Fitnet: The Game-Changing Fitness App
Often-times, it’s a lot easier to exercise when you’ve got a personal trainer, but the problem with that is that they’re also rather expensive. However, for those people who can’t afford a personal trainer, their prayers are soon to be answered, as a new app called “Fitnet” is being developed. This new app falls within a family of other apps that deliver prerecorded videos from personal trainers to your palm, such as Nike+ Training Club or FitOrbit. Unlike the others, however, Fitnet is delivering you that trainer in real time, coaching you, through smartphone or tablet, while you exercise. I recently came across an article written by somebody who tried the product. The author said that all you have to do is angle the phone on the floor, so that the trainer can see you and coach you. At the same time, Fitnet’s algorithm analyzes how well you’re doing on your workout. This technology is similar to existing stuff, but it goes beyond that. The next phase of the Fitnet app will drop the camera analytics, instead using wearables such as Fitbit or Jawbone to send real-time data to a personal trainer. There would be an actual person watching the user, advising them how to get the best stretch.
Fitnet’s algorithm is intended to help personal trainers determine who needs help at that moment by simultaneously processing participants’ exercise data. The real-time feedback to exercisers will give somebody using the app an experience that feels more like an in-person session with a coach. The price of the app (free) is significantly lower than that of trainers, who typically charge rates between $45 and $200 an hour. Eventually, the developers are hoping that the app will be able to make money through extras, such as offering users the chance to take part in a social fitness challenge for $1.99 per month.
Fitnet is partially funded by the National Science Foundation, which has a project called GENI that explores innovative applications. GENI is a nationwide gigabit network hosted by computer researchers, more-or-less a giant cloud computing network, which researchers can use to develop applications that require super-fast Internet speeds. Fitnet is being used to test whether real-time interaction is possible on a faster, next-generation Internet. According to Fitnet CEO Bob Summers, Fitnet is a lot more complicated than a group video chat, and required an infrastructure like GENI’s to properly test.