Smart Rope displays your workout stats right in front of your eyes
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Why the jump rope?
“The humble jump rope has been hailed as one of the most efficient exercise tools in existence, yet it often takes a back seat to more advanced equipment. Tangram Factory is hoping to change this by upgrading its handles with sensors and adding LEDs to the rope itself.” - Cool Hunting
We’re all looking to make our health a priority - eating right and being active. We’re living longer and healthcare continues to be a huge expense for society at large. We know we need to work out more, but the time and money required don’t always make it easy.
Unfortunately, many workouts that look to fill that need are here today, gone tomorrow - just look at any “Made for TV” gadget or that huge setup in the basement that’s being used for a coat hanger, collecting dust in our basement.
“The jump rope may be the most portable and convenient cardio tool available. Relearn how to use it and you’ll be lean, spry, and well conditioned for life.” - Men’s Fitness
Jumping rope can be done just about anywhere, anytime. Think of all the reasons we don’t work out - it’s raining, we’re too busy today, we don’t want to add yet another monthly expense to the budget. If you have a few square feet and a few minutes, you can get an incredibly rewarding workout:
“You’d have to run an eight-minute mile to work off more calories than you’d burn jumping rope.” - WebMD
While the benefits of jumping rope are universally well-established, so are some of the drawbacks. It’s easy to learn, but challenging to master. It’s not easy to know how you’re progressing, since people jump at different paces and we’re all built differently. It’s also a pretty solitary activity, so it can be a challenge to stay motivated. And with many recommended interval sessions requiring jumps in the thousands, it’s almost impossible to keep an accurate count.
How do we evolve the jump rope experience?
We tackle the jump rope’s fundamental challenges, and then empower our workout with technology and smart data.
With each jump, Smart Rope displays jump data right before your eyes, creating a truly immersive workout experience that’s fun - and just as important, provides information you’ll actually use to get healthier.
"Although wearable devices have received significant attention for their ability to track an individual’s physical activity, most smartphone applications are just as accurate." - Journal of the American Medical Association
While there are plenty of wearable devices out there that can be used in fitness, nearly all of them are passive monitoring devices. The sensors in wearables are the same sensors that you already have in your smartphone - accelerometers, gyroscopes, GPS. Smart Rope makes the actual workout smarter - not just a passive monitoring wearable, but an active fitness device.
“Rather than simply monitoring movement like most passive wearables, the ‘smart rope’ incorporates the natural motion of skipping rope to accurately count jumps, track and recommend workout interval sessions, and calculate calories burned based on your body mass index (BMI).” - Designboom
Because Smart Rope works with your smartphone, we’ll be able to upgrade functionality over time. To start, we’ll focus on delivering these core features:
Counting. It’s simple enough to track how long you’ve been jumping, and it’s a good start. But everyone jumps at a different pace, and you can be sure that an elite boxer is going to be jumping a lot faster than someone just starting out. Keeping an accurate count of your jumps is important, but it’s very difficult when you’re counting into the hundreds and thousands - especially when you’re concentrating on a strenuous workout. Smart Rope displays an accurate count at all times and keeps track of each workout with your smartphone.
Calories. Burning fat and building muscle is central to many workouts. By entering your height and weight into the smartphone app, Smart Rope calculates your calories burned, using your BMI (body mass index) and jumps counted. In calorie mode, you’ll see how many calories you’re burning with each jump.
Interval Training. We all know how helpful it can be to encourage each other while we’re working out. Based on your BMI and jump rope ability, Smart Rope will provide you with goals and interval training recommendations. Our initial release will allow you to easily post your progress on Facebook, as well as challenge your other Smart Rope friends to workout goals. We’ll be baking more social integration into Smart Rope with future software releases.
What is Smart Rope?
“What really sets this new wearable apart from everything else that has been offered is the ability to show the user's stats in real-time on thin air.” - Tech Times
Our previous design work has won nearly every major accolade in the industry - if you’ve ever used a Samsung TV recently, chances are you’ve seen what we can do. Inspired by the natural flow and motion of the circular revolutions of jumping rope, we’ve created a sleek, ultra-modern design that’s simple and elegant.
“Instead of just showing a small jump counter on the handles, the Smart Rope uses 23 LED lights that actually display your jump count in mid-air while you’re in motion. The display can show up to four digits, and can also be toggled to show how many calories you’re burning, if you prefer a different sort of motivation.” - TechCrunch
We’ve embedded 23 high-quality LEDs into a proprietary, patent-pending FPCB (flexible printed circuit board) design. These LEDs can display up to four digits with clear visibility even in bright rooms, and eventually we’ll be able to display things like icons and emojis with upcoming software releases. As you jump, the LEDs display your progress right before your eyes. They’ll also illuminate as you power on and off the Smart Rope, and provide information about battery life.
The sensor technology is housed in the Smart Rope handle. Instead of using a simple gyroscopic sensor like the ones in your smartphone or other passive monitoring wearables, we’ve developed a proprietary magnetic sensor that precisely registers actual revolutions of the rope, or one complete jump. The Bluetooth 4.0 transmitter is also housed here, used to communicate with your smartphone. A single button is used to turn the Smart Rope on and off, pair the Smart Rope with your smartphone, and reset the device. Removing the button’s rubber cover reveals the mini USB port, used for charging the Smart Rope with your smartphone charger or your computer’s powered USB port.
Aside from all the digital technology involved, we’ve also elevated the physical design of the jump rope in a variety of ways. The rope is positioned at a 45 degree angle to the handle to encourage effortless, natural motion. Ball bearings are used to ensure fast, smooth revolutions. All materials are of premium quality and finish, with meticulous attention to detail.
At launch, Smart Rope will be available in three sizes:
User Experience (UX)
Our Smart Gym app works seamlessly with Smart Rope with two-way communication. Jumps counted and workout times are broadcast to the app for tracking and monitoring, while BMI data and workout goals entered into the app are broadcast to Smart Rope to craft your custom workout.
Smart Gym works with multiple Smart Rope devices, although Bluetooth won’t allow simultaneous pairing of multiple devices. This means your family (or your CrossFit team) can use different Smart Rope devices with a single smartphone.
Keep accurate, detailed data of each workout. You’ll see how many jumps you’re taking with each interval session and how you’re improving over time. In this mode, the LEDs will display each jump counted.
By entering your height and weight, Smart Gym uses your BMI (body mass index) and each jump tracked by Smart Rope to calculate calories burned. Monitor calories burned by workout and totals per day and week. In this mode, the LEDs will display calories burned as you jump.
Smart Gym takes your BMI and jump rope ability and recommends interval training workouts, based on published guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). You can easily post your progress on your Facebook page, and challenge your Smart Rope friends to workout goals.
With future software upgrades, we’ll be building in more and more functionality into Smart Gym. With your support, our long-term vision is to build out a robust platform that connects to a variety of active fitness wearables and provides a holistic view of health and wellness. We’re already working hard on integration with Apple Health, Google Fit, and plan to develop integration with Apple Watch as soon as it’s released.