Poor posture? An app tells you to sit up straight

Last week at the DEMO conference for emerging technology in California, a startup company flaunted its novel new Bluetooth app for better posture.

The LumoBack is a patch that communicates with a smartphone app and vibrates when the wearer stands, sits, or walks with poor posture. Reported in American tech magazine PC World on September 16, the device is about two inches long and resembles a flexible, adhesive bandage powered by a small lithium-ion battery.

The app displays your posture in the form of a stick figure based on data from the patch and can score your posture over time, letting you set goals and keep track of your success.

Physician Dr. Charles Wang helped develop the concept after the company was chosen by the Innovation Endeavors fund to spend six months finding a creative business idea. The goal: to save the billions of dollars in medical costs in the US due to back pain and back-related injuries, because according to the company, minor adjustments in posture can make a big impact on your health and well-being.

While release date and pricing of the LumoBack are not yet available, the company says it aims to keep the price consumer-friendly.

Meanwhile, other apps designed for better posture include Upright for iPhone and iPod Touch. To use, download the app and put your iPhone in your front shirt pocket or wear it around your neck. Tap the "start" button on the application and the program evaluates your posture as long as you leave it running. If you start to slouch, the system vibrates or produces a sound to alert you to sit up straight.

Watch a demo presentation of the LumoBack: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UL3G9IDTpQ