Reading this on your phone or slouched over your laptop? ALEX has the solution to a painful problem you could be about to face...
Update: Hurrah! ALEX moved from Kickstarter to Indiegogo and smashed its funding goal by 141%. You can buy it now for $99 (£70).
Alex is a new kind of wearable that wants to help combat the aches and pains that come with modern life. With regular alerts, Alex coaches you towards pain-free posture at your laptop, and also relieves the smartphone-induced strain that we call Text Neck. Yep, that’s a thing…
A little bit like a wiggly Fitbit for your neck, Alex perches just below your hairline and keeps itself steady with two flexible legs that nestle above your ears. Packing a vibration motor, tri-axis motion sensor, and Bluetooth chip, it monitors the angle of your neck and head relative to your body, and gently vibrates when you assume poor posture for too long. In other words, when you’re ogling at cat videos on your phone, or hunching over your laptop screen like an ape.
The companion coaching app (smartphone and tablet) gives you the ability to change variables like the length of time after which you’ll get an alert, and also the intensity of Alex’s vibrations. You’ll also be able to toggle the neck angle that triggers alerts. There are different modes too, Like Avatar mode, which uses a clever little graphic to visualise the tilt of your neck and head in real-time, like this:
The app also logs your posture progress by way of graphs and charts, which should serve as a stark awakening to just how damaging our screen-time really is. In fact, Alex’s Korean makers point to a study that shows more than 80% of office workers suffer from Forward Head Posture (FHP) or Text Neck. There are medical studies that suggest bad posture can lead to stress and depression too, which gives us all more reason than ever to straighten ourselves up.
Alex’s battery will give the device a week’s worth of neck time before you need to plug it into a mini USB for charging. There’s a little LED showing Alex’s power status, Bluetooth signal, and also its charging status, which is handy.
The really great news? Alex is actually affordable. You can pre-order the clever little posture tracker from Kickstarter for just $49 (£34).