Traveling to a yoga class on a cold winters day can be a hard thing to do. Now there are no excuses with the help of technology, you can practice yoga in your living room. SmartMat technology can become your personal trainer and change your yoga practice for the better This yoga technology aims at helping people track, improve and perfect their yoga practice.
Great For Yogis:
SmartMat is great for yogis who think committing multiple hours a week to attend yoga classes is too much. This portable yoga mat makes it possible to practice and learn yoga at home. Promoted as “the world’s first intelligent yoga mat,”
SmartMat is built with responsive sensors that link to your Smartphone or Tablet and guides your practice through a series of audio and visual indicators.
It corrects your pose through a two-step process by taking the user’s height, weight and various micro-readings into account.
The flexibility of SmartMat allows you to have a more customized yoga tutorial, and even includes Hot Yoga Sessions.
The electronic components in SmartMat are rated to withstand temperatures up to 110 degrees.
SmartMat offers an early bird special for $297, and has many other pack options for other prices.
Specific To Your Body and Ability:
There’s no “one size fits all” when it comes to Yoga. That’s why we built SmartMat to be unique to its owner.
The first time you use your SmartMat, it will take you through a series of movements to calibrate your body shape, size and personal limitations.
This Personal Profile information is stored in your SmartMat App, and will help SmartMat detect when you’re out of alignment or balance.
Over time, it will automatically evolve with updated data as you improve your Yoga practice.
- Your body.
- Your Yoga.
- Your SmartMat.
- Physical Calibration
For SmartMat to work properly, it needs to “learn” your body.
That’s why the first time you use your SmartMat, you’ll need to go through a calibration process where it will gather all the data about your body, personal limitations and Yoga abilities.
Delivery is free within the United States and Canada, and $45 for all other countries. If your delivery address is outside of the United States or Canada, they will send you a link to pay your $45 shipping fee.
Dimensions of SmartMat:
26 x 71 with a 6mm thickness.
Weight limits on SmartMat:
60 lbs to 300 lbs.
After 300 lbs we cannot guarantee accurate readings on single limb poses (such as the eagle), although multi-limb poses will still register effectively.
They had to set a cutoff weight for the sake of cost-effective manufacturing and durability.
What Material Is Used In Building SmartMat?
The insides of SmartMat are a conductive grid placed over a piezoresistive layer.
This is sandwiched seamlessly on top and bottom by a custom yoga mat material manufactured in an eco friendly manner that eliminates the toxic emissions often found in PVC manufacturing process.
This process also ensures the durability of SmartMat, which is designed to be used in Daily practice for years.
Does SmartMat roll up?
SmartMat rolls up seamlessly around the tech dongle attached to the end, and can be carried just like a “typical” yoga mat.
What Is The Difference Between In Class Assist and In Home Private?
In Home Private mode allows you to select a yoga class on your SmartMat app, follow the sequence and receive real time adjustments and score from SmartMat.
Think of it as “yoga video 2.0.”
Whereas In Class Assist you may bring SmartMat to your Public Yoga class or do your own flow at home, and SmartMat will determine your sequence of poses offering you real time adjustments on placement and balance.
These adjustments can be done using audio or visually if you need to maintain silence during a public class.
How Do You Actually Determine a “Perfect Pose?”
In reality there is no “exact science” to Asana practice with SmartMat, they try to define a conservative “middle way” for the Perfect Pose that takes into account user height, weight, Ape Index and various micro-readings determined via the calibration process.
Tell Us a Little More About The Calibration Phase:
When you first unpack SmartMat, you need to go through a calibration process where you put in basic information (height, weight, gender, age).
Next, you will lie down on SmartMat so it can determine your Ape Index (ratio/length of torso/arms vs. legs), which is important for calibration.
After this, SmartMat will take you through a series of poses, negotiating with you and suggesting adjustments as it determines what is, in fact, your “Perfect Pose” in the initial controlled clinical calibration phase.
SmartMat will use this information as a baseline for recommendations during your practice sessions.
Will SmartMat Measure and Adjust “Groundwork” Such as Heroes Pose and Pigeon pose?
SmartMat is trained to recognize almost every yoga pose out there and give meaningful feedback.
On some poses, balance is less relevant than alignment so SmartMat will adjust feedback accordingly.
How Will SmartMat Recognize Poses With Similar Hand and Foot Placements?
This is best explained with an illustration of Tadasana (Mountain Pose) and Ukatasana (Chair Pose).
Both have effectively the same foot placement, however you will find that for Mountain Pose the weight is more or less distributed equally on the four corners of the feet.
Whereas in Chair Pose the weight is approximately u on the heels and % on the toe pads.
Much will be determined in the initial calibration phase and furthermore, SmartMat will learn about your practice and grow with you, making real time adjustments and calibrations according to your achievements and feedback.
Can SmartMat Be Used During Hot Yoga Sessions?
Yes, we love Hot Yoga, and the electronic components in SmartMat are rated to withstand up to 110F and any sort of sweat, so you will be safe.
Your smartphone is another story, however, and you may want to bring a protective sleeve for it during Hot Yoga class.
So SmartMat Will Talk To Me During My Yoga Practice?
Well yes. She (SmartMat is female) will give you feedback in a few different ways.
There will be a live “heatmap” on your Smart device, which will first take you through a sequence to adjust for alignment; and then after alignment is settled it will adjust for proper balance.
You may optionally set the feedback to be only visual (if you are in a public class), or audio and visual if you are practicing privately.
Does SmartMat Work With Yoga Props (block, strap, bolster)?
You may use all of these, and SmartMat will recognize a Yoga Block as such.
Due to the uniform surface spread of a Block, it will not be able to give detailed feedback on balance; however, alignment readings and adjustments will be read correctly.
What About This Tech Dongle Thingie?
This is a low profile device that attaches to the front of SmartMat with a series of electrostatic magents (similar to the charger cable on a Mac laptop), and doubles as a phone/tablet stand during your practice.
Can I Wash SmartMat?
Yes, you may use a light non-abrasive spray to clean the surface.
How Long Will SmartMat Hold a Charge?
SmartMat is initially designed to hold a charge for 6 hours of practice without requiring a recharge
How Do I Charge SmartMat/How Long Does It Take?
You plug the tech dongle via micro USB to any USB charger.
A wall socket will charge it to full power in approx 90 minutes.
Can SmartMat Be Used By More Than One Person?
Well not at the same time; however you may have multiple users.
Each user will require their own calibration.
Can SmartMat Be Used By a Teacher In a Group Setting?
This is coming in Phase II, which is not ready for release just yet.
It will involve a “controller” app for the teacher, which will link into all the students’ SmartMats.
The teacher will get real time feedback on students’ practice for tracking and adjustments.
This can be done live in a class, or a teacher could teach a class over the internet and monitor their students’ progress in this way.
Will SmartMat require an Internet connection to function?
It will simply require linkup with your smartphone/tablet, which does not require an active Internet connection to function.
Will SmartMat Work On All Floor Surfaces?
They have tested SmartMat to work perfectly on hard and flat surfaces and most carpets.
How Am I Supposed To See My Phone/Tablet While I Am Practicing?
They thought about this one long and hard. SmartMat has an integrated phone/tablet stand that will prop up your device near the front of the mat for easy viewing with minimal footprint and impact.
Why Hasn’t This Been Done Before?
They asked the same question, and after digging into initial engineering they determined the cause.
Unlike many crowdfunded campaigns that “launch” with nothing more than an idea and a pretty video, they have actually invested over $100,000 USD of their own money into research and development to make sure that they can actually deliver SmartMat on time, and at the pledge price stated.
There are two main technical hurdles that they have come across and have solved:
Manufacturing a mat with pressure sensors is easy; manufacturing a mat with pressure sensors that can roll up and be portable is not!
They solved this through a unique proprietary solution which accurately presents a real time “heat map” of the users practice.
Getting those sensors inside a yoga mat is not easy! Yoga mats are typically made in 2 ways.
One is a two-layered approach with a different top and bottom that are heat-fused together at very high temperature.
The other way is single cast molding, which also requires a very high temperature. Inevitably this high temperature will melt most electronic components, so they needed an outside-the-box solution that would work on scaled production.
Through numerous trials and tests, they have found a unique solution that works exactly as it should.
Programming an app to calibrate and give real time adjustments based on pressure response from a mat is a lot of Work, and a massive creative challenge.
Even before the launch of this campaign the challenge had consumed their programming team for the better part of 2014.
In doing initial analysis and calibration to get to the correct analysis engine they have had to go through numerous analysis methods, including a neural network and various imaging methods in order to find the right balance between speed, efficiency and accuracy for processing.
Unlike many “other crowdfunded ideas” they made the commitment to themselves and to the community that they would not launch SmartMat, until they could answer very firmly the following questions:
It took them long time, numerous trips to the factory and many prototypes to answer these questions, but they are now ready.
To bring a product such as SmartMat to market requires considerable scale in the manufacturing process.
In order to achieve this scale to manufacture safely and effectively with proper Quality Control, they needed to set up custom machinery and molds.
This is why they need you.
Your vote of confidence and contribution to SmartMat will enable them to bring SmartMat to market.
Have to say I am excited about trying this product when it becomes available .
Can’t wait, I guess i will just have too.
I would love to hear your thoughts about this post or this site in general.
I will answer all the comments on my website personally so drop me a line below if you have any Yoga questions or comments.
I’m happy to help any way that I can.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietitian before starting any fitness program or making any changes to your diet.