At Germany’s Fraunhofer Institutes for Industrial Engineering and for Silicate Research, a team has developed a smart stool that monitors a person’s sitting posture and the time spent sitting down. The data is used to motivate users to change their body posture or to get up for a much needed walk.
The stool communicates with a smartphone app, computer, or other device that can be used to display sitting statistics and point to an improper posture. The stool itself changes colors to indicate when it’s a good time to go walking and when it’s not yet time to sit back down.
The technology was made possible thanks to new sensors that are both highly sensitive and don’t feel like your butt is sitting on embedded electronics. The sensors have the configuration of an electrical capacitor, and can be easily integrated into other devices to sense how the body presses against them.