Lumoback sensor will nag you to straighten up

Would you stick a sensor on your back every day to remind you to correct your posture? Me neither.

Rafe Needleman Former Editor at Large
Rafe Needleman reviews mobile apps and products for fun, and picks startups apart when he gets bored. He has evaluated thousands of new companies, most of which have since gone out of business.
Rafe Needleman
Co-founder demos result of using Lumoback. Rafe Needleman/CNET

SANTA CLARA, Calif.--It's a stretch to say the Lumoback app made the audience at Demo sit up and take notice, but it was one of the most unusual pitches here at the conference.

Lumoback monitors your posture. All you have to do is stick a little flat sensor on your lower back (stay with me, here), and install the companion app on your mobile, and it will gently nudge you when your posture slacks.

There are additional game and social mechanics that go along with this data. Because we all want to join a social network of people who have giant pains in their necks.

Now, to be fair, back pain and back-related injuries do cost the U.S. $50 billion a year, according to CEO Monisha Perkash. And minor adjustments in posture can make a big difference in keeping us out of the medicine cabinet--or worse, the doctor's office.

And, as one of the VC judges said after this presentation, this kind of thing could sell really well on TV shopping channels. Not to mention through prescription channels. And it is pretty cool that a cheap wireless sensor and a free app can keep people healthy. If they use it. Which most won't, of course.

Still, gutsy play.