Project image
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CA$ 7,028
pledged of CA$ 50,000pledged of CA$ 50,000 goal
61
backers
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on Dec 10 2014
BacktrackBy Backtrack
First created
BacktrackBy Backtrack
First created
CA$ 7,028
pledged of CA$ 50,000pledged of CA$ 50,000 goal
61
backers
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on Dec 10 2014

About

Human movement is a beautiful, wonderful, complicated thing. Yet most of today's wearable health trackers are designed to simplify your activity to a single point moving on a screen. That's just not what we are.

The Backstory

Last year, Alex & Alex wanted to help people with back pain visualize their movement and recovery more effectively. We found that many people owned fitness trackers, but no one knew of any good wearable tools to capture and understand movement. So we built something new. We built a wearable sensor that sees you as a shape, and we’d like to share it with you.

People are not single points that move around in space; neither is your back. So we built our sensor with that in mind. It uses IMU sensors combined together to sense relative position and shape. The data is then sent to your phone over Bluetooth. 

Once Backtrack knows how you move through space, you can begin to visualize and learn from your movement. Healthy movement has many degrees of freedom: it’s fluid and dexterous, not stiff. It’s complex, not rigid and stilted. We’re building Backtrack to help you visualize that fluidity and complexity, and how they change with time. 

Your movement profile: a new lens to visualize how you move.

Now you can visualize your movement in one unified profile. We’ve organized your movement profile across two dimensions: space and time, which you can look at in cross-section as well as over days, weeks or months. Want to see the range and distribution of your back moving in the 360 degrees around you? Want to see how your motion and its complexity change during the day, and over the long term? Just check out your movement profile.

Why is this important? 

When people get injured, have back pain, or start to age, their movement becomes less fluid—that’s part of why people stiffen up and slow down. (If you’d like to know more about this, please read our FAQ section where we can refer you to more information). The good news is, as you successfully recover from injury, your movement fluidity and complexity tends to rise back to healthy levels. That’s nice to know, but it’s even better if you can see that improvement with your own eyes, day by day, as you recover. 

Backtrack helps you visualize this improvement. 

We built Backtrack to help people understand how they move, to help with health, wellness, and recovery. Our goal with this Kickstarter is to reach as many of you as possible, and get Backtrack into your hands. Here's our timeline to make that happen:

Once you get Backtrack in the mail, we want to watch what you do with it, and learn from you. That’s why we’re setting up our public movement database: a space to share movement, data and new projects. If you’re interested in Backtrack to help with back pain, we want to see how you’re moving, and how that movement improves as you make progress. If you’re interested in Backtrack for a new application, we want to see what you build. 



Risks and challenges

We’re building something brand new, and as you all know, the journey from an idea in our heads to a physical, functional reward in your hands isn’t easy. But one thing we know for sure is that without Kickstarter, this process would be even harder. So our first and biggest thank you for this project goes to the amazing team at Kickstarter HQ, for building this great community where projects like this one are made possible.

The build/design:
As you know, we’re offering two versions of our device as perks: the wearable Backtrack version, and the open API Hacktrack version for developers. The Hacktrack is almost all set up and ready to go; the only design change we’re making between what you’ve seen in the video and what we’ll ship is swapping in a rechargeable battery with a standard USB charging port. Once that’s done, we’re primed to begin manufacture as soon as we can. The Backtrack version is nearly there, but we we’re still fine-tuning some design features that’ll make it as easy as possible to use and wear. Specifically, we’re fine tuning aspects of the device like sizing, contour and shape, and application methods. Right now we can wear them around comfortably, but we realize that we’re a small sample of users and don’t represent everyone. The version that you see in the video is a design concept that we’ve settled on for several important reasons: it allows your back to move freely, while comfortably fitting on the contours of your lower back without interfering with your sitting, standing or activity. But we still have work to do in order to shrink that design down to a form that is as thin and unobtrusive as possible, with sizing options and adhesive solutions that work for everybody.

Backtrack is worn right against then skin, introducing potential challenges like skin irritation, sweat and long-term comfort. In everyday life, nearly everything that touches your skin all day is made out of textiles, so we’ve sought out collaborators with experience in garment manufacture to make sure that Backtrack will be as comfortable and non-intrusive as possible. We’ve also worked with industrial designers with experience developing highly wearable items such as eyeglasses, where small details make big differences.

Manufacturing and Logistics:
If we’ve learned one thing from personally backing our share of crowdfunded projects, it’s that manufacturing and logistics are almost always harder than they appear to be at first. So we want to make sure we’re conservative with all of our timing and shipment estimates, and give ourselves ample room to make little mistakes and learn from them along the way. We’d also like to give a thank you shout out to our good friends at Fabule, who have shared with us many pearls of wisdom and lessons they’ve learned from running and shipping their own successful Kickstarter campaign.

Building and then manufacturing something you wear can be difficult from a design for manufacture standpoint. Backtrack is flexible, but electrical connections typically aren't: during early development, we broke a lot of prototypes by bending them and cracking electrical connections. We learned a lot from that experience, and have adapted our circuit and device design to address these issues. We’ll be extending those lessons learned as we move towards building Backtrack on a larger scale.

With these challenges in mind, we’ve selected a great manufacturer here in North America to do final design for production, manufacturing, packaging, and pickup logistics. We’re looking forward to working with them, and to have Backtrack built locally where we can follow the process closely and stay involved on a daily basis.

Once you get it:
So a few months from now, you open your mailbox and there’s a package there addressed to you, from us. Great! So what comes next? We want to do our very best, starting now, to make your experience with Backtrack the best we can. This will include a lot of listening to you, our backers. As you know, this Kickstarter campaign isn’t our end goal with Backtrack; it’s a way for us to get Backtrack into your hands so we can learn from you. What do you love about it? What do you hate about it? What key features or UX elements are missing? We know we won’t get it perfectly on the first try. So we want to make sure that from the very beginning, we’ve established a culture of listening and feedback where we can find out directly from you, our first backers, how to be better at what we do. Creating and nurturing this culture will require a lot of effort, but it’ll be one of our most important tasks as we move forward.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 5 or more About US$ 4

    Hey, thanks! You'll get your name on the Backers page of our site, and a thank you video from all of us.

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    Pledge CA$ 150 or more About US$ 112

    One Backtrack, ready to wear.

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    22 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 150 or more About US$ 112

    One Hacktrack: the developer version. You'll get the early, bare bones shape sensor with our accompanying dev kit. It'll ship earlier, too!

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    8 backers
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    Pledge CA$ 225 or more About US$ 168

    Early bird developer package: One Backtrack + One Hacktrack.

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    Limited 9 backers
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    Pledge CA$ 250 or more About US$ 187

    Developer package: One Backtrack + One Hacktrack.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 500 or more About US$ 374

    The Shape Special. You'll get one developer package, your name on the Hero section of our backers page, plus a 30 minute Skype conversation with a team member. We'd love to hear about what you're building.

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    Pledge CA$ 1,000 or more About US$ 748

    The Movement Special. You'll get one developer package, your name on the Hero section of our backers page, plus a one hour Skype conversation with a founder. Tell us about your ideas around movement, recovery, or whatever you want to talk about.

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    Pledge CA$ 5,000 or more About US$ 3,740

    The Health Special. We can't thank you enough. But we'll try our best, by flying you + 1 out to Montreal for an amazing weekend as our guests. You'll also get all of the Movement Hero perks, and your own special section on our Backers page.

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Funding period

- (30 days)