The Tao WellShell Measures Your Isometric Fitness Strength, With Your iPhone’s Help [Kickstarter]

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The sleek lines of the just-redesigned Tao WellShell.

The Tao WellShell is probably unlike any iOS-connected fitness device you’ve ever encountered. It doesn’t simply track steps, or heart rate, or weight, or any of the other standard metrics tracked in dozens of other connected fitness devices. Instead, this little guy actually acts as the fitness device itself, rather than simply a tracker (though it does indeed also track heart rate, steps and sleep patterns).

Isometrics work by tensing particular muscle groups for an extended period of time; they’re simple, don’t require any equipment and can be remarkably effective. As an example, extending your forearms straight ahead while pressing your palms together and exerting pressure is an isometric exercise.

By inserting the Tao WellShell in the middle (literally, see image below) of your isometric exercises, it becomes your coach, telling you exactly how much pressure to exert, how many times and for how long.

To make things more interesting, Tao Wellness, the outfit behind the gadget, gamified isometrics using the WellShell, by adding a downhill skiing game (downhill skiing is much about muscle tension). If that’s not enough gaming, they’ve also added the ability to control the iOS game JetPack JoyRide.

Just like all connected devices, there’s a stat-tracking app (or there will be — the Tao WellShell app hasn’t surfaced at the App Store yet).

The WellShell itself has just been redesigned (to look like it does above), which is why it may not look the same as it does on the Kickstarter page, which may not have been updated yet. If you want one, there are still a ton left at the $99 level.

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What an isometric exercise looks like. Note the older design of the WellShell.

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About the author

Eli MilchmanWhen he was eight, Eli Milchman came home from frolicking in the Veld one day and was given an Atari 400. Since then, his fascination with technology has made him an intrepid early adopter of whatever charming new contraption crosses his path — which explains why he's Cult of Mac's test editor-at-large. He calls San Francisco home, where he works as a journalist and photographer. Eli has contributed to the pages of Wired.com and BIKE Magazine, among others. Hang with him on Twitter.

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