Crowdfunding resources such as IndieGoGo and Kickstarter attract innovative minds by the hundreds, each user seeking angel investors for their next great idea. Now they’re pulling in inventors of fitness gadgets, which have been experiencing a bit of a revolution in the free market. However, these are more than just fitness trackers that count your steps, they represent the next step in the evolution workout tech for the serious (and the not-so-serious) athlete.
The Atlas is a powerful, wrist-worn device whose motion sensors are smart enough to tell the difference between scores of different exercises such as bench presses to squats, as well as variations on exercises such as regular bicep curls and alternating bicep curls. For exercises it doesn’t know, it learns them—meaning Atlas can be used for diverse regimens such as CrossFit that may incorporate tires and ropes. It logs these exercises, plus information such as heart rate, with a companion iOS app that can connect to MapMyFitness and Fitocracy. With the readouts from the app, you can tell your max thrust, heart rate recovery and even get feedback on which muscle groups you should give a rest. The display already gives you plenty of useful information, however, keeping live feedback on hand regardless if you’re at the gym, running or swimming.
Skulpt Aim does something that has never been done before: it measures the fitness level of individual muscles. Apply the iPhone-sized device to a muscle group, and it will give you a fat percentage score as well as a MQ score—that’s muscle quality to the uninitiated—using a low-voltage electrical current. MQ measures a muscle’s strength and definition so that you can actually tell how much you’re improving, meaning that you’ll know how much to target your abs if you’re working on a six pack. The measurements are tracked and sent to an online or mobile dashboard, which reads out progress and gives tailored fitness advice on what step to take next, making it an effective motivational tool.
As its diminutive form factor may suggest, Misfit Shine is aimed at a more casual, unobtrusive approach to fitness. Designed by to be worn all day as either a watch, pendant, or button, it’s made to track basic activities and help people create healthy habits. The wireless, charger-less device measures activities such as walking, cycling and swimming for up to four months before its coin cell battery has to be replaced. To sync your activities, just place it on your smartphone to transfer the data, or get a quick read on your activity level by tapping it—a subtle halo of lights will illuminate to show you.