Before I met the team Darma, I believed in two things: People love wearables and exercising is good for me. Well, I have to admit that they really blew my mind.

First of all, Darma is working on a smart cushion.

This cushion can measures your heart rate, respiration condition and even stress level while you sit on it. With a fiber-optic sensor as thin as 1 mm(patent pending), this cushion is highly sensitive to human body’s micro-movements.

By sitting on anything other than a rock, which I wish you are right now, this cushion can keep track of your basic health information, helping you keep fit.

“Most smart health devices on the market right now can only show users the “DATA”, which is offering users data for data’s sake. While few of them actually do something to help the user to get healthy or anything. We hope our product is more helpful and actually improve users’ health.” said the co-founder, Junhao Hu.

According to the team’s research, sitting for long periods might lead to obesity, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, or even premature death. Most importantly, it hurts people’s back. “Exercising for 2 hours doesn’t make you any healthier than sitting on a chair in the right way.” Darma tries to help with a smart reminder feature. Based on the real-time data collected from the user’s movement, it will gently vibrate if the cushion detects that you’ve been sitting for too long or resting in a bad posture. “We will remind you to stand up and stretch with our Darma app on your phone connected to the cushion via Blutooth.”

There’s also an embedded training program in the app that gives guidance on how to release sitting stress and relieve your back pain. “We don’t want to just track you, we want to help.” said the team.

Darma Team
Darma Team

Darma is a new team just graduated from the latest batch of the hardware incubator Haxlr8r. The team members are all from China and lived in Singapore for the past years. One of its co-founders Junhao Hu, who used to be a researcher on the fiber-optic sensor technology in Singapore, aims to make this high-tech material affordable and more practical for everyone. “Our future plan is to build more smart health products that are non-wearables. Instead of attaching those clumsy devices onto people’s body, we prefer to help people quietly and elegantly. People don’t really love to ‘Wear’ things, they just have to do so due to the limited technology. We believe in a future of the non-wearables.”

Darma plans to launch on Kickstarter soon and deliver the final products later this year. Retail price of the cushion will be $249,  and only $149 on Kickstarter. Currently its iOS app is already available on Apple App store. You can check their website to see the preorder details.

Charlie Sheng

动点科技驻湾区记者. Charlie is an entrepreneur based in San Francisco and Hong Kong who calls herself the undefeated caffeine champion. You can reach her at charlie.sheng (at)

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