I never had much call for physical therapy until I had complex rotator cuff surgery on both shoulders in the last three years. I now have a much greater appreciation for range of motion, proper alignment, and planes of motion than ever before. When I was in high school, a golf pro refunded my fee after a week of daily lessons, declaring my inconsistent swing untrainable. The recent advances in wearable technology and in motion detection and recognition have implications far beyond a high schooler’s athletic attempts or a baby boomer’s injured shoulders. With growing healthcare and rehabilitation costs, increased focus on manufacturing efficiency and productivity, and interest in precise motion tracking and training in sports and the performing arts, there’s a greater than ever need for technology to track and train movement.
Kiwi Wearable Technologies Ltd.‘s Kiwi Motion Engine is a software platform for motion detection and training devices such as wrist bands or embedded equipment devices in sports training or therapy. The Kiwi engine uses input from an accelerometer and a gyroscope to create a 3D motion image track and pattern. The captured motion can then be compared to ideal patterns for suggested changes or it can be measured for consistency, for example when analyzing a golf or tennis swing. In medical or safety applications, as well as sports training, correct patterns can be added as a baseline toward which an individual can strive. The Kiwi Motion Engine software development kit (SDK) is available for entities that want to enter the motion recognition marketplace.
Motion recognition and training isn’t just for physical therapy following surgery or sports. If you watched the recent season of “So You Think You Can Dance?”, the opening scenes depicted range and angle of motion measurements of dance movements. There are significant implications for amateur and profesional sports training, but also for training in recovery from stroke or trauma. Other applications could include movement training in the workplace to lower injury rates around complex machines with many moving parts as well as increased efficiency and productivity through economy of motion. Can you imagine what it would be like to compare your basketball layup to Micheal Jordan’s or your dance moves to Mick Jagger? “Be Like Mike” or “Move Like Jagger”, indeed.