If you’re looking to learn how to run faster, longer and stronger while preventing the risk of injury, this cutting-edge wearable should be on your shopping list..
At London’s Wearable Technology Show 2016, UrbanWearables spoke with Paulo Ferreira Dos Santos, the founder and CEO of Kinematix about TUNE, his company’s cutting-edge wearable device for tracking the performance and technique of runners of every level.
Developed in collaboration with IEE, a global leader in safety sensing systems, TUNE consists of slim and flexible insoles which are placed underneath your normal insoles to avoid interference with the biomechanics of the shoe and the comfort of the wearer. The insoles contain sensors that sync with small (35 gram), water-resistant devices that connect to the outside of the shoes. TUNE is the only wearable on the market that monitors both feet at the same time.
TUNE goes beyond standard running metrics, i.e., speed, pace and distance, as the system measures ground contact time (GCT), heel contact time (HCT) and detects asymmetries between both feet in real-time. The TUNE insoles and devices will be sold together and are compatible with any shoe of any size.
In addition to monitoring your running form – heel-striking, symmetry, heel/ground contact time and cadence, TUNE uses the data from the GPS on your smartphone or smartwatch so you get real-time speed, pace and distance stats. The Kinematix CEO said they didn’t include a built-in GPS because it would impact the price, size and battery life.
The high-performance wearable features a total of eight exercise groups designed from the ground up to improve all aspects of your running performance and help to prevent injuries.
Your running data goes to the Kinematix cloud where your personal profile is analyzed, allowing Kinematix to provide you with a personal training plan every four weeks to help you maximize strength, balance, technique, etc. There’s also a platform for professional coaches so you can share your data with some of the best in the business, ensuring you get high-quality feedback. There are no additional subscription fees once you’ve purchased the TUNE package.
There are many gadgets on the market that come with the claim of making you a better runner! With this in mind we asked the Kinematix CEO what makes TUNE different to other running tech? He said:
“First of all, most of the existing run tracking devices are worn on the wrist and not the feet, and the feet are your interface with the ground. If we look historically, one of the problems that we see with sensors worn inside shoes is that they don’t last; we have built our sensors to last.
We also consider our background in the field of medical devices that monitor foot pressure to be important. We don’t care about big data; we care about relevant data. Nowadays people tend to think we need to look at numerous parameters to filter out the important information; we extract meaningful information and based on that we provide technical guidance that’s easy to access and simple to understand.
If you’re not a competitive runner with the resources to hire professional coaches, instead you’re just a casual runner but you don’t know if you run well or not, plus you want to understand how to prevent injury, our technical guidance will teach you how to run to your maximum ability.”
What is the ideal way to run and what are the most common causes of injury?
The ideal way to make contact with the ground when you’re running is with the middle of the foot, as it’s the best place to absorb the energy which is then absorbed and diverted correctly by other parts of your body. The correct distribution of pressure from the mid foot stops high pressure building up in one part of the foot which is something that often provokes an injury.
An interesting study involving several people who run, who believed their running form was correct and their ground-contact was with the mid-foot, actually showed when closely monitored with cameras and sensors, that most of them were striking the ground with their heels first.
Wearing shoes actually changes our running form from what it would be in our natural state. For example, if we were running without shoes, we would not be striking the ground with our heels first, because it would hurt. So, naturally we would adopt the correct form which is striking the ground with the middle of the foot.
The alternative technologies that monitor your condition and provide the kind of parameters that the TUNE system provides are lab-grade technologies that cost 100 times more to access. Our technology provides lab-grade parameters at an affordable price, and if you want to learn how to run properly I believe we are the best option.”
Next, we asked Mr. Dos Santos about the future direction of TUNE?
“Kinematix are looking to expand by allowing third-party apps to integrate with TUNE. There are also headphones now on the market which we could integrate to provide real-time audio feedback. Other sports, such as basketball, football, tennis, etc, all give us different data about our feet; we want to expand on this principle, as well as integrating data from heart rate monitors, respiration monitors and other relevant devices.”
Mr. Dos Santos was sporting a Sony Smartwatch 3 during our interview. As TUNE works with Android Wear, and the Sony Smartwatch 3 has a built-in GPS it makes it an ideal companion device for runners to keep an eye on their metrics without having to carry a smartphone.
Here’s what the Kinematix CEO had to say about the future of smartwatches working in tandem with high-end training wearables like TUNE..
“Smartwatches started as an extension of the smartphone but are now becoming more independent. With their capabilities of integrating other devices I think that smartwatches will be a kind of server for a level set of devices that can connect, mainly if they follow the path of being open and independent from the phone.
I believe companies with closed platforms; I’m thinking Garmin and Polar, will be easily overtaken by those with open platforms such as Apple and Google, because everyone can program them. There is no company in the world that can have all the talent internally”… Well said sir..
TUNE uses Bluetooth LE to connect with iOS 8.4 + / Android 4.3 + / Android Wear devices.
With a water-resistant rating of IP67, you can rest assured that galloping through a puddle won’t end its life.
The rechargeable battery lasts for ten running hours, so obviously if you run for an hour a day only one charge every ten days would be required. A very efficient method of charging sees both devices (both feet) clip onto a Micro-USB charger, so they both juice up at the same time. Charging takes approximately 90 minutes.
Price and Release Date
TUNE was one of the top 5 finalists in the WTS 2016 | Wearable Technologies Innovation World Cup in the category of Sports & Fitness. But, how much does it cost and when will it be available? The full package will set you back 200 Euros, and Kinematix are aiming to make it available in Europe and the U.S in June 2016.
• Now Available
For the money, TUNE is probably world’s most advanced run tracker..