The Darma is a unique product in the field of high tech posture correctors. Rather than a sensor that you wear (like the Lumo Lift), it is a “smart” cushion that you sit on! It is one of the latest products to try and reduce the negative health consequences of prolonged sitting. The damaging effects of our sitting based lifestyles is only just becoming understood. The Darma aims to protect users from these problems.
How the Darma Works
According to the manufacturer, the Darma monitors your posture, sitting habits, stress level, and teaches you to sit better. These are fairly impressive claims for any one device so lets break the features down and look at each of them.
Posture – while you sit on the Darma, it uses embedded sensors to read your sitting posture and if you slouch for too long it gives a reminder to straighten up. The manufacturer claims that the software learns each user’s sitting habits and makes suggestions based on their individual needs.
Stress Level – the sensors are very sensitive and can measure heart rate, heartbeat waveform, respiratory rate, and breathing waveform. These vital statistics are collected within the app software and algorithms determine if the user is becoming stressed. If they are, it will suggest that the user takes a break and moves around. If the stress level is very high, it will guide the user through a meditation exercise until their breathing and heart rate indicate they have calmed down.
Sitting Habits – as the Darma collects data about the person who sits on it over time, it determines whether or not they need to sit less, or differently. Based on this data it will suggest scheduled breaks and / or changing their sitting posture.
Unique Features of the Darma
All product developers want to have features that differentiate their product from those of their competitors. Compared to other products aimed at posture correction, the Darma claims:
- Ease of use. No straps or cords, you simply sit on it. With the month long battery charge it is very simple to operate.
- Data use. It doesn’t just collect data, it gives actionable suggestions based on that information.
- Extreme precision. The Darma uses cutting edge sensors to provide very accurate readings.
- Wider scope of measurement. It combines information about your breathing, heart rate, and posture to plan changes. This is unique.
Tech Details of the Darma
Connection: Wirelessly through Bluetooth
Battery: The built in battery is claimed to last for up to one month between charges.
Software: At this point they have only developed a iOS app but are planning to release an android version later. It has built in 128Mb memory and a mini usb port for charging.
Synching: All synching and software updates will be down wirelessly through the cloud.
Size: 40cm x 40cm x 3cm (15.7″x 15.7″x 1.2″)
The Darma is currently being funded through a Kickstarter campaign (which has already exceeded the target amount by 400%!)
The launch price is likely to be $199 usd. Early supporters on Kickstarter can secure theirs for as low as $99 usd.
This is a very interesting product that promises to deliver a very sophisticated solution to the growing problem caused by our sitting lifestyle. We will review an example as soon as possible.