Straffr is a smart resistance band that helps you exercise on the go – TechCrunch

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Smart health gear is usually restricted by being static and non-portable. (And, properly, eye-wateringly costly.) Assume Peloton‘s stationary bike for spin lessons or wall-mounted energy coaching rig Tonal. Nice if you’re at house and might afford to shell out hundreds on a fancy house fitness center, however what if you need to take your exercise with you wherever you go?

Meet Straffr, a German startup that’s exhibiting at the TechCrunch Disrupt Startup Alley this week. The corporate sells a smart health band that you can simply pop in your backpack and take with you when you hit the highway.

Initially choosing a crowdfunding route through Kickstarter final yr, the {hardware} startup has gone on to promote “a few thousand” bands since getting the product to market in March this yr. They’ve additionally bagged backing from enterprise angels and have simply closed a second seed spherical with a world investor as they gear as much as increase their fledgling health enterprise.

Straffr’s smart resistance band, which is available in both medium or robust energy grades, connects to the companion app utilizing Bluetooth, and begins monitoring as you quickly as you begin stretching and flexing — offering suggestions on your coaching session, not simply on reps however on “high quality” of exercise, per CEO Stefan Weiss.

The entire band is truly a sensor — product of an expandable rubber that’s electrically conductive. Straffr’s staff developed the materials and has some patents on it.

“It’s actually exhausting to search out and develop a materials that stretches over 200% or 300%… and never break and never measure something,” Weiss tells TechCrunch. “When you stretch [the Straffr fitness band] the electrical resistance modifications and subsequently we are able to say how a lot you’ve stretched the band for a particular exercise.”

Anybody who’s tried to do energy coaching utilizing a (non-smart) resistance band is aware of it may be fairly difficult to maintain centered and engaged with out skilled steerage. Principally it’s exhausting to know if you’re performing the actions in an optimum manner or simply mindlessly twanging a piece of rubber. So a sensing factor appears to be like prefer it might add a lot of worth to this specific little bit of health package.

Straffr’s smart band clocks your reps, power and velocity as you pull, with the app offering real-time suggestions via the exercise — providing verbal cues if you’re pulling “too quick” or nudges to maintain issues “sluggish and even.” It’ll additionally present you total outcomes of the exercise if you’re a fan of health stats.

The app features a number of exercise movies which let you comply with alongside to pre-recorded health band classes, similar to HIIT-focused exercises, whole physique energy coaching or fast home-office workouts.

Straffr is a smart resistance band that helps you exercise on the go

Picture credit: Straffr

Weiss says the startup is constructing a premium on-demand supply, too — and has lately onboarded 5 private trainers who it needs to supply its customers one-to-one coaching classes on-demand. That can be for a future Professional feature. The essential app is free, as the startup is charging for the {hardware}.

Straffr’s band prices simply over $100 (€99.99), which is very dear if you’re evaluating it to a non-smart different (a fundamental resistance band can value simply a few {dollars}). However that’s a pretty poor comparability, as a result of right here you’re getting a entire health bundle versus simply a piece of elastic. So these further {dollars} are for related exercise content material and in-app personalization together with exercise quantification and the added motivation of reside suggestions.

It’s additionally value noting that Straffr’s smart band is significantly cheaper than shelling out for a Peloton or different high-end related home-gym package, which is now aiming to lighten individuals’s wallets by concentrating on their exercises.

So, seen from that perspective, Straffr’s spin on smart health kinda appears to be like like a discount.

Typical patrons up to now are typically both fitness-focused males who're very into the ‘quantified self’ pattern, per Weiss, or middle-aged girls wanting a substitute for health lessons at the fitness center. However a humble (however smart) health band actually might supply one thing for everybody.

“The place actually we see a future of coaching with resistance bands is with private trainers straight,” Weiss provides. “One-on-one digital coaching, on-demand, with private trainers, with professional athletes, with Olympians that discuss you via the entire exercise routine, what it does, they’re coaching with you, it’s sweaty coaching, it’s motivating for individuals.”

Nonetheless, if resistance band exercises actually aren’t your jam, Straffr does have plans to develop further bits of a smart health package. Though Weiss received’t be drawn on precisely what different related {hardware} they’re cooking up.

“We do have a product in the pipeline now that we’re creating internally proper now — and we’re actually enthusiastic about it,” he says, including: “I can say it’s not going to be simply a leaping rope which counts.

“For us it’s at all times the mixture of purposeful, actually transportable coaching with the element of monitoring high quality — the high quality of your coaching. Like how good are you? Are you truly efficient? As a result of if you’re simply counting reps and steps and stuff there’s clearly a good motivational facet to it… however we need to additionally see are these reps actually good, are they good high quality, are you doing the best you can for the situation you’re in proper now?”

Source : TechCrunch