There’s been a lot of buzz lately in the yoga world about SmartMat. The world’s first yoga mat with embedded sensor technology it basically simulates the adjustments of a real live yoga teacher to guide you through a series of visual and audio yoga poses based on your own personal positioning on the mat.
Launching on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo in late September, Smart Mat reached its funding goal of $110,000 in less than 24 hours – Proof, if you needed it, that yoga practitioners were not afraid to embrace futuristic technology if it promised a fresh and complementary way to evolve their yoga experience.
With the 31-day Indiegogo campaign due to close tomorrow (31 October) with double their original financial goal raised, Smart Mat have now been able to extend the campaign to run up to December which may allow them to meet further development milestones in addition to the core feature of pre-programmed course work.
These include custom music options and fitness add-ons to help with weight loss, back pain and to support athlete workouts, multi-user support enabling the whole family to use it and the ability to program whatever class you want from a database of 62 poses.
“The stretch goals (on Indiegogo) are already in the roadmap and we do plan on developing each and every one of them.” Smart Mat CEO and practicing yogi, Neyma Jahan told Muuyu. “Getting the funding and reaching the goals simply means that we will be able to implement them sooner than later.”
For Jahan and the team the aim of Smart Mat is not to replace teachers and studio-based classes but to enhance the yoga practice for both beginners and the more advanced yogi.
“While there will never be a replacement for human intuition and instruction,” Jahan says. “What Smart Mat offers can be considered a complement. A computerized brain will never be able to accurately read the thousands of elements a trained Yoga teacher can decipher just by looking at the student for a moment. However at the same time, a human will never be able to read the micro points of balance and equilibrium required to achieve a “Perfect Pose” based on the specific measurements of the practitioners body.”
He adds, “It’s our hope that Smart Mat allows the practitioner to take their practice to the next level with this futuristic technology.”
Finding a balance between the ancient yogic tradition and, this futuristic fitness technology is hugely important to the company and all the additional add-on classes and programs take this into consideration. Indeed, as Jahan states, “As Yoga practitioners ourselves it is important for us to create coursework that really meets the needs of our community.”
Sounds good to us – but what do you think?
Siobhan is the Head of Communication and Content with Muuyu and a co-founder of the company. Born in Ireland she has close to 20 years’ experience working in the areas of PR, communication and journalism. She is also the editor of the Muuyu blog. Siobhan has been practicing yoga on and off for most of her adult life. However it was while doing a post-natal yoga class when pregnant that she really began to connect with her practice and she has been a regular practitioner ever since.
Connect with Siobhan here.