physical body language and also attempt to aid folks communicate a lot better: just how do you stand there in a room and also command it, just how do you feel and also act more positive as well as a lot more attractive when you are on your very first day – all these various things where body movement interaction is truly crucial and also it has begun to be forgotten. We assume it’s a really human thing to do and this will help us feel a lot more human again.

This is where wearables could truly help since wearables will allow us to communicate and also function even more naturally.

One of the points I noted regarding the Apple Watch was Apple’s focus on electronic touch which recommends that they are putting emphasis on a wearable’s capability to improve our non-verbal communication. I have actually heard this a great deal from others in this area.

Yes, you are truly appealing it. I actually believe that there is an entire great deal below that we as a culture haven’t yet focused on. A lot of our attention is removed to these tiny screens in our pockets or on the wall and we should have even more in person. This is where wearables can actually help considering that wearables will allow us to connect and also work even more naturally. Every one of this brand-new technology is type of taking us away from this and making us less human and that is why I am excited about this brand-new standard of computing that could resist several of that technology that is taking us away from who we actually are.

I assume there is a whole lot that we can do with haptics. It’s a language though that is extremely brand-new. There is no universal haptic language that individuals are useded to. You have to educate people on the various vibration patterns. There is a lot there to increase on.