The latest futile attempt at fixing your ailing lower back comes in the form of an app that uses AirPods to detect terrible posture. The Posture Pal app works by using motion sensors built into AirPods to track neck tilt and ping us whenever we get caught slipping.
For all of us stuck at a desk for the majority of the day, there’s no denying our ongoing posture problems. It only takes one look at our hunched-over selves in Zoom to see just how hobbled we really are. To address this, there’s been no shortage of devices or contraptions designed to address this issue, including full brace-style solutions and tech-y little devices that you attach to your back and sync to an app. Even Apple was reportedly looking into making AirPods capable of posture warnings.
Developed by Jordi Bruin who told 9to5Mac that he drew inspiration from a posture tracker that attaches to your back, before ultimately abandoning it. Instead, for those of us who already have AirPods, Posture Pal presents a very low barrier to entry.
Slouch alert — The simple and clean interface lets you set up the app in less than a minute. Once paired with your AirPods, it offers visual, audio or vibration alerts during 10-minute sessions. If you start to slouch, the affectionately-named Rafi the Giraffe will squeak at you to correct your posture. Posture Pal also works in the background and even with music or podcasts playing.
You can choose between three sensitivity levels that track neck tilt going past 10 degrees, 20 degrees, or 35 degrees. Currently, the app works with third-gen AirPods, AirPods Pro, AirPods Max and Beats Fit Pro, but any headset that sends motion data to your iPhone is compatible.
Pro posture — A one-time $2 charge gets you the pro version which removes the time limit from the sessions and allows you to finetune the sensitivity in increments of five degrees. The pro version grants far more customization, like setting custom colors permanently (the free version resets color changes on relaunch) or changing the app icon into a llama wearing sunglasses, a monkey with a banana or a dabbing astronaut.
The app is already available on the App Store and is free to download. The free version is worth a shot, especially if you have AirPods. Who knows if it’ll actually end up correcting our postures in the long run, but I’m sure our backs will thank us for trying.