Smartwatches and fitness sensors are starting to appear everywhere, but they're all aimed at cardio endurance exercises like walking, cycling or running. Gymwatch hopes to change all that by measuring a user's muscle exertion to accurately measure weight training in a move that could leave personal trainers worried for their jobs.
How it works is unclear, but Gymwatch says this is the first sensor to measure strength and motion in every fitness exercise. The company claims the system is capable of measuring muscle contraction intensity, which will reveal weight repetitions and speed. Motion detection coupled with that data should offer a clear picture of how a lift, press or pull is being executed.
Using the data captured from the device on your arm, the live tracking app can correct things like posture errors or incomplete movements. Essentially it sounds like being watched by a personal trainer who's more accurate than a human can be.
For more enhanced tracking users can scan QR-codes or NFC tags on weights machines so the app knows what's being used. The Gymwatch will work without this too but its makers are clearly hoping to become a more integral part of a user's workout.
With an accompanying program users can analyse a workout to plan improvement areas for next time. Perhaps personal trainers aren't going to be out of jobs after all - this could supplement their training schedules and offer more in depth after care feedback.
Gymwatch is going onto Indiegogo on 30 March for funding so it's still all a bit of a conceptual set of claims right now. But the idea is a welcome one that could prove very popular. This also means a price and release date haven't been announced yet.
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UPDATE: The Gymwatch will start at $99 on US crowd funding site Indiegogo, rewarding early investors with the discounted price, and will then be priced at €149 for European release in July. Users will need one for legs and one for arms, or more than one if shifting it about sounds like effort.