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4 cutting-edge athletic technologies

By Marcia Simmons 

It can feel like every new technology is just another way to keep us glued to a screen—whether we're slogging through 635 unread emails in our inbox at work, streaming movies at home or texting the babysitter during date night. But many new inventions, like some of Chevy’s own latest developments actually discourage us from passively viewing a screen or typing our way toward Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Here are four innovative technologies that help keep people moving:

Wear Your Pilates Class

What if you could cancel your gym membership and replace it with a T-shirt? ElectricFoxy is developing a “smartshirt” that's a Yoga, Pilates, baseball and golf instructor all in one. The Move Smartshirt has four sensors that read your body's position and movements. Then this wearable personal trainer assesses your form and gives you real-time feedback, so you can correct your Downward-Facing Dog or stop wiggling your butt when driving off the tee. You can track your performance, set goals and measure improvements through your iPad or iPhone.

Bring a Kayak With You Wherever You Go

Kayaking is great exercise, but a typical kayak is at least 12 feet long and weighs up to 50 pounds. Not exactly portable. Enter the Oru Kayak, designed by Anton Willis. Not only is the Oru lighter at just 20 pounds, but it assembles in five minutes and folds up into a suitcase-size box you can keep in the trunk for a lunch-time lake trek. This origami kayak is made from corrugated plastic, which is typically used for things like lawn signs and tote bags. It’s lightweight and flexible yet strong enough to keep water out and keep you afloat, just like a traditional kayak.

Put on Your Boogie Shoes

Ground Wave sneakers by Tom Sykes turn dancing into a high-tech game—without the screens or gaming consoles. Slip on your Ground Waves and dance your heart out: The shoes sync with a mobile app that tracks your moves and scores your achievements, much like Dance Dance Revolution and other dancing video games. You don’t have to bust a move solo, since the app also lets you connect with other dancers through social channels—you can even form your own dance crew.

Shred Without Limits

Though skateboarders may appear to be able to do anything, one obstacle can stop even a seasoned pro: stairs. But with the Stair Rover, a deck that has eight wheels attached to a Y-shaped aluminum frame designed by inventor Po-Chih Lai, you don’t have to be Street League star Billy Marks to slither down steps as if they were a flat surface.

After all that activity, your stomach will be growling. Luckily, technology comes to the rescue again with the Burritobot! NYU grad student Marko Manriquez created this iPhone-controlled machine that makes precision burritos. Inspired by the way 3-D printers layer tiny threads to build a solid object, Manriquez built a bot that layers delectable ingredients to build the perfect burrito. Now that's progress.

The trademarks mentioned in this story are held by their respective owners.

San Francisco Bay Area writer Marcia Simmons’ work has appeared in Geek, Go, Shape, NOTCOT and Serious Eats, among other publications. She is also the co-author of the book DIY Cocktails.



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