Another vital-sensing hardware with integrated service to keep you healthy. miCoach from Addias helps users create a custom workout plan and track progress with real-time feedback and audio coaching.
I was fortunate to see a demo last month. At the core of the offering is a set of remote sensors- a heart rate monitor (worn as a strap around torso) and a stride sensor (clips on to shoes, and measures stride pattern, distance and speed). These communicate wirelessly to a central unit called ‘Pacer’ (MSRP $139.99) which connects with your mp3 player and gives audio feedback about things like calories burned, distance, workout progress etc. Another peripheral that communicates with both sensors is the ‘Zone’ (MSRP $69.99) which is worn on wrist, and gives constant visual feedback (using colors) about your heart rate zone. Pacer connects and syncs to the personalized website, zone doesn’t. Coupled with all that hardware are workout ‘plans’ for your goals like run faster, get fit, loose weight, learn to run or to reduce stress.
My initial impression is that it all sounds too complex and too expensive. But maybe this is legit functionality for people who are serious about running. For the novice consumer who wants to track daily physical activity, I like the simple approach of FitBit. For those who run regularly, the Nike+ Ipod offering is another (much) cheaper competitor. Either way, miCoach is yet another sign that consumer-oriented wellness monitoring solutions are becoming mainstream. Next logical phase would be moving similar technologies and frameworks to tackle real disease management and prevention.