Is eyeing your iPhone a pain in the back?

The young have so much to contend with these days.

Dwindling employment opportunities and the prospect of being replaced by machines haunt their every breath.

And now they're discovering that even the machines they love might actually be causing them physical pain.

You may have noticed how young people are, more than ever, slouching so much that they walk with a permanent stoop. This, according to one survey in the UK, is caused by their so-called iPosture.

Yes, being stooped over your gadget, with your shoulders depressed and your midriff curled up, can lead to lower back pain.… Read more

Lumoback sensor funded in just days on Kickstarter

When I started reading about Lumoback's Kickstarter campaign this morning, my left foot was curled under my right thigh and my back was slouched so far forward it was almost cartoonish. A few sentences in and I was sitting tall, but by the end of the page a few minutes later I was back to my old ways, an offense I'll surely pay for in ibuprofen costs in the years to come.

Enter Lumoback, the sensor and app that hopes to rise above its competition. (Yes, there are several sensors and apps aimed at improving posture.) And having hit its $100,000 goal in a matter of days, with 26 left on the calendar, it looks like it will at the very least see a round of production.

The brainchild of three Stanford grads -- an engineer, physician, and entrepreneur -- Lumoback is essentially a sleek little waistband that tracks movement data and syncs wirelessly to an iPhone 4S or new iPad. The team says it's prioritizing support for Android as well.… Read more

Philips ErgoSensor monitor keeps you on your toes

As is the case with an increasing number of health- and fitness-related gadgetry, Philips' new monitor that aims to improve posture will be a welcome advance to some and a niggling reminder to others.

The 24-inch desktop LCD ErgoSensor monitor employs a built-in CMOS sensor that tracks the distance between one's pupils and the monitor, as well as the angle of one's neck to the screen, and alerts the user via a Webcam-like display when either measurement indicates bad posture.… Read more

Want better posture? Let your Webcam spy on you

It's not just your mom who's telling you to sit up straight anymore.

Researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel have developed a new training method that uses Webcam imaging to tell workers sitting at computers when their posture needs a boost.

In their six-week study of 60 university and hospital workers using the Webcam pop-up photo method, the researchers report in the journal Applied Ergonomics that while traditional ergonomic training and photo training both resulted in short-term improvements in posture, only the Webcam approach resulted in longer-term gains, and it had the most impact on … Read more

Back Straight Boys want to fix your bad posture

Baby, it's the way you make me kinda get me sit straightly, never wanna stop.

The Back Straight Boys aren't singing that tune yet, but they probably should be. The teenagers did, after all, name themselves after the boy band Backstreet Boys. But instead of targeting screaming teens, they're targeting screaming adults--screaming in pain, that is--with a device that aims to prevent poor workstation posture by monitoring wearers' stance and training them to correct it when needed.

Sean Colford, Ethan Epstein, Brandon Loye, and Michael Walsh, all of San Diego and just out of their freshman year of high school, came up with the idea for Posture Pad back in middle school after experiencing firsthand the discomfort computer use can cause.

"We noticed that at school, all the computer workstations were the same size, but Ethan and I had a 15-inch difference in height," Loye said. "I had to hunch my back to see the monitor, and Ethan had to sit on his legs. This caused us discomfort, and we thought we could do something about it."

So the longtime pals decided to delve deep into improper posture at computer workstations and the consequent musculoskeletal problems it can cause among kids and adults in classrooms and offices.

Many hours of research spawned the "Posture Pad," which strategically embeds sensors and microcomputers in an ergonomically designed seat pad to gauge a computer user's positioning and connects to the user's computer to deliver visual and/or audio feedback via special software. … Read more

Gadgettes 154: The Kitchen Sink Episode

Most of the time, you get everything BUT the kitchen sink. But being that we're the Gadgettes, we've decided you deserve a little something extra. So we decided to give you a kitchen sink too.

Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 154

Misting kitchen sink

Water Lounge Offers Relaxing Stink Control

Gorenje unveils new generation of kitchen appliances at IFA 2009 (thanks Karl!)

Rhapsody approved for iphone

USB Posture Alert Reminder will set you on the straight and narrow

Fug Hoof shoes (thanks Sparkman!)

Why Didn’t … Read more

Yoga trainer

MB Learn Yoga offers a simple way to learn about the positions and belief system of yoga. Anyone interested in beginning to practice yoga will enjoy this helpful and easy tutorial.

The program's interface is instantly likable, thanks to clear direction and simple navigation. Work through a menu of different yoga positions and practices with a few simple clicks. The text is clearly articulated and the drawings are helpful, so much so that most people can skip the Help file. The program consists of seven categories (Information on Yoga, Yoga Asanas by Name, Yoga Asanas by Body Part, Yoga … Read more

Review: For slouchers, iPosture is a go

After putting the iPosture on my Crave holiday wish list, I was lucky enough to obtain one for review. Four days later, this gadget gets kudos.

Most doctors prescribe an exercise regimen for improving posture, but the iPosture was created by doctors to fight slouching on the go. The iPosture is about the size of a large button, and clips onto a bra strap or necklace or can be stuck directly onto the chest. When the user is slouching, it alerts them by vibrating once.

I do have a history of bad posture (can you say: get off the computer?), so I thought this could be a solution to my problem. During my review, it was clipped onto my bra strap for two days, and stuck on with adhesive for two days.

After putting it on, I immediately tried bending down, slouching, and so on, and got no response from the device. Maybe we tech geeks can't figure everything out without a manual, because I soon found that the user must be slouching for at least 60 seconds before the iPosture vibrates. This is done to avoid false positives when bending down to pick something up or twisting.

Every time I got into a new position like sitting, standing, or walking, I'd have to press the iPosture once so it could memorize my correct posture.

At first, I hesitated using it, as I was afraid people might see or hear the device, but it was actually very discreet. There was one embarrassing moment, however, when I walked up to a checkout counter and subconsciously pressed my iPosture to reset the position, which was followed by a vibration. After an awkward stare from the cashier, I could see her obvious conclusion: "Fembot!" … Read more

The device that can make every techie stand to attention

Sometimes my heart sinks like the quality of Steely Dan's later period when I think of all the techies who spend the greater part of their lives hunched over their laptops, in the hope of fame, power and riches.

Or at least respect. Or maybe just decent salaries.

Those techie spines must experience more pressure than the entrails of Madonna's publicist at show time.

I am therefore delighted to have discovered iPosture. iPosture resembles those little batteries you put into your watch or your pocket vibrator.

The idea is that you stick it to your bra strap, your … Read more

Pavlovian iPosture is no slouch

Thanks to nanosensor technology, your mother doesn't need to tell you to stand up straight anymore. A new gadget called iPosture will do that job for her.

The battery-operated device contains a microchip that monitors the angle of the wearer's upper chest several times per second, vibrating briefly when it senses a deviation greater than three degrees from the programmed ideal stance. Specialized software filters spurious movements, which allows the iPosture to adapt to various body types and activities--presumably stopping it from zapping you in the middle of sit-ups, for example. It's an inch in diameter and … Read more