I worked with Shapelog CEO Brian Hayden on an article about cycling power meters and how they have enabled new businesses and new ways of social engagement. Head over to the FIT-C website to check it out. I hope you find it interesting.
Fitmetrix got started in 2013 when founders Monica Dioda (CEO) and Josh Lloyd (CTO) saw an opportunity to build cardio monitoring solution onto the Mindbody platform (which is super popular but lacked any heart rate monitoring solution). From there they’ve built up a nice market presence and added a lot of integrations, which their CTO Josh Lloyd spoke about in his podcast with Josh Trent of FIT-C. I won’t rehash the podcast, you should just listen to it. I really liked the discussion at the end about integrations with insurance companies since that is one important intersection point of fitness and the health care system. We sorely need better alignment of financial incentives and lifestyle modifications. This is one of many places where we can nudge things the right way.
Fitmetrix integrates with popular gym equipment, so it can pull workout load data (cycling power, rowing power, speed, etc.) as well as HR data via any ANT+ HR belt. Fitmetrix provides receivers to install in studio to gather the data, for both real-time display in the class as well as post workout analysis for the member. They also have integrations to popular wearables like Garmin, Polar, Suunto, and Wahoo for outside the club tracking. They also integrate with other member engagement apps like Perkville. If you want to add cardio monitoring to your club, I’d highly recommend you check them out.
If you are interested in the financial side of things, MindBody is publicly traded on the NASDAQ and has been one of the big winners in my portfolio. There are only so many public fit-tech companies in this space so if you are bullish on this market you might check them out.
Here’s the link to the FIT-C podcast:
Slowly progressing on this data compilation, amidst many other initiatives. Spent yesterday evening studying three solutions:
Wexer – Focused on delivering pre-packaged workouts via video to your club to fill the gaps in your in-studio schedule. They’ve made several acquisitions, including a mobile app development shop to try to be the “one stop technology shop” for clubs. In over 4,000 clubs. No API or 3rd party integrations mentioned. 800+ classes online.
Fitcloudconnect – they take a different approach and make it easy for your club to build your own content / catalog of workouts with the trainers you already employ. A goal of this is to maintain the brand attribution to your studio, but it grows the offering more slowly and organically. They mention an API on their website but there are no details on it.
Trainerize – seem to be more focused on 1-1 trainer-client interactions and smaller facilities. Lots of emphasis on integration with other apps like MindBody and communication apps like Skype. They also plug into Zapier, one of the flag bearers of the “citizen integrator/consumer iPaaS” movement. (If you are in the software business and don’t know what “iPaaS” is, call me. Seriously.) A few wearable integrations (Fitbit, Withings) are touted as well. 50K+ trainers on platform.
If you are interested in learning more, I have a much larger, more detailed compilation of information on these and other apps in this space. And if this stuff interests you and you will be at CES, I’d love to connect in person when I’m there. Best to message me on LinkedIn. And I’ll keep adding summary notes here on the blog as I get through more of the solutions.
I’m in the process of summarizing and reviewing information on group cardio monitoring and training management solutions for fitness clubs. There are a few particular features and feature categories that I’m focusing on (fitness analytics and integrations / API maturity being two of them) but I’m taking a broad look at them. Here’s the list of the solutions I’m looking at:
Whew, that’s a longer list than I expected. This post is just Part I of a multi-part series (how many parts? I don’t know yet). Obviously each of these companies comes to the market with a slightly different angle so I’ll be drawing out the differences and similarities. If you are a club owner and want to dig into more detail on any areas in particular, email me or reach out on LinkedIn or Twitter to learn more.
I recently listened to an informative webinar from Mulesoft: Unlocking Electronic Health Records (EHRs) with Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). I learned a lot (and also generated a lot of questions) and thought I’d share a few notes from the webinar. I had hoped to make this more of a comprehensive review but my notes will have to suffice. I’ll update this topic with more posts over time as I further synthesize what it all means.
Here’s my second installment from the Quantified Self Expo in San Francisco over the weekend. It’s too bad I have other work to do because I could write about this all day.
I have a few specific posts in the queue following up on some of these themes, it was a great expo and I am already looking forward to next year.
My notes from the Quantified Self expo in San Francisco will require two posts, so here’s Part I, with an emphasis on topics that might be of interest to trainers, fitness center managers, and coaches:
The Palace of Fine Arts was home to the Wearable World Congress expo this week so I made the drive to the city to look around. It was a smaller expo than I expected but I had several interesting conversations and saw a few interesting products and platforms. Wearable World recently became part of the ReadWrite media organization and is one of my go-to sources for news.
1. Muse – they’ve been shipping their brain sensing headband since last summer and I had an interesting chat with Andrew Parr, a pro golfer who works for Muse to take the capabilities of the device to the golf course to improve mental focus during competition. I’ve long been interested in the nervous system as the next great frontier in sports training and we are just now getting the devices and data in place to be able to push this forward. Combined with an understanding of breathing patterns, HRV, and muscle activation patterns there is really a lot of progress to be made here.
2. Nuheara – billed as the world’s first “adaptive augmented hearables”, they are building out a software + hardware platform for a slick looking, wireless set of earbuds that are smartphone controlled and offer a ton of features. They really want to more seamlessly merge your physical, digital, and auditory experiences. The device is still about a year out from production, and the team is based in Perth, Australia. Surely they win the longest plane flight prize for the conference.
3. Panasonic – GoPro must be watching out as the cameras Panasonic showed off were incredibly small, light, and immaculately made – three things the Japanese still do as well as anyone. They had a new one that’s not yet released which weighs 45 grams including the battery and built in WiFi. Here’s the wired older version that’s already on the market. Having raced mountain bikes through the night in many 24 hour races with a headlight on my helmet, I can tell you that small & light wins the day in helmet mounted devices. If I were shopping for one, I’d definitely give Panasonic a look.
4. Ayo – Anyone who has read the Four Hour Body knows about blue light as a way to regulate energy and sleep patterns. Ayo’s product looks like the top 2/3 of a pair of eyeglasses, but with little blue lights to stimulate your eyes and bump up your energy and help you regulate melatonin production and fight jetlag. Assuming you don’t already wear glasses (like I do), you can wear these while working or doing household chores, so you needn’t be stationary with a blue light shining at you.
5. The Wearables Store – pretty simple, a e-commerce shop devoted to wearables. Some new stuff there but there were enough important brands missing that we can’t call it a superstore just yet. Speaking of webstores, at the Muse site I found the mindTec store which is focused exclusively on bio and neuro-feedback products.
6. Strap – Unfortunately I did not get to speak to anyone at their booth, because these guys are going after exactly the problem I wrote about a few weeks back – namely, how do companies extract the massive marketing value of all these wearable devices to drive better customer engagement. The goal of their platform is to make wearable data accessible and meaningful to marketers, although the list of compatible devices/services they identify on their website is pretty short and I did not see any talk of an API for developers to use to leverage their capabilities. Definitely one to keep an eye on though.
7. meMINI – another take on the wearable camera. The idea is that you video your whole life and tap the device to tell it when something interesting happened, so that snippet of video gets sent to the cloud and everything else is erased. Seems pretty handy for skiing and other outdoors events where you need a small camera (their device was a bit bigger than a matchbox) and don’t want to comb through hours of video when you’re done having your fun.
8. Amby – a watch for your kids to wear so you can keep track of them and interact with them. It’s a wearable designed for the kids to wear but give the parents piece of mind.
Beyond specific devices, I was reminded of the importance of crowdfunding in driving wearable innovation forward, and of how great it is to live in San Francisco or Silicon Valley. Several international companies had only one employee in the US, and they were almost always located in Northern California. This event was obviously no substitute for CES and its more comprehensive set of vendors, but if you want to keep an eye on what’s new and not yet on the market, it’s worth it.