There are two companies running Kickstarter campaigns aimed at improving the classic jump rope experience by integrating technology into the product. These products called “smart ropes” are designed more for those who use a jump rope during workouts than for children who want to jump around for fun.
One smart rope is called Sophia and offers a Bluetooth-connected jump rope that monitors your jumps, speed, and calories burned. The data from Sophia is sent to a nearby iPhone or Android application via Bluetooth. Through that application, users can track their progress and even challenge friends to a competition.
The smart rope’s information processing takes place in the handles. Contained in both handles are three fitness sensors that include a triaxial accelerometer, infrared module, and an optical module that counts jump cycles. An OLED display on the handles will display your jump count and remaining battery life. The company claims a battery cycle should last up to one month.
Sophia’s handles can be held together via magnets for easy storage of the long rope. When pulled apart, the handles have a rubberized grip which should make jumping rope a little easier.
Kickstarter supports can grab this jump rope at a value of $34 USD and receive it sometime in May 2015. The leather rope variety will cost $50.
Another smart jump rope called the Smart Rope is being produced by a company called Tangram. Similar to Sophia, the Smart Rope will track how many jumps you’ve completed, track calories you’ve burned, and connects to a smart gym mobile application. This jump rope focuses less on the social gaming aspect and pays greater attention to your fitness goals, though you still have the option to share your progress with your Facebook friends.
Smart Rope uses 23 LED lights to display your jump count mid-air while you’re in motion. The display can show up to 4 digits and can be toggled to show how many calories you’re burning, depending on your source of motivation.
The rope is placed at a 45 degree angle to the handle and is on ball bearings for a smoother feel. The rope will keep track of jumps based on full revolutions of the rope. The company says they did not want to use a gyroscopic sensor that monitors movement because those sensors are already used in smart phones and most other wearables.
The Smart Rope from Tangram will sell on Kickstarter for $60 or less. Retail pricing has not yet been determined.
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