As French Tech startups get ready to fly off to Las Vegas for the CES, let’s take a closer look at one of them. Moovency was “born” only two months ago but gets ready to change industry methods, for good.
Work ergonomics and RSI
RSI, or repetitive strain injury, is a sneaky type of injury that affects workers and leads to a work stoppage. What is even worse is that it can be prevented. Careful study of the workstation helps detect potentially dangerous gestures and/or adapt shifts.
This is the work of ergonomists.
Until now, they would study postures and gestures on site to offer recommendations and improvements.
But there was no empirical way to assess workload on the joints and spine. French startup Moovency has found an efficient way to up the ergonomists’ game. And it’s called KIMEA. For “Kinematics Measurement for Ergonomy Assessment”.
The science behind the startup
Before launching with this idea to capture movements and assess workloads, there was a crucial step. To see if it was actually possible to do so and get valuable, usable results.
A three-year thesis in Rennes University (France) proved the science behind the project was solid. Faurecia, the global leader in automotive tech, took part in the study. Designing ergonomic workspaces is vital for bigger production plants to run smoothly. Then came time to work on the hardware and the algorithms.
The hardware is the easiest part as the technology to capture movement with a camera already exists.
The breakthrough in the assessment technology is the possibility to get valuable data even on hidden body parts. Before that, any part hidden during a movement would not generate data, leading to an incorrect assessment.
Capturing data with a camera is far less intrusive than wearing sensors all around and the set up can be quite quick. Still, there are some movements that require a more precise data collection. The startup has also come up with a glove to analyze precise hand movements.
The Moovency solution is not just a super tool for ergonomists. There are many other uses possible. One of them is training as is becomes easy to monitor a gesture and make sure it is properly executed from day one. Teaching the proper movement right away is the best way to avoid future injury.
It can come quite handy in R&D too. There is nothing like designing a new tool and finding that people complain when using it. By integrating the assessment techniques provided by KIMEA, each iteration of the tool can be checked for potential harm to the user.
France and beyond
Moovency is very new but, through word-of-mouth, it’s already getting attention from big groups. Industry leaders of course, but also other industries that feel they can improve their craft through careful analysis of the gestures involved.
Because not every country has the same awareness or dedication to reduce on-the-job injuries, CEO François Morin knows adoption will vary.
But there is enough to do with the French, European and North American market.
Off to the CES
The small team is on the move to reach Las Vegas next week. If putting the startup on the map is a major goal, the team hopes to discover many new technologies there and run KIMEA demos. Some big names have already planned to stop by. Will they make their move?