READWRITE - Nov 11- Chaotic Moon Studios, the creators of an innovative new fitness tracker for wheelchair users, discuss their inspiration and applications of the company's Wheelchair Tracking & Terrain Mapping Device, along with their take on what lies ahead for the future of wearables.
What inspired you to create this project?
Fitness trackers have taken off in the last few years, but an entire population has been overlooked and excluded from this phenomenon and its associated positive impacts and potential. [It's] our attempt to fill this gaping hole in the market and provide wheelchair users around the globe with a fitness tracker.
What obstacles do people in wheelchairs find with typical fitness trackers, and how does this project approach those issues?
Most fitness trackers use a pedometer, and the algorithm that they use to calculate things like caloric burn, etc. is based on the idea that you're using your legs. This clearly isn't an effective model for wheelchair users, who instead are utilizing their arms and muscle groups in their upper body.
By utilizing Hall Effect sensors, a barometer, a gyroscope and an accelerometer, we could gather all the critical info—speed, acceleration, distance, altitude, incline, and decline—to create a fitness tracker that's specifically geared towards wheelchair users.
What other applications do you see for the technology?
Not only is every user enjoying the fitness-tracking benefits of the device on an individual level, but as they're moving they're automatically gathering and recording all kinds of important information about their environment that can benefit everyone. When aggregated, this data can be used for functions like terrain mapping.
What do you see for the future of wearables, and what's Chaotic Moon's place in it?
We believe that the future of wearables is in seamless integration and in implementing the technology in a way that makes sense to the user, so that it works with them naturally and enhances, rather than complicates, their life. We're here to push not only ourselves, but the industry as a whole to rethink and redefine what's possible.