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Tao WellShell Hands-On: Squeeze Away Those Calories

Tao Wellness unveiled its TAO isometric exercise system that lets you workout wherever and whenever, so couch potatoes have no more excuses to break their New Year's fitness resolutions. We took the palm-sized Tao WellShell for a spin at CES Unveiled in Las Vegas, and worked up quite a sweat in the process.

Most of the flat, mouse-like device is covered in isometric sensors which detect the amount of pressure you're applying. The sensors don't give or depress, so you don't feel like you are pressing anything at all. We found this oddly disorienting, but can imagine getting used to it over time. It took us quite a lot of effort to get the WellShell to detect our squeeze, and even after it did, we had trouble maintaining the level of pressure the system required. When you first get TAO, you have to calibrate the system so it's tailored to your ability. 

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We tried out a short workout, and the app showed a real-time graph of how much force we were applying along with other metrics such as heart rate and calories burned. We used the WellShell on a jetpack game that required us to compress the device to power our character through obstacles. We definitely felt our biceps struggle through the game, but we were engrossed enough to continue trying to get through the level. Apart from the app, the WellShell also has a built-in heart rate monitor and screen that displays that information. We are intrigued by the potential for the WellShell's integration with other products and look forward to shedding some pounds with Tao.