Moki – the fitness tracker showing the value of wearable technology in improving young people’s activity levels

For many years now, wearable technology has been leveraged in both professional and grassroot sport in order to improve accuracy and limit the risk of injury, so players can achieve optimum results.

Now we are seeing the incredible value of wearable technology in not only boosting activity levels and participation in sport, but also measuring the real impact of  physical activity on young people’s health.

Sport Tech Hub alumnus, Moki, a wristband that tracks activity, is utilising wearable technology to engage young people in physical activity.

 We sat down with Moki Co-Founder, Craig Carr to learn more about the technology behind Moki.

Craig Carr, Co-Founder, Moki
What inspired you to create Moki?

At the heart of Moki are four parents all with children in primary education, after being involved with the school via the PTA and physical activity working groups, it quickly became obvious that schools had no tools of measurement in how active our children are being, yet they are bombarded with and encouraged to use a huge range of PE resources available to them.  

Across school PE, a fundamental area was missing that exists in every other core subject – measurement and transparency.

Why did you want to enter the sports and fitness tech sector?

Our passion is to empower children to be healthy, active and to understand the power of movement using data.   

 The World Health Organization states our children should do at least an average of 60 minutes per day of moderate-to-vigorous intensity, mostly aerobic, physical activity, across the week – 30 minutes of which should be in school.

A way of measuring and engaging children with physical activity was lacking, as was the data set to have open discussions with the children, their parents, and for teachers and leadership teams in schools to share best ideas and activities that work across classrooms and schools.

What type of technology is behind Moki?

Initially, we were keen to work with existing wearable technology, something readily available. 

With Moki’s software being where the true value is, we felt there was no need to reinvent the wheel. However, we were surprised to discover that Bluetooth, the technology widely used to transfer data between devices, was not fit for purpose. So, to solve this we opted for a much more robust and intuitive option using NFC (Near-field Communication) technology, the same used for contactless payments. 

It was fortunate in a way as it’s far more secure, reliable, and uses much less power than bluetooth. The downside was that a wearable activity tracker with NFC capabilities didn’t exist, so we had to make one!

Why have you chosen wearable technology to engage young people in physical activity?

Before Moki, the relied measurement used was for the teacher to see if each child was out of breath or sweating.  Generalised PE studies were done across classes which were paper-based quantitative research methods.

 Wearable devices allow a personalised live data set to be collected, aggregated and then displayed with each data set being unique to the individual wearer, the Moki dashboard powered by the wearable device delivers a level of transparency by use of the proprietary MVPA (Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity) grading system that finally brings PE in line with other core subjects.

How do you think Moki’s technology is being utilised to ensure equality in physical activity for young people?

Every school day, tens of thousands of children put a Moki band on their wrist, Moki decouples the current status we still see across schools that being fit and active means being ‘sporty’

Teachers are able to show each child their own activity data from the last hour, the school day, or as they wish, empowering children to understand movement data generates awareness across every child of the power of movement.

Moki has now reached 994 schools and is continuing to grow. Find out more about Moki, and how you can get involved here.

Teshani Nanayakkara

Content Writer
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