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Need to know: Skulpt Aim

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Fresh from a very successful Indiegogo campaign, Skulpt is now in the process of fulfilling 2750 pre-orders of their new handheld muscle quality and body fat analyzer called Aim. After 13 years of development, a number of grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, and raising $384,628 worth of crowd-sourced seed money, the Skulpt Aim is now ready for market. The market, which is brimming with a plethora of activity trackers measuring sleep, steps taken, elevation gained, miles covered, and calories burned, to name a few, can now add a device that can help quantify all that activity in terms of muscle quality (MQ).

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The device and technology
According to Skulpt, Aim assesses “the relative percentage of fat vs muscle in a particular area [and] recognizes even the smallest decrease in fat in a target area, before you can see a noticeable difference. Aim [also] detects changes in your muscle fibers, so you can see your MQ score rise as you become stronger.” If this proves to be true (and why wouldn’t it be since this is Skulpt’s central and most important claim?), it is not far fetched to think that this could be a significant source of inspiration for even the most casual user since anyone who has ever decided it was time to shed some fat, build some muscle, and get into better shape knows how frustrating the perception of a lack of progress or an actual plateau can be. Being able to “see” progress before it can actually be seen is a good way to stay motivated and keep your eye on the prize.

This technology is a direct descendant of their first device that is being used in clinical trials around the United States to investigate the neuromuscular problems of their patients. Skulpt even collaborated with NASA to study the influence of weightlessness on the muscles of mice that had been in outer space. If this sounds serious, it’s because it is.

The cofounders and the co-founding
Dr. Jose Bohorquez, while a PhD student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, worked on “developing technology that has a tangible impact on people’s health and fitness,” and in 2009, founded Skulpt with Dr. Seward Rutkove,” the developer of Electrical Impedance Myography (EIM), the underlying technology used in the Aim.” Together, thanks in part to the money raised through Indiegogo, the doctors are working on mass-producing and bringing the Aim to market. A quick look at the press and social media buzz surrounding the Skulpt Aim certainly makes it seem that the market is indeed ready for a closer look at the effects of all the activity so many of us are tracking these days with whatever wearable technology we’ve strapped, clipped, or otherwise put on.

For more information about the Skulpt Aim, click through to their blog, Facebook, Twitter, or website. If you are interested in getting an Aim for yourself, you should act soon. Pre-order pricing is $149 until May of 2014. With any luck, you’ll have the pleasure of reading my review of the Aim in a month or two, so stay tuned!

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