As wearable technology takes the fitness community by storm, one small startup from Colorado is offering something revolutionary. At a modest product launch in Boulder, Colo. on Thursday, Stryd (Stryd.com) introduced the world’s first wearable power meter for runners.
Founders Li Shang Ph.D. of the University of Colorado and Robert Dick Ph.D. of the University of Michigan didn’t necessarily set out to change the running world through wearable research. However, with the help of elite coaches, athletes and physiologists, the Stryd power meter is paving the way in new running technology.
At the Boulder launch party, athletes, coaches and running enthusiasts had the chance to hop on a treadmill and give the Stryd power meter a try. Professional triathlete Mary Beth Ellis was also on hand to share her experience testing and training with the device on a daily basis.
“Training with power has been the key to my cycling success. To have that in running is a total game changer.”
– Mary Beth Ellis, Eight-time Ironman champion
The small pod-shaped sensor easily clips to the waistband of running shorts and sits gently against the lower back. With the sensor at the runner’s center of mass—lower back area—the power readings are more accurate than if placed on the extremities—on the shoe or wrist.
The Stryd sensor detects both the runner’s force and velocity then uses this data to produce an instantaneous power reading. Force is measured from the impact forces created as the runner’s foot hits the ground with each step. Velocity is measured using high-resolution motion sensors that calculate how the runner’s body is moving through 3D space. Together, these two measurements are run through a complex algorithm, resulting in the runner’s power.
Power = Force x Velocity