Colorado Patent of the Month – August 2020
Over the past few months, the global pandemic has turned ‘gym junkies’ into runners. And, even those who weren’t so active are finding running a great way to get out of the house and challenge themselves. So, Colorado’s patent of the month couldn’t come at a more perfect time; Boulder-based Stryd has developed a ‘power meter’ device for running. Unlike most other running trackers and smart devices that track speed and heart-rate, Stryd accounts for speed, elevation, run form, fatigue, and wind, to deliver perfect, precise, and painless pacing.
In running, pace is often monitored, but doesn’t reveal specific issues with regard to running form, efficiency, or technique, much less inform how training should be modified to improve performance or fitness. Stryd’s device is a wearable sensor, strapped to the shoe, that provides power expenditure in real-time. The system uses an inertial measurement unit (IMU) to gather multi-axis motion data at a sampling rate, and an orientation sensor to capture orientation data at a second sampling rate. The device varies this second sampling rate based on the multi-axis motion data, and translates it into horizontal and vertical motion components, which allows it to calculate expended power. It then transmits the collated data to another device (like a phone or smart watch app).
The device is more accurate than GPS, without reliance on satellite signal, and without the need for a large battery. It also provides real-time metrics to the user that are beneficial for training, competition, and recovery, with better ability to detect fatigue from technique and/or individual muscles (rather than just heartrate).
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