If you made a New Year's resolution to exercise more, but can't stop binge watching on Netflix, Tao-Wellness may have a solution that can help you achieve your resolution without compromising your time on the couch. The startup launched a system today called TAO that uses isometrics - or the science of applying pressure - to let users workout anywhere, anytime. Comprising a palm-sized device called the WellShell and a companion app for Android or iOS, the system is expected to be available in Fall 2014 for between $200 and $300.
To exercise with TAO, users push or squeeze the WellShell with palms, thighs or knees. The WellShell detects the amount of pressure applied and transmits that information to the app via Bluetooth 2.0, which recommends different workout patterns to suit your needs. You may have to push harder for longer or simply do more repetitions. The app acts like a personal trainer with audible guidance on what to do so you can just focus on your sets.
If that sounds too much like the gym to you, the system also offers fun twists on your workout, simulating scenarios such as controlling a skier in an interactive competition with friends who have the system.The battery-powered WellShell charges via microUSB and can last up to one week on a charge in power-saving mode.
TAO also serves as a fitness and activity tracker, monitoring your steps, calorie intake, heart rate, sleep patterns and more. It comes with more than 50 different exercise routines so you can get started on your workout immediately. While the 100MB app may take up quite some space in your smartphone, we imagine that shouldn't deter busy professionals or half-hearted couch who would love being able to workout at their convenience. We will be getting hands-on with TAO later this week so stay tuned to learn more.