LumoBack launched last year on Kickstarter as a “smart” posture sensor that buzzes whenever it senses its wearer is slouching. But, with its newest device launched Wednesday, it looks like the company is moving deeper into Fitbit (see disclosure) territory with more activity tracking metrics.
The latest sensor (which costs $150) has been upgraded to a sleeker form-factor with a better-performing antenna and longer-lasting battery. And, together with LumoBack’s app, it tracks additional metrics, including the total number of calories burned, the number of times you stand up from your seat and the total amount of time you spend seated each day.
Since launching, the company has primarily marketed LumoBack as a device intended to improve posture, even though the previous version of the sensor tracked steps taken and whether the user was walking, running or sleeping. But with the calorie tracker, the company is even more competitive with wearable activity trackers like the Fitbit, Nike Fuelband(s nke), Jawbone Up and Misfit Wearable’s Shine.
Many health enthusiasts and budding Quantified Selfers may prefer the more dedicated activity trackers that fit around their wrists or clip on to their clothing and integrate with other health and fitness apps. But for those of us who don’t want our activity trackers to double as accessories – and who need some help in the posture department – LumoBack (which hides under your clothing) could be a good all-purpose option.
In December, the company raised $5 million from Madrona Venture Group, Innovation Endeavors (Eric Schmidt’s investment fund) and Jerry Yang, after raising more than $200,000 on Kickstarter.
Disclosure: Fitbit is backed by True Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of this blog, Giga Omni Media. Om Malik, founder of Giga Omni Media, is also a venture partner at True.