Baby, it's the way you make me kinda get me sit straightly, never wanna stop.
The Back Straight Boys aren't singing that tune yet, but they probably should be. The teenagers did, after all, name themselves after the boy band Backstreet Boys. But instead of targeting screaming teens, they're targeting screaming adults--screaming in pain, that is--with a device that aims to prevent poor workstation posture by monitoring wearers' stance and training them to correct it when needed.
Sean Colford, Ethan Epstein, Brandon Loye, and Michael Walsh, all of San Diego and just out of their freshman year of high school, came up with the idea for Posture Pad back in middle school after experiencing firsthand the discomfort computer use can cause.
"We noticed that at school, all the computer workstations were the same size, but Ethan and I had a 15-inch difference in height," Loye said. "I had to hunch my back to see the monitor, and Ethan had to sit on his legs. This caused us discomfort, and we thought we could do something about it."
So the longtime pals decided to delve deep into improper posture at computer workstations and the consequent musculoskeletal problems it can cause among kids and adults in classrooms and offices.
Many hours of research spawned the "Posture Pad," which strategically embeds sensors and microcomputers in an ergonomically designed seat pad to gauge a computer user's positioning and connects to the user's computer to deliver visual and/or audio feedback via special software. … Read more