From the neon-colored, spandex laced marathoners to those simply seeking to keep fit, poor technique is the main cause of running injuries. Avoiding these injuries while working towards a stride and pace that is challenging yet suitable for the body takes consistent feedback and patient coaching. Unfortunately, employing a coach can be cost prohibitive, running apps only telling you how much you run, and technical gait analyses only give you a snapshot of your technique for too much money.
Runteq is positioning their biometric running system, Zoi, as your personal coach. Comprising of a chest and foot sensor, runners can enjoy vocal feedback with the included wireless earbuds about very specific aspects of their technique, all in real time. Feedback takes the form of cheering and gentle encouragement advising you on things like pronation, ground contact time, and overall body motion, all of which can be used to create shareable personal training plans for review on the Zoi smartphone app. There a number of perks available, each offering Zoi for discounted prices ranging from €69 to €119, all contributing to the company’s funding goal of €50,000.
Another company has taken a stab at the same issue of runner education with runScribe, a pedometer sized device that attaches to your foot. Compared to Zoi, though, it has a much narrower focus — limited to collecting information that’s manually uploaded rather than actively feeding it back to the user.
Zoi is coming along at a time where interest in wearable tech is at an all-time high, but where the expectations at what they can do are similarly high. Applications and wearables are saturated with heart rate and blood pressure monitors which provide disjointed information, so Zoi pushes the envelope with their novel, smart feedback system. While the MSRP may be a bit pricey at €149, it will surely come out cheaper than other, more expensive alternatives.