Many of the best office chairs are designed to encourage movement while you’re sitting, using adjustable position, tension, and cushioning to keep people active even while they spend the whole day cooped up in a cubicle. But how do you know you’re really moving enough to offset the potential problems of a sedentary life? Simple fact is, you don’t. That’s the problem Darma is meant to solve.
Described as “the world’s first inactivity tracker,” it’s a smart cushion that lays on top of your seat, then monitors your sitting habits passively. More than accumulating data, it provides actionable coaching, telling you exactly how to fix your sitting posture (e.g. it can detect when you’re slouching), reminding you when it might be a good idea to stand up for a bit, and even offering detailed stretching guidance for areas of your body it deems could be suffering from stress based on how you’ve been sitting.
Darma uses a multi-layer memory foam padding that’s embedded with 1mm-thick fiber optic sensors, allowing it collect not just data about your posture, but your heart rate and breathing pace, too. By keeping tabs on these stats, the device is able to determine a physiological baseline for each user, enabling it to recognize when a person becomes stressed and offer appropriate breathing exercises to help them calm down. All communication to the user is made through the accompanying app (iOS, Android, and PC). Features include Bluetooth LE, a rechargeable battery rated for one month of use on a full charge, and non-intrusive dimensions of 15.7 x 15.7 x 1.2 inches.
A Kickstarter campaign is currently running for Darma. Pledges to reserve a unit starts at $129.