Lower back pain (LBP) is one of the most common conditions in the world affecting a vast amount of white-collar workers. Prolonged sitting with bad posture is proven to be one of the leading causes of lower back pain. Modern office chairs provide excellent lumbar support, but if the user doesn’t maintain good sitting posture, this is of little use.
The SitRight team approached Calcey with their vision to create a solution to combat bad sitting posture. Calcey embraced this opportunity to build an IoT product from scratch and signed on to play the role of a complete solution provider and build both hardware and software for the product.
The first step was to conceptualize a solution to combat bad sitting posture. It had to be non-intrusive and compatible with existing infrastructure in a work setting. For example, expecting companies to throw away their existing chairs and replace them with a new high-tech solution didn’t seem viable. Hence the team came up with the idea to build a smart seat cover that could be attached to a regular work chair. The seat cover would contain sensors that could detect the user’s sitting posture in real-time and offer alerts and guidance to correct postural mistakes.
The Calcey team collaborated with an ecosystem of vendors ranging from industrial designers and integrated circuit providers to 3D printers to build the first working prototype. They explored various options to build the ‘brain’ of the solution, contemplating between Raspberry Pi and Arduino, and with the collective collaboration with the SitRight team, finally settled on Arduino.
A new way to sit right with SitRight
Calcey set out on developing a state-of-the-art smart seat cover for the SitRight team. The SitRight seat cover could be easily attached to any regular work chair essentially converting it into a smart chair. As an intuitive interface to interact with SitRight, a mobile application was developed by Calcey which could be paired via Bluetooth to the seat cover. As most users using SitRight would be working on their internet browsers, a browser extension capable of sending alerts to the user was developed as well. The solution brought together the following features:
- Real-time alerts when users are sitting with bad posture. Alerts could be sent in three ways. By vibration via the seat cover, as push notifications via the mobile app, or as desktop notifications via the browser extension
- Real-time visual guidance from the mobile app for users to correct their sitting posture
- Sitting behavior tracking and historic data for physical therapists or doctors to help diagnose spinal issues caused by postural mistakes, and bad sitting habits
To keep things quirky and interesting, the solution also alerts users to regularly stretch themselves. A ‘compete with your friends’ feature added gamification to the experience, as well.
Ultimately, Calcey built a fully working version of SitRight, and helped the SitRight team win a US patent for the intellectual property created via this collaboration. SitRight was among a set of Sri Lankan startups chosen to showcase their products at Innovfest in Singapore. The StiRight team leveraged this opportunity to win acceptance into one of the leading IoT accelerators in Asia – AIRMaker. They were invited to join AIRmakers 2017 cohort. Cacley supported the SitRight team throughout this intensive program, gaining exposure to the latest practices and trends in IoT and component sourcing networks from the world’s hardware capital Shenzhen, in China.