While most fitness trackers are developed with the goal of being applicable to almost everyone, Chaotic Moon is developing a new fitness tracker for a specific group of people — those in a wheelchair.
The fitness tracker is called Freewheel and is being developed by Chaotic Moon's BASE innovation lab. The idea itself originated from one of Chaotic Moon's content strategists, Tyler Hively, who is himself in a wheelchair. The team is continuing to consult with Hively on the device.
The tracker itself attaches to the wheelchair and measures a number of factors that other fitness trackers might not. For example, it measures the muscle strength required to move the wheelchair. It also measures the condition of the path or road, which would make for more or less effort needed to move the chair.
The sensors included in the tracker include things like a gyrometer, barometer, Hall sensors and an accelerometer. They measure speed, distance, altitude and incline. It communicates with other devices over Bluetooth and can connect to other wearable sensors like a heart rate monitor. Eventually, the data collected by Chaotic Moon could be used to create things like city terrain maps, which could be useful to everyone, including people like bicyclists and hikers.
"At the end of the day, the purpose of technology is to improve people's lives," said Chaotic Moon CEO Ben Lamm in a statement to TechCrunch. "Freewheel combines these completely divergent types of tech in a way that not only enhances the life of the specific user, but — through this aggregation of data — has the potential to positively affect millions of people."
Chaotic Moon has already gotten many of the patents associated with the tech and says it will be perfecting its tracker over the next few months. There's no released date for the fitness tracker just yet, however, Lamm says that we can probably expect it within a few months.
It is likely that we will see more of these kinds of fitness trackers as time goes on, with fitness trackers and the technology used in them able to cater to an increasingly large number of people in different groups. These trackers could prove very helpful for the disabled and those in rehabilitation, and could help doctors keep track of a patient's progress.