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Office chair cushion nudges you if you’ve been sitting too long

Wednesday 25 June 2014

The Darma cushion monitors health and the user’s behavior to record how long they have been in one position.
Most fitness and health trackers need to be worn or attached to the user’s body for the device to track biometrics like heart rate or pulse, and provide alerts that prompt the user to move and be active.
Darma (www.darma.co) however, simply needs the user to sit on it to monitor their health and behavior. Darma is a smart cushion that is placed on office or work seats and measures the user’s heart rate, respiration, posture, and even their stress levels. It also records how long the user has been seated and would nudge the user to get up and stand or walk around.
The smart cushion has a 1mm high-sensitivity sensor that can record the body’s micro movements. Optic fibers are embedded into the cushion to monitor the user’s movements. The sensor can detect whether how often the user moves while seated or how good their posture is.
The cushion works with an accompanying app via Bluetooth and presents all the recorded data and health trends to the user. It assesses the user’s data to determine stress levels, and if they have been sitting down for too long it alerts them to stand up and stretch. If the app detects that the user is slouching, it alerts the user to adjust their position. If the app detects that the user’s stress level is going up, it also alerts them to take a breather and try to relax until their heart rate goes down.
The app is currently only available in iOS but Darma’s creators are planning to release an Android version in the future.
The developers of Darma are planning to launch a Kickstarter campaign for the device soon. The retail price of the device will be around $US249, but the Kickstarter price is estimated to be $US149 for early backers.

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