Good news for all you tech-loving yogis out there — the humble yoga mat is the latest everyday object to get the “smart” treatment. Thanks to a recently-launched Indiegogo campaign, you’ll finally be able to practice your poses on an intelligent platform that gives you real-time instructions and feedback.
On the outside, SmartMat doesn’t look any different than the regular old mat you’ve got rolled up in your gym bag. But don’t be fooled; there’s a lot going on under the hood. Sandwiched between the rubbery top and bottom layers, SmartMat sports a grid of conductive fabric placed over a layer of piezoresistive material. This essentially makes it possible (with the help of software, of course) for the mat to know exactly where you’re standing on it and approximate how much weight is being placed on a given zone.
Once you’ve calibrated SmartMat and given the device specifics on your body (weight, height, wingspan, torso height, etc), the mat will take you through a series of poses, negotiating with you and suggesting adjustments to determine what your “perfect pose” is. After this initial calibration, SmartMat will use this information as a baseline for recommendations during your future practice sessions. If calibrated correctly, it can reportedly discern between 62 different poses.
To help guide you through exercises and offer real-time feedback, the mat beams all the collected data to your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth. It’s even got an integrated device stand built into the front end, so you’ll be able to see the screen no matter what pose you’re in. Yet somehow, despite all this embedded tech, the SmartMat is somehow completely flat, rollable, and soft — not a bulky, hard-faced platform like Wii Fit board or something similar.
SmartMat’s creators have turned to Indiegogo to raise the $110K needed for production, and you can currently pre-order one for a pledge of around 250-300 bucks. But be warned: the project page doesn’t include any prototype images. Both the app and the product itself are depicted via renderings, which suggests the creators aren’t very far along in the development process. They’re currently shooting for an August 2015 ship date, which is nearly a year from now. In the interim, however, you can find out more here.
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