LAS VEGAS -- It can be intimidating to go to the gym for the first time, especially if you aren't familiar with all of the different weights and machines. You could spend money on a personal trainer, but that cost will add up over time. Gymwatch hopes to solve this problem with its new wireless workout sensor. This fitness wearable, which shares the same name as the company, can track your workouts at the gym and provide feedback on your form and count the amount of reps you perform.
Here's how it works. You open the company's mobile app on your iPhone or iPad (the Android version isn't yet available) and select the workout you're about to perform. Strap the sensor to the arm or leg that corresponds with the selected workout, tap the button on the sensor and begin your workout. The app will record your motion and count your reps as you begin to curl your arm or squat your legs. It will also tell you if you're overextending your arms, not moving them enough or if you are going too fast.
The sensor worked well in the live demo, but it's not perfect. The app has about 900 workouts, all of which include videos showing you how to do them, however being required to start a new workout on your phone can become annoying fast. The sensor also only records on the arm or leg it's strapped to. This isn't a problem when doing a bench press, but for things like individual arm curls you will be required to rotate the strap from arm to arm. When I asked the rep about this problem he noted that two straps can be worn at one time.
One Gymwatch sensor retails for $200 in the US, which converts to about £130 in the UK and AU$250 in Australia. The company offers a bundle of two sensors for $390 (£255 and AU$485), which isn't exactly cheap.
We expect to see a lot more activity trackers this week at the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas -- follow CNET's ongoing coverage of CES 2015 here.