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by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
awesome stuff, exercise

Awesome Stuff: Get Out And Exercise

from the some-workout-ideas dept

For this week's awesome stuff post on interesting crowdfunding projects, I thought we'd look at some unique ideas that are trying to help people exercise more.
  • First up, we've got the amusingly named monkii bars, which are basically a set of two bars along with a suspension line, that makes it easy to create a set of hanging bars for a variety of different exercises that can be done on the go.
    The project has far surpassed its funding goal of $25,000, so it will absolutely be funded. A basic set of the bars costs $98 (which seems a bit steep, but clearly plenty of people find it perfectly reasonable) during the crowdfunding campaign. An early bird price of $74 has long since sold out.
  • Next up, we've got the TAO device, which kind of looks too techie for its own good. It's a little electronic device that apparently lets you do resistance work outs just by holding the device and doing certain exercises that involve pushing the device. Frankly, the whole thing feels... flakey. It's not entirely clear how well it actually works. The company uses made up terms like "Variobic" (which they've trademarked), they hype up their patent... and the video... well, is kind of creepy. The way the guy eerily quotes the positive press coverage, comes off as bad TV pitchman, rather than anything all that compelling.
    Perhaps that's why, despite all the glowing press they hype, the Kickstarter project only has about 10% of its goal of $100,000 with three and a half weeks to go. There are "early bird" devices available at $149, which they claim is "half price" but also recognize that the product isn't even scheduled to ship until the end of the year, and it's pretty rare for any Kickstarter project to ship on time anyway -- so it seems more likely that this is a year or so out from actually being a product.
  • Finally, we've got one where the product isn't an exercise device itself, but something that hopes to inspire people to get out and run. Rundercover is an "audio game" that is apparently supposed to make going for a regular run a bit more adventurous, by overlaying an adventure/set of missions on the process. The video is... incredibly lacking in showing any detail about how this actually works, unfortunately. The idea could be interesting, but from the video and the description, I basically have no idea what the actual final product will be like.
    Perhaps because of the rather vague description, Rundercover only has raised about $3.5k of the $60,000 it was shooting for with a week and a half to go. It seems very unlikely it's going to hit that target.
That's it for this week. Even if none of the above is all that interesting, go out and get some exercise.

Reader Comments

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  1. identicon
    teka, 22 Mar 2014 @ 12:17pm

    Rundercover sounds a bit like ZombiesRun!, ( a game/workout thing that a friend uses. The app runs their playlist of songs but between things an unseen radio operator breaks in to give guidance, to weave together a story (the survivors are just around the corner but you're going to have to be quick to get there in time") and adds some item-collecting progress. And sometimes you are chased by the zombie horde so you better run.

    I like the idea but the Rundercover crew really needs a better video, something that is not just "Running Woman Plus Dramatic Text Cards And Music!"

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous, 22 Mar 2014 @ 12:35pm

    Monkii? From what language is that?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    zip, 22 Mar 2014 @ 5:20pm


    "Monkii? From what language is that?"

    It reminds me of "Mivii" - a 'honeypot'set up by MPAA/RIAA's hired-gun MediaDefender to bait fools.

    And speaking of fools, I've got to wonder, who in their right mind would pay a hundred dollars for what is essentially two small pieces of pipe and a few feet of cord?

    Not just that, but how can this Kickstarter organizer claim that making such a simple device requires an up-front investment of $25 thousand dollars? Is this the cost of buying equipment and putting together a professional-grade machine shop? There are plenty of existing woodworking/machine shops that could be hired as subcontractors and produce the device for a fraction of the listed $100 cost -- and would not require anything like a 25 thousand dollar deposit upfront.

    I just can't help thinking that so many of these Kickstarter fund-raising programs - like late-night 'infomercials' - seem like nothing more than sucker-bait, designed to separate fools from their money.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Scote, 22 Mar 2014 @ 11:40pm

    Hollow wood handles?

    Hollow wood handles holding your whole body weight? What could go wrong?

    Those Monkii bars look like a face plant waiting to happen. They should come with a GoPro to be sure you get your accidents with them on video.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. icon
    kenichi tanaka (profile), 23 Mar 2014 @ 3:50pm

    Not only that but I decided to check it out and would have ordered a pair until I realized the cost for them. Stuffed animals and stickers? Really? No thanks and $75 just to get the Monki Bars? No thank you.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Jenny, 23 Mar 2014 @ 4:31pm

    Hollow wood handles?

    Monkii? From what language is that?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. icon
    Marcus (profile), 24 Mar 2014 @ 8:16am

    Interesting Tech

    All of these devices are interesting, particularly Rundercover, but its pretty clear that consumers are not going to be duped by hype any more. If a product has promise and is selling it will enjoy its 3 year lifecycle in the tech / fitness world (unless it innovates), otherwise its not going to make it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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