Japan's Moff raises $1.3M for fitness wearable that could track yoga, dancing

By Aditi Pai
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MoffJapan-based Moff has raised $1.3 million from Japanese video game giant Bandai Namco Entertainment, Orso, and TomyK, according to The Bridge. This brings the company's total funding to at least $1.7 million.

Moff has developed an activity tracking wristworn device that is designed for children, aged 3 to 12, though the company says its product can be used by adults as well. The company aims to use the device to create gamified fitness experiences for children. Moff's band tracks movement and turns these movements into sounds the company categorizes as ninja, tennis, guitar, cooking, drum, magic wand, and baseball. 

“Most other fitness wearables are activity trackers, targeted to running and walking, but our tech is 3D movement sensing," Moff CEO and and founder Akinori Takahagi told TechCrunch. "Moff can recognize gestures and posture change for dancing and yoga. We can detect and analyze movements. That is on the technology side. On the content side, we want to combine gaming at the same time users are exercising and tracking their data.”

Moff's device is currently compatible with iPhones and other Apple mobile devices, but the company said an Android version is coming soon. The device costs $54.99 and is available for sale on Amazon for consumers in Japan and the US.

While Takahagi has been Moff's CEO since 2013, the company hired Albert Chu to be their US-based CEO. Chu, who has listed Moff as his place of work since October 2014, previously worked at AT&T and Apple.

In the past few years, a number of game developers have developed fitness-focused gamified apps and devices, including Atari, Blue Goji, Nintendo, and Konami.