I’ve always had bad posture and of course with it back pain. Years of writing, gaming, browsing and working while sitting in varied postures – all of them undoubtedly incorrect – have only worsened my condition. That’s why I was so intrigued by Justine Smith‘s concept garment Spinovo, which not only alleviates chronic back pain but also remind the wearer to correct his or her posture.
The Spinovo relieves middle and lower back pain by heating, cooling and “transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)”. That last one sounds a bit creepy, but it seems like the embedded electrode pads will only deliver the mildest of currents to stimulate the nerves. The TENS as well as the temperature treatment can be triggered by the user via the remote control, but I’m not sure if there’s an option for them to activate automatically.
As for correcting the wearer’s posture, bend sensors and electromyography sensors are used to detect the movement and position of the spine, as well as muscle activity. The wearer will be given aural and visual feedback via the remote if he needs to correct his posture. A couple of Lithium-ion batteries are used to power Spinovo for as long as 2 hours per charge.
Sounds neat, although it would be nice if the Spinovo was also a bit rigid so that the wearer would be coaxed into the proper posture as soon as the garment is worn. The Spinovo was one of the finalists in last year’s James Dyson Award, but there’s no word if Justine Smith is planning to turn her concept into an actual product.