Who’s trying it: Alex, Melissa, Dan
The MOOV is billed as a “smart personal coach,” which is more than just a wearable reporting to the user about activity. Where other activity trackers can capture data from a run, bike ride, swim, etc.—or do so through a connected app—the MOOV uses that data to help you get better, faster, and more fit.
There are apps for coaching running/walking, swimming, cardio boxing, cycling, and 7-minute workouts. The MOOV devices are worn on the wrist(s), on the ankle(s), and a combination, depending on the activity. You can also integrate data from third-party heart rate monitors.
I tried walking, 7-minute workouts, and cardio boxing.
The walking coach is about interval training – open the app on your phone and allow the “coach” to read information about your pace, cadence, and distance from MOOVs on your ankles, and guides you through interval training. The coach provides cues about your cadence, announcing when you’re on or off pace, and when you should step it up to the next level. You can increase difficulty levels at any time during the walk without starting over, and go for as long as you please (instead of a pre-determined length of time or distance).
The end-of-workout stats provide information about cadence, impact (how heavy you step), range of motion, pace, and elevation changes. The run-walk app’s dashboard gives you an active minute count for the week (based on the World Health Organization’s recommendation of 150 minutes per week).
The 7-minute workout app uses a MOOV on the wrist to guide you through a total body workout (jumping jacks, planks, squats, lunges, push ups, and crunches). The app reads movement from the device to determine how many reps you’ve done (announcing as you go so you don’t have to count, and so you can’t cheat!) and how quickly. As you get stronger and can complete more reps over time, it increases the workout level. Like other workout apps, it also shows proper form for each exercise, and gives an overall score at the end.
The cardio boxing app requires a MOOV on each wrist and provides a quick tutorial on proper form for four punches (jab, cross, hook, and uppercut) before starting a workout. For the actual workout, you place your mobile device at eye level and the app guides you through a cardio boxing workout – the interface looks a little like Guitar Hero meets Dance Dance Revolution — where you aim at targets on the screen. Icons indicate what kind of punch to throw, and the coach gives constant pointers on body movement and placement of your feet.
Like the run-walk training, you can go as many rounds as you want (it asks after five if you want to keep going) to get the workout you want. At the end, the app provides statistics on the workout, from total time to number of targets hit… plus velocity, power, technique, timing, and duration of each kind of punch.
A new version is shipping this fall that incorporates more traditional activity tracking like step counting and sleep monitoring, plus combines all of the training programs into one app (right now each is separate).