Every fitness tracker out there tells you to exercise to achieve your fitness goals. These vibrate when you are inactive for a prolonged period of time. These let you know if you are doing adequate exercise or not.
But is this enough? If you ask any fitness expert, he would tell you that apart from getting enough exercise, maintaining the right posture is also important to milk the benefits of exercise. So, your exercise of 40 minutes with slouched shoulders and bended back won’t do much for your fitness but rather will give you pain. Even in offices, we can see many people doing desk jobs for prolonged hours, not maintaining the upright posture and hence, suffering from cervical and joint pains due to this.
Researches have also revealed that maintaining the correct posture can also help you look better, gain confidence and stay healthy.
To end this dilemma of many fitness enthusiasts and working executives the Palo Alto based company, Lumo Body Tech has launched its second product named as the Lumo Lift. The Lift takes cues from the debutante offering of the company, Lumo Back but has quite a different take on this.
This peanut sized posture coach explores unique fitness metrics to rectify your posture. The device is stylish and very light. It is indeed very refreshing to have a wearable fitness device that claims to be wholesome and holistic with its approach but does it really deliver? Let us figure out!
To understand and analyze your body posture, Lumo Lift needs to stay close to your body especially near upper torso or neckline. If you are wearing a track suit or loose t-shirt, it may not detect your body movement. In such cases, you need to attach it to bra strap or vest. The posture coach utilizes algorithm and hardware sensors to figure out your posture. Every time you use it, you need to mention and calibrate your body posture that you want to maintain to the device.
Please note that Lumo Lift does not give you any data report to improve your body posture. It gives you gentle yet buzzing reminder that you are slouching or bending. It also does not offer any elevation or sleep monitoring.
The Lumo Lift Price:
Lumo Lift costs you about $100 or Au$ 107 and £60. This price point makes it a fierce competitor of Fitbit Flex and Jawbone UP. The company is shipping it internationally and if you can bear hefty freight charges, you can order it across the world.
The Lumo Lift is available in three color options namely silver, black and white with a black-silver metal plate. You can customize your device by purchasing bright or nude color metal plates that are available for $20. If you want to wear the device around a strap such as bra or undershirt, you can also purchase rounded clip for ease of usage. The magnetic clip can be personalized further by adding some decorative craft supplies to it.
A Word of Caution:
Lumo Lift utilizes magnet and needs to rest against the upper torso of your body. Heart patients with pacemaker should consult their doctor before using this magnetic device as the magnet can interfere with the working of pacemaker.
Lumo Lift is very stylish and can be passed off as a wrist accessory. The device has two parts, one the polycarbonate tracker and another, square magnetic plate. The tracker comprises the sensor and components whereas the plate works as a balance to keep the device on its place. The tracker doubles up as a button for navigation through the programs. The tracker is lightweight and thin but can be felt underneath your clothes. At some times, you can feel it pressing against your skin or causing a sag in your t-shirt that of course, looks very bad.
Ideally, the posture tracking device should be kept 1 inch below from the collarbone. The tracker should touch your skin or the undershirt whereas the magnet place should face the other side.
The device can be charged with charging magnetic cradle that is included in the box. The metal pins connect the tracker to the dock. The battery takes about 2 hours to charge and lasts around 4-5 days, depending upon the usage. The Lumo Lift does not feature a LED display but does sport a LED light that tells the status of charging.
How Does Lumo Lift Work?
Lumo Lift detects the right posture and can also track the number of steps taken. Depending on your clothing, you wear it close to your body and calibrate it to tell the posture you want to maintain, which is called Align Mode. The three vibrations are indication that it has processed the information and will use it as the “plan” for the day. Though, the baseline of “correct posture” can be changed as many times in a day. Since you may want to change your body posture quite often such as keeping the head high or not bending the spine, the Lift lets you do the ‘alignment’ on a day-to-day basis.
After the calibration, Lift observes your body movement and alerts you gently via vibration to rectify your posture. You can also choose to go through coaching mode of tracker to understand it better. You need to press the device for a few moments and let it vibrate once. In this mode, the device buzzes you every time when it senses the need to rectify your posture. To turn off the coaching mode, you again need to press the device until it vibrates twice.
The Lumo Lift detects the curvature of backbone as well as the alignment of upper back, chest and shoulders. Unlike the company’s previous brainchild Lumo Back, it tracks the upper body movement of the body. Though, on its own, this posture wearable cannot decide the right posture for you. All it can do is to scan your body movement and figure out what body posture you stay in for the most of time. If you know that something is wrong with your body posture, you define the ideal posture for yourself and store it in the device. And this, ladies and gentlemen, is a purpose lost.
Most of us are prone to slouching when working long hours or tend to bend the spine after a grueling work schedule but remain blissfully unaware of this. So, if we do not know what we have been doing with our body posture, how can we dictate it to a device? If the makers could have cued something related to healthy alignment by default, the Lumo Lift would have caused a storm in the wearable segment.
Just like an ordinary pedometer or Jawbone UP, Lumo Lift monitors steps taken and distance covered.
The Lift App for Lumo Lift
The Lumo Lift is compatible with Lift app, which is available for iOS. As we write this, the official website also shows off the newfound support for Windows devices. Compatibility of Android device is not expected to arrive before the year 2015.
The Lift app is high on design part and takes you to the dashboard stating the data related to your posture and movement. It syncs wirelessly over Bluetooth and records the daily reports on an hourly basis. To simplify the report, it does away with the numerical jargons and shows you a report in words. For instance, it will tell you that “you have been wonderful with your posture” or “you were at rest.” In terms of posture, you have slouchy, good and remarkable posture whereas for activity, you have at rest, active and super active mode. These statuses are highly dependable on time you held the posture for and you remained active in. The app also shows the calories burnt and steps taken.
If you prefer numbers, you can tap the device to get tangible numerical data that includes the hours you have maintained good posture in and took the steps. This also takes you to the goal section, which cannot be edited and is 4 good posture hours as well as to walk at least 10,000 steps. In this aspect, Fitbit is very user-friendly and lets you edit your goals as per your personal preference.
Users can swipe the home screen to left and right to see the previous activity logs. The home screen of the device can be used to start coaching section and to preset the time you want to maintain good posture for. The ‘pun-intended’ messages scrolling in the bottom of the screen help you to stay motivated. The app has some shortcomings though such as there is no social media connectivity. You cannot connect to your friends and share your stats. There is no graph or chart but stats in words or numbers. The device sends you a congratulatory email when you fulfill some goals or achieve milestones but there is no way you can unsubscribe yourself from these emails from the device. Rather, you need to login to your Lumo account and request them to unsubscribe you. There has been buzz that in the upcoming versions, the company may add social networking features and posture tracking feature but until then, the device has pretty limited usage.
The Lumo Lift is a very beautiful combination of functionality and design. But as a user, you think that you wish there could be more to it and not just a single-minded posture tracking. Thinking of it, the posture tracking itself is not by default. Users have reported that the coaching sessions are not that accurate and the device buzzes even when they are upholding the right posture. There are no posture tips to inform users about the importance of right posture. In the end of the day, it is another wearable wrist device whose design speaks louder than the substance it holds. However, if you are concerned about the right body posture, you can use it to become more mindful of how you are standing, working and sitting. Meanwhile let us hope that in the coming years with proper research and features, Lumo Lift may be able to offer the right wearable posture tracker to people.