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

Smart health gear is typically restricted by being static and non-portable. (And, properly, eye-wateringly costly.) Think Peloton‘s stationary bike for spin classes or wall-mounted strength training rig Tonal. Great if you’re at house and may afford to shell out 1000’s on a fancy house gymnasium, however what if you wish to take your exercise with you wherever you go?

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

Originally choosing a crowdfunding route by way of Kickstarter final 12 months, the {hardware} startup has gone on to promote “a few thousand” bands since getting the product to market in March this 12 months. They’ve additionally bagged backing from enterprise angels and have simply closed a second seed spherical with a global investor as they gear as much as develop their fledgling health enterprise.

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

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

“It’s really hard to find and develop a material that stretches over 200% or 300% … and not break and not measure anything,” Weiss tells Mymobiapps. “When you stretch [the Straffr fitness band] the electrical resistance changes and therefore we can say how much you’ve stretched the band for a specific exercise.”

Anyone who’s tried to do power coaching utilizing a (non-smart) resistance band is aware of it may be fairly tough to maintain targeted and engaged with out skilled steering. Basically it’s exhausting to know if you’re performing the actions in an optimum means or simply mindlessly twanging a piece of rubber. So a sensing factor seems to be prefer it might add a lot of worth to this specific little bit of health equipment.

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

The app options a number of exercise movies which let you comply with alongside to pre-recorded health band classes, corresponding to HIIT-focused exercises, whole physique power coaching or fast home-office workout routines.

Image Credits: Straffr

Weiss says the startup is constructing a premium on-demand supply, too — and has not too long ago onboarded 5 private trainers so it could supply one-to-one coaching classes. That will probably be for a future Pro function. The fundamental app is free, as the startup is charging for the {hardware}.

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

It’s additionally price noting that Straffr’s smart band is significantly cheaper than shelling out for a Peloton or different high-end linked home-gym equipment, which is now aiming to lighten folks’s wallets by focusing on their exercises.

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

Typical patrons thus far are typically both fitness-focused males who’re very into the “quantified self” development, per Weiss, or middle-aged girls wanting an alternative choice to health lessons at the gymnasium. But a humble (however smart) health band actually might supply one thing for everybody.

“Where really we see a future of training with resistance bands is with personal trainers directly,” Weiss provides. “One-on-one digital training, on-demand, with personal trainers, with pro athletes, with Olympians that talk you through the whole workout routine, what it does, they’re training with you, it’s sweaty training, it’s motivating for people.”

Still, if resistance band exercises actually aren’t your jam, Straffr does have plans to develop extra bits of a smart health equipment. Although Weiss received’t be drawn on precisely what different linked {hardware} they’re cooking up.

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

“For us it’s always the combination of functional, really portable training with the component of tracking quality — the quality of your training. Like how good are you? Are you actually effective? Because if you’re just counting reps and steps and stuff there’s obviously a good motivational aspect to it … but we want to also see are these reps really good, are they good quality, are you doing the best you can for the condition you’re in right now?”

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