TECH TO WATCH AT SXSW
5 advancements to help athletes recover from injury, stay happy, and more
While SXSW’s roots are as a music festival, the behemoth Austin event is now equally known for showcasing the best in groundbreaking films and emerging technology. Its Interactive Festival (running from March 9 to 13 this year) has been at the forefront of the startup scene since its debut over twenty years ago, launching some of the most cutting edge businesses and predicting the biggest tech trends. Here, a look at some of the most exciting health- and fitness-related innovations that will be featured this year.
NIX HYDRATION BIOSENSOR
Founder and CEO Meredith Unger, a Harvard MBA and college basketball player-turned-marathoner, knows the importance of hydration for sports performance. Her company has developed a single-use sweat analytics patch that lets athletes monitor hydration status and electrolyte losses during their workouts, with visual cues that indicate when, what, and how much to drink.
Torq Smart Leggings
Equipped with lightweight sensors, these new pants can identify a runner’s movement asymmetries and gait imbalances. A mobile app then processes that information to provide a personalized injury risk assessment post-workout.
Developed by a team led by Alison Darcy, an instructor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford, Woebot has friendly conversations that are rooted in cognitive behavior therapy to monitor users’ mood (say before a big competition or stressful event), and offers helpful videos and other tools depending on their needs. Pattern tracking abilities also provide big-picture insights and analysis after several weeks’ use.
Imagine looking at someone and being able to see their heartbeat. Developed by a trio of scientists from Microsoft and the French Civil Aviation University, CardioLens pairs glasses with computer vision to allow just that, along with blood flow and other physiological metrics, in a holographic display. One intended use is for personal trainers to help athletes optimize their performance by measuring real-time heart rate variability and breathing rates during workouts.
Spark Augmented Reality Physical Therapy
The brand’s rehab tool aims to revolutionize how PT is applied and practiced at home. A wall-mounted projector displays tailored exercises, while a 3D infrared sensor captures biometrics and lets users communicate pain tolerance and exertion levels in real-time to therapists. This helps the system create more customizable treatment programs.