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Moov is the activity tracker that also coaches your activities

Susie Ochs | March 7, 2014
Your activity tracker can count your steps, and your phone's GPS can tell you how far your run was, but can either of them help correct your form to reduce the risk of an injury? No, but Moov can. It can also coach you through biking workouts, count how many laps you swim, and lead you through a fun cardio boxing routine, giving you real-time feedback on your punches' speed and form.

Your activity tracker can count your steps, and your phone's GPS can tell you how far your run was, but can either of them help correct your form to reduce the risk of an injury? No, but Moov can. It can also coach you through biking workouts, count how many laps you swim, and lead you through a fun cardio boxing routine, giving you real-time feedback on your punches' speed and form.

Moov, which started taking preorders at the end of February, is a wearable sensor about the size of a silver dollar that you can strap to your wrist, ankle, or shoe. It packs a magnetometer, accelerometer, and gyroscope; combined with software, the sensors can detect Moov's precise position in 3D space. So it knows not only how far you've run, for example, but also how you ran, including how fast your leg is moving forward and back on each step and how hard your foot is hitting the pavement.

Artificial intelligence lets Moov's apps give you more than just raw data — you get actionable advice. You'll be told exactly what to do and how to do it, plus you'll know if you're doing it correctly.

Moov will launch with five apps: run, bike, swim, cardio boxing, and a body weight workout. (They'll run on iOS only at first, with Android coming later.) In the running app, for example, you can set goals of avoiding injury, running more efficently, or training hard with high-intensity intervals.

If you want to run more efficiently, the tracker monitors your cadence, or how many steps you take per minute, and coaches you to quicken your steps and improve your stride rate. Over time that will help you increase the length of your runs. The company's founders gave me a demo of the "run more efficiently" goal, and it was striking how quickly the app responded to changes in running speed. This is great because while RunKeeper can nag me to log my miles each week, it doesn't actually do anything to help me improve.

To help you avoid injury, the app also gives you real-time feedback on how hard you're striking the pavement, both with colors on the phone's screen and a voice in your headphones. Again, in a demo, the coaching was near instantaneous, and the sensors can tell when you're running downhill and remind you to step a little lighter so you don't hurt yourself.

The cardio boxing app works best with two Moov trackers, one worn on each wrist. The coach shows you what to do on the screen of your iPhone or iPad, and you just punch along, mostly jabs and hooks. You'll see the speed of each of your punches, plus how many calories you're burning, but the cool part is that you'll also see right away if you're doing it right. If your jabs aren't rotating properly, you'll know instantly, and you can correct yourself.

 

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