Fitness trackers and apps are burgeoning in popularity, so it was probably only a matter of time before fitness equipment started getting connected. One of the early adopters is Sophia -- a skipping rope currently seeking crowdfunding that connects to an app to keep your rope-jumpin' interesting -- and, of course, to track your progress.
All the electronics are embedded in the handles. It connects wirelessly to your iOS or Android smartphone via Bluetooth, for which there is a companion app that integrates with iOS Health or GoogleFit. Data is stored locally for times when your phone isn't connected, to add to your activity tracker later. Jumps are also displayed on a small OLED screen on one of the handles.
Packed inside the handles are a triaxial accelerometer and an optical module, designed for high-precision activity tracking. The team behind Sophia, FitFox, has even redesigned the handles to be more ergonomic. One side is a sort of flat twist in leather, while the other is rounded and rubberised. The two handles fit together via magnets for ease of portability.
According to the Kickstarter campaign, this design will fit more comfortably in the hand, with the palm resting on the flat section. The rope itself is available in both a high-resistance cord and a leather version.
There's more to the app than fitness tracking, though. Sophia is also playing into the gamification of fitness. You can, of course, compete against yourself -- trying to top your daily best, or keeping a streak running -- but you can also challenge your friends to a time challenge or jump countdown, just in case you're the sort of person who's motivated by beating other people.
The rope is currently being offered as a reward for an early bird pledge of €29 (around $35/AU$45), plus shipping.