Yoga is one of the most affordable forms of exercise around. You don’t need to join an expensive gym, or buy a ton of gear, you just need yourself and the mat (and probably some peace and quiet). The flip side of practicing by yourself is that it can be hard to figure out if you’re doing the poses correctly. Enter SmartMat, which promises to help you up your yoga game by acting as your own personalized yoga teacher.
The SmartMat helps you perfect your poses with the help of embedded piezoresistive sensors. It pairs with a companion app on your phone or tablet and guides you through sessions. The mat “knows” a total of 62 poses, and rates you on how well you hold each one during a session. SmartMat has three modes with varying levels of interaction.
‘In Home Private’ offers interactive yoga classes in your house and provides real-time adjustments based on your alignment and balance (as sensed by the mat). ‘In Class Assist’ is more passive. It keeps a record of your posts and you can set it to offer either visual- or audio-only recommendations so you don’t disturb others in the class. ‘Zen’ is the least intrusive. It monitors your practice and records it for later analysis and feedback, but you won’t receive real time recommendations or suggestions for improving your poses.
SmartMat says its yoga mat is still rollable, and therefore portable, despite the technology that’s baked inside.