Walk this way! Arki does more than just count steps

Arki — which recently made its Kickstarter debut — is a stylish wearable band that not only tracks a wearer’s daily activities, but seeks to improve posture along the way. In short, the device analyzes your steps, then vibrates if and when you aren’t standing tall. Guess this means that you may want to stop looking down at your phone while you walk.

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According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, the average person takes anywhere between 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day. That equates to nearly 115,000 miles — more than four times the circumference of the globe. However, are enough steps (pun intended!) being taken to maintain good posture and healthier lifestyles?

Aside from proper walking form, think of the 1,000-plus pedestrians injured annually while glancing at their mobile device. Just imagine, had the Arki been present, these epic fails (seen in the video below) may have been prevented…

The brainchild of Los Angeles and Seoul-based startup Zikto, the latest tech to adorn our wrists is powered by an Atmel | SMART SAM4LS ARM Cortex-M4 microcontroller (MCU). Ariki offers all the classic activity tracker functions, however in a rather attractive and fashionable package. A popular complaint around fitness trackers is that they are bulky and not practical to wear in professional settings. However, the newly-unveiled device caters to everyone, from activity seekers to fashionistas, with its waterproof casing and interchangeable straps to match any ensemble.

While a number of competitive bands simply collect and display the number of steps taken and calories burnt, Arki actually shares quantified measurements of the quality of steps achieved by a users.

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This is done through a function they call “Sound Walking,” which alarms wearers of their bad walking postures via haptic vibrations on a real-time basis. For instance, when users are peering down at their smartphone or putting a hand in a pocket while taking a stroll, the SAM4LS controlled gadget automatically senses an imbalance of their bodies and transmits a signal.

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“Arki measures your swing speed, rotation angle with respect to gravity, transferred vibration from the feet and more. Based on these measurements, Arki learns your walking habits, such as looking at a smartphone while walking or putting a hand in a pocket,” a company rep explains.

Truth of the matter, no one has a perfectly balanced body and subsequently, left and right arm swings are never identical. As the team notes, Arki utilizes this imperfection to compare the two swings to determine the extent of a body’s imbalance, including shoulders, back and hips. Normally, a user would wear Arki on their preferred side; however, Zikto advises that once in a while, by switching arms, Arki can collect both arms’ swing data. As a result, the smart band can offer personal workout recommendations to improve and recalibrate your balance.

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Unlock your computer with a flick of the wrist? In what may sound like something out of Minority Report, since each person’s gait is unique much like fingerprints, Arki is also capable of biometric authentication, meaning a user simply has to move his or her mouse back and forth while wearing Arki, and can access their device.

In addition to being extremely customizable and functional, Arki also works with smart home systems to sync wearer’s thermostats to complements their physical activity. “Once Arki detects you sleeping, your thermostat will turn down to your ideal temperature,” the team notes. This makes for more comfortable nights, and more importantly, lower electric bills.

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Given the tremendous success of their Kickstarter campaign, Zikto has decided to also add call and SMS notifications to Arki’s interface.

Well into its crowdfunding campaign, the team has well exceeded its $100,000 pledge goal. Following Kickstarter, Zikto is planning to expand their business to a medical service in connection with hospitals by developing its own algorithm and utilizing big data. If all goes to schedule, Zikto hopes to ship the first batch of Arkis to all backers come early April 2015. Interested in learning more or walking correctly, stroll on over to its official page here.

3 thoughts on “Walk this way! Arki does more than just count steps

  1. Pingback: This week in wearables: 8 stories you need to know | Bits & Pieces from the Embedded Design World

  2. Pingback: This week in wearables: 9 stories you need to know | Bits & Pieces from the Embedded Design World

  3. Pingback: Rewind: A look at this year’s Atmel powered successfully crowdfunded projects | Bits & Pieces from the Embedded Design World

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