Fit for the future: these 4 technologies transform the way we stay in shape

With continuous innovation and refinement, we can expect to see new and exciting fitness tools that will enhance our ability to stay in shape, elevating fitness training to a whole new level.
Industries: Healthcare
    1. AI-powered smart camera corrects your workout posture in real time
    2. Step up your boxing game with this ‘brainy’ punching bag
    3. Smart mirror powered by deep learning improves your fitness
    4. Algorithm calculates how much exercise you can endure

As we keep pushing the boundaries of what is possible and technology continues to transform the way we stay in shape, the future of fitness looks brighter than ever. With the help of engineers and computer scientists and through the development of various technological tools, fitness training experiences have been elevated to a whole new level. These tools, such as fitness trackers, smart watches, and smart home gym equipment, have transformed the way we approach our workouts by tracking progress and providing real-time feedback. One of the most exciting advancements in fitness technology is the development of deep learning algorithms. These can analyse vast amounts of data to create more accurate and personalised fitness programmes. With continuous innovation and refinement, we can expect to see new and exciting fitness tools that will further enhance our ability to stay in shape, such as smart mirrors that can coach you during your personal fitness training and even smart boxing bags for interactive boxing workouts. Other advanced fitness equipment that we’ll increasingly come across includes smart bikes, ellipticals, treadmills, and strength machines. Let’s take a dive into the future of fitness and explore which four technologies are set to transform the way we stay in shape.

1. AI-powered smart camera corrects your workout posture in real time

We kick off with a smart camera called AIMOOV. This AI-powered camera — actually a kind of artificially intelligent ‘personal trainer’ — works on tracking and correcting home workouts and brings the personal training experience to your home. About the size of a soda can and touted as the world’s smallest fitness trainer, AIMOOV works in real time and syncs with fitness tracking applications to indicate whether you’re doing the workouts the right way and ensures that your workout posture is always on point. This is especially useful for those who want to know if they’re doing their lunges and squats correctly, improve their form, prevent injuries, or just get the most out of their workouts. The smart device sits next to your TV and displays a digital representation of you on the screen that performs your moves as you do.

The cutting-edge AI technology used in AIMOOV helps to make the camera incredibly intuitive and adaptable to your needs. Its interactive gesture controls enable you to select or skip exercises or switch between different types of exercise, including Pilates, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), yoga, and so on. It even adjusts its feedback to suit your level of fitness and the specific exercise being performed, and automatically pauses when you need to catch your breath. The camera can recognise different users, enabling you to create unique profiles and track your progress at your own pace. The Wi-Fi-enabled camera comes with a privacy cover that hides it when you aren’t using it. It also doesn’t include a microphone, so your private conversations are for your and your family’s ears only. At the end of each session, the programme gives you feedback about calories burned, maximum heart rate, training time, and so on.

2. Step up your boxing game with this ‘brainy’ punching bag cover

For those looking to learn how to box or improve their existing boxing skills, the    startup Bhout has recently launched a smart boxing bag. The AI-powered heavy bag is said to be the first of its kind in the world and makes use of machine learning to continuously challenge and motivate you. The multi-layered punching bag is created to have life-like tactility, which means that it actually feels like a real human body, and every layer mimics the density of body tissues like skin, muscle, and bone. The outer layer is made of cactus leaves (of course, without the spikes) while the core consists of foam and 85 per cent water to represent the inner organs (and minimise your risk of injury).

The punching bag is embedded with sensors that calculate the location and power of each strike and send this data to the Bhout brain. Its advanced integrated nudging system, which comprises video games, coloured patterns, and music to suit various kinds of training sessions and intensity levels, helps to boost your motivation and matches your boxing intensity to your mood. The system offers gamified fitness programmes, enables you to virtually compete against others or yourself, and offers options to earn Bhout in-app rewards. Bhout founder Mauro Frota has trained in martial arts and has a degree in exercise psychology. He has also done research into how gamified fitness can keep users engaged in exercise. The first Bhout fitness boxing club opened in Lisbon in 2021 and plans are to expand and market the Bhout bags to gyms, hotels, and corporate offices. Frota also hopes to open additional studios in the UK, Spain, Brazil, UAE, and Saudi Arabia.

3. Smart mirror powered by deep learning improves your fitness training

At the University of Brescia in Italy, researchers have recently designed a computer vision system to power a smart mirror. This will enable the mirror to help make fitness training — at the gym as well as at home — more effective. The smart mirror was featured in a paper published by the International Society of Biomechanics in Sports. The system is based on a deep learning algorithm that was trained to recognise human movements in videos. The algorithm runs on a nano device with two fisheye cameras, detects human movements in the captured footage, and can extract skeletons from images and video material.  

One of the researchers involved in the study, Bernardo Lanza, says: “Our commercial partner ABHorizon invented the concept of a product that can guide and teach you during your personal fitness training. This device can show you the best way to train based on your specific needs. To develop this device further, they asked us to investigate the viability of an integrated vision system for exercise evaluation”. Lanza continues: “With cameras and AI applications, we understand and assess body motion, detect postural errors, and analyse simple fitness exercises. Nowadays our system analysis is based on simple body variables (elbow angle, hand position…) but we are working to improve the evaluation capability of the machine”. The smart mirror system will be able to evaluate fitness exercises similarly to human personal trainers — and even in more comprehensive ways. It is able to detect motions like rotation, flection, and traction of different body parts and keeps track of repetitions performed. To enable users to monitor and improve their performance during workouts, the mirror displays all the data it collects and updates this in real time. This system will be able to offer sophisticated assistance to those training without a human coach.

4. Algorithm calculates how much exercise you can endure

Driftline, an Icelandic startup, has launched an algorithm that can calculate human endurance by analysing vital stats, such as your heart rate. The startup, led by a father-and-son team, can rank you on a scale of one to 100 in terms of your endurance level, based on 20 minutes of casually walking, running, cycling, or swimming, wearing a personal fitness tracker of your choice. Traditional fitness testing requires expensive lab equipment and generally leaves you utterly exhausted, gasping for air. The Driftline endurance monitoring algorithm, however, can get you more accurate results more effectively than these first-gen options. The algorithm is the result of 20 years of breakthrough research and development in the field of advanced heart rate kinetics. It’s a powerful tool that helps athletes and fitness enthusiasts monitor their endurance during intense physical activities. The algorithm works by analysing various data points from baseline readings — including oxygen saturation levels, respiratory rate, and heart rate variability — to determine your level of endurance before you engage in any physical activity. Once the activity begins, the algorithm starts monitoring your vital signs in real time, comparing them to the baseline readings. 

The algorithm then uses advanced statistical analysis to determine if your endurance is improving or declining over time. It can adjust its readings based on factors like age, gender, weight, and fitness level, ensuring that the data it provides is accurate and relevant. The real-time feedback can be used to make adjustments to your training regimen, allowing you to improve your endurance and achieve your goals more effectively. Arnar Pétursson, CFO of Driftline, 53X National Running Champion of Iceland, coach, and member of the World Athletics Organisation, said: “Driftline has created a true ‘seismic shift’ in the science of quantifying endurance — solving a challenge that has frustrated the world’s leading exercise scientists for decades with a simple-to-use, yet supremely accurate solution that I invested in the company. For the past few years, I have been coaching and training members of the Icelandic national team using our algorithm to recommend unique training programmes for my runners — and it was a resounding success that improved not only their endurance but my own as well!”

In closing

The future of fitness is bright, and we can expect to see a surge of exciting new tools that will revolutionise the way we stay in shape. As the fitness industry continues to evolve and the trend of hybrid fitness continues to expand, we’ll increasingly see the blending of traditional gym experiences with digital features for a more enhanced and personalised workout. One of the most exciting advancements in fitness technology is the development of deep learning algorithms. These algorithms can analyse vast amounts of data and use it to create more accurate and personalised fitness programmes. This means that athletes of all levels can receive customised training plans that take their individual fitness goals and capabilities into account. We can also look forward to more sophisticated fitness wearables that can track our every move and provide real-time feedback on our workouts. And with the increasing popularity of virtual reality, we may even see immersive fitness experiences that transport us to new worlds and challenge us in new ways. The future of fitness is full of possibilities, and as technology continues to advance, so will our ability to stay healthy, fit, and motivated. Get ready to experience a whole new level of fitness.

Industries: Healthcare
We’re in the midst of a technological revolution and the trends, technologies, and innovations to look out for are all game-changers. They bring competitive advantages, increase the effectiveness of operations, make our daily lives more efficient, improve healthcare, and significantly change the landscape and beyond.

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