"SmartMio" Gadget Could Replace Your Gym Membership — Or Is It Too Good To Be True?

Every time I say “there’s officially an app for everything," the wonderful world of technology proves me wrong. The latest instance? Today, when I discovered a hot new app + device that uses something called “electrical muscle stimulation” (or EMS) to work out for you. Let me explain.

As reported by Business Insider, SmartMio, “the world’s first connected & wearable sports muscle stimulator,” engages your muscles by mimicking what your brain’s nerve impulses do during a workout. This little Bluetooth-enabled smart patch works with a companion app to help stimulate desired areas/muscle groups.

The crazy part? You don’t have to be working out to use it. You can wear it under your clothes and, well, let it do its thing. In fact, SmartMio suggests sitting or lying down during each 20-30 minute session. Nap time workouts? I'm in.

You’re probably doing one of two things right now: getting your hopes up about a tiny gadget replacing your gym membership, or adding this to your list of “technological witchcraft to avoid”. Perhaps a little bit of both is the best way to go. Though the thought of an app doing push-ups for you (so to speak) is a nice one, there’s the matter of whether or not it’s technological snake oil.

Business Insider notes that devices like these have epically failed in the past — and by “epically failed” I mean been banned by the FTC. SmartMio claims EMS “has been scientifically proven to boost sports performance for decades,” and that their device complies with FDA safety guidelines for powered muscle stimulators. Interesting…very interesting.

If you’re still jumping for joy over the idea, you can snag a single patch on sale for $149 or the SmartMio Duo for $289. It's also on sale at Indiegogo for $69 (half the retail price!). Or, you know, just stick to your old-fashioned workout method of choice. Personally, the thought of getting toned while horizontal and watching an episode of Archer on Netflix sounds a little too good to be true...

Image: Smart Mio