Friday, March 31, 2017

Physical Activity on Meretz For Virtual Currency @MeretzApp

Converting real life physical activity into digital currency or rewards has been one of the dreams of the Games for Health project mission goals. Specifically we hope that universal game profiles can be shared cross-platformed to include physical activity and fitness data that forms a Gamer Health Record.

Although formed in 2015, I haven't heard much from this company yet and with only two videos on their YouTube channel (5200 views), they do have iOS and Android apps available to begin your quest to be more physically active. I have signed up for an account and did these screengrabs to see some of their partnerships.

From the video it appears the app taps into your phone's accelerometer to grab data on physical activity; however what was apparent was the limitations of a phone app in determining exercises like cycling or playing basketball.  Cycling can usually only be  determined with phone and GPS coordination and basketball cannot be played while holding your phone.

In my opinion, one Fitness Tracker and app that is blowing up this space and being used in large groups and schools is the Kid Power band for Unicef which I'll feature in an upcoming post as I think it's done an incredible job at taking over where Zamzee left off. Time will tell how successful Meretz will be but it does have a lot of potential.

Time will tell how well this app and service will help get or keep people active. Stay tuned.

Game Title Connections
  • Always Sometimes Monsters
  • Breach and Clear
  • Wizard 101
  • APB Reloaded
  • EVE

Fitness Tracker Integration
  • FitBit
  • UnderArmour

Meretz Rewards Physical Activity with Virtual Currency | Fitness Gaming:

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Thursday, March 30, 2017

gymGO Personal Training Online: Fitness on the Fly @gymGO_fitness

GymGO is an online and mobile personal training app that lets you connect with and train clients in real time via live, two-way streaming video. Developed by famous celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson, it helps connect trainers with up to 6 clients virtually (online) and provides you feedback on your progress and goals for each workout.

Coaches provide customized workouts around the HIIT principle and are 30 minutes of fat burning and muscle building gold. They prioritize this short workout to accommodate those looking to get a short workout in.

I wonder how similar these features are to the older platform FitBlok popularized by Todd Durkin. I also wonder if there will be any fitness tracker integration into the platform?

What are the benefits of this program?
  • Affordable: NO up-front costs to you. You are paid per 30-minute session/per client and you can train up to six clients at once.
  • Convenience: Set your own hours and work from home, meaning less travel time and more productive training time.
  • Grow your business: Market to your social media followers and convert them into gymGO clients.

Personal trainers are masters at finding the strengths and weakness of their clients through fitness assessments for:
  • Resting heart rate
  • Cardiovascular strength
  • Muscular strength and endurance
Measuring all those things helps personal trainers gain insight into the needs of their clients and build successful fitness programs tailored to the individual.
Click here to read more of ExerGame Lab's archived posts involving research studies. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Skillrow Indoor Rowing Exergaming @technogym

Working out in groups has proven to be a gold mine for SoulCycle and it's 70 studios and not being afraid to get sweaty with your tribe has structured near religious addition and devotion.

Skillrow was created by Technogym (as a solution to train cardio and power at the same time all through a group-based virtual trainer video game interface (aka exergame).

After listening to Tony Robbins interview with SoulCycle CEO Melanie Whelan it was great to hear how important it is to have crew members to actually take classes and learn from new instructors. But above all it was great to hear the structure of their training and ongoing commitment to their clients.

Here is a blog post from Tony Robbins on leadership and team development.

It would be great to see heart-rate integration into each rower, but I know how uncomfortable the chest straps can be for long periods. Maybe using the wrist worn monitors would be a good solution, but can get hard to wear as you complete your Power 10's and high intensity interval training HIIT exercises.

Skillrow Indoor Rowing Solution Offers Cardio and Power Training to Boost Athletic Performance via Fitness Gaming

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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Hykso Wearable Punch Sensors Exergaming

Learning how well you're doing at boxing has never really been objective, except for your coach or sparring partner. In the latest sport to get Sabremetricified, BoxingMetrics is now available through Hysko. Hysko punch trackers features the ability to track:
  • punch volume
  • punch velocity
  • identify punch type
  • workout intensity
It's interesting that Hysko purports to be the only fitness tracker that monitors in real-time workout stats but at CES PIQ Robot Blue was showing a similar product. The question that always gets asked is will this motivate others to learn or stay in boxing?

Hykso Wearable Punch Trackers Deliver Measurable Data to Help Boxers Improve Faster via Fitness Gaming:

Click here to read more of ExerGame Lab's archived posts involving boxing exergames. 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Level Up Your Walk With 'Step Buy Step: A Pedometer Adventure'

This iPhone only pedometer exergame Step Buy Step was created by the ultra popular creators of Zombies Run (Six to Start) and rewards you in game for the steps you take in the real-world. You can buy up to 40 creatures

Walk ten steps and buy a Dog. Your canine companion adds an extra 4 Stepps to each of your own steps! Get 100 Stepps and it’s time to buy a Flock of Sheep. Now you’re really cooking: 40 Stepps per step and you’re covering 100 yards with every fall of your feet. 
I like their play on words from BUY to STEPPS and obviously shows their playfulness as a company - which is great considering how successful they've been across their 8 apps developed at helping you get in shape - without thinking about getting in shape.

I loved playing Zombies Run as it really put you in the survival mode and got you moving especially in story mode. I personally think we need to do more playing in general and hope these games can be Gateway Games to an active lifestyle.

Via Geek Dad Level Up Your Walk With 'Step Buy Step: A Pedometer Adventure'

Click here to read more on Pedometer Games (Exergames) on ExerGame Lab

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Saturday, March 25, 2017

PUSH to new limits @trainwithPUSH Apple HealthKit compliant?

Having a huge database of exercises that have been cataloged and quantified is a huge undertaking and to have over 250 exercises already is tremendous advantage over other devices.

PUSH is a new sport and fitness technology wearable that is paired with a mobile-app that can analyze, track and monitor your workout across over 250 exercise movements - with many more to come.

Unlike many other #FitTech products, this one actually has a peer-reviewed research study that shows the PUSH is a valid device that can monitor movement velocity during the back squat exercise with high reliability (r=0.85). I also think that having the system track GPS (PUSH Vital) data can also give trainers, strength coaches and therapists a detailed view of athlete workouts.

I wonder what the collective bargaining agreement for the NFL and any other team has to say about all this quantification of physical performance, location, sleep, and nutrition. Are all these devices HIPPA compliant and do they run through Apple HealthKit.

Push Vital with San Francisco Giants of NFL

Abstract: Balsalobre-Fern├índez, C, Kuzdub, M, Poveda-Ortiz, P, and Campo-Vecino, Jd. Validity and reliability of the PUSH wearable device to measure movement velocity during the back squat exercise. J Strength Cond Res 30(7): 1968–1974, 2016—The purpose of this study was to analyze the validity and reliability of a wearable device to measure movement velocity during the back squat exercise. To do this, 10 recreationally active healthy men (age = 23.4 ± 5.2 years; back squat 1 repetition maximum [1RM] = 83 ± 8.2 kg) performed 3 repetitions of the back squat exercise with 5 different loads ranging from 25 to 85% 1RM on a Smith Machine. Movement velocity for each of the total 150 repetitions was simultaneously recorded using the T-Force linear transducer (LT) and the PUSH wearable band. Results showed a high correlation between the LT and the wearable device mean (r = 0.85; standard error of estimate [SEE] = 0.08 m·s−1) and peak velocity (r = 0.91, SEE = 0.1 m·s−1). Moreover, there was a very high agreement between these 2 devices for the measurement of mean (intraclass correlation coefficient [ICC] = 0.907) and peak velocity (ICC = 0.944), although a systematic bias between devices was observed (PUSH peak velocity being −0.07 ± 0.1 m·s−1 lower, p ≤ 0.05). When measuring the 3 repetitions with each load, both devices displayed almost equal reliability (Test–retest reliability: LT [r = 0.98], PUSH [r = 0.956]; ICC: LT [ICC = 0.989], PUSH [ICC = 0.981]; coefficient of variation [CV]: LT [CV = 4.2%], PUSH [CV = 5.0%]). Finally, individual load-velocity relationships measured with both the LT (R2 = 0.96) and the PUSH wearable device (R2 = 0.94) showed similar, very high coefficients of determination. In conclusion, these results support the use of an affordable wearable device to track velocity during back squat training. Wearable devices, such as the one in this study, could have valuable practical applications for strength and conditioning coaches.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Moov Personalized Virtual Fitness Trainer Wearable @Getmoov

Getting feedback on your running form or any other athletic skill used to only come from a personal coach watching you. With mobile devices and apps and the incredible growth of wearable technology, coaching is vastly different than it was even 5 years ago.

Moov is fitness tracker that pairs with your mobile device and syncs data when in range, but also stores data if you're not (a huge advantage) and similar to Polar, Suunto, and Sensoria's units.

Moov HR is their latest addition to the fitness tracking and virtual training category that states it's the first intense heart rate tracking program that responds to your heart rate output and encourages you or cautions you. Apparently pro sports teams are using this system to monitor workloads, workouts, and stats. You can either get the HR chest strap (HR Burn) or head band (HR Sweat).

According to their in-house field testing of the accuracy of their headband heart-rate monitor system it is very comparable to an actual EKG

Click here to see more stories about virtual trainers featured on ExerGame Lab

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

CES 2017 - Health, Fitness & Wellness Technology - Follow the line (part 21)

Continuing this marathon of CES 2017 device coverage were too many wearables and health technology from companies you've never heard of that offer all the popular devices you can think of (FitBit, GoPro, Polaroid, Garmin, etc...).  Showroom floors, exhibition halls, hotel convention centers, restaurants, pubs, casinos were jam-packed and it was good to have some of the convention floors with colored lines to guide you from place to place.

Click here to read more of ExerGame Lab's archived posts involving research studies. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

MLB and Whoop monitor rest & travel #FitnessTracker

A recent article highlighted MLB's use of Whoop's #FitnessTracker to monitor pro-baseball players rest and recovery over the course of the year.

What we often discuss in class is the HIPPA implications for all this health data being shared and who will have access to the data and information.

Click here to read more of ExerGame Lab's archived posts involving research studies. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Competition for Personal Trainers? @BeachBody OnDemand @FitOnDemand247

After visiting a fitness center and speaking with the owner, I couldn't help but ask more questions about their On-Demand Fitness video kiosk. Apparently there are only four in all of New York state but they are popping up much more out west. 

The units tout over 1000 different programs and after purchasing the video unit, you will need a monthly subscription (2 different levels starting at $150 per month). Here are some of the more popular programs available:
  • Jillian Michaels
  • Zumba
  • Les Mills
  • P90Z
  • Insanity
Will these kiosks squeeze out personal and group trainers?

I also noticed a simple exercise program for kids "Story Aerobics for Kids"

Beachbody on Demand is offering streaming fitness instruction to your personal devices so now you don't even have to go to a studio or fitness center. Here is a link to a review of the best streaming fitness video services by Goop. Here are some more services listed elsewhere including on Amazon TV:

Click here to read more of ExerGame Lab's archived posts involving research studies. 

Saturday, March 18, 2017

CES 2017 - Health, Fitness & Wellness Technology - GPS Garmin, GPSTuner, Coursa (part 20)

If we'e talking about fitness tracking, GPS is an incredibly accurate method to track your routes, elevation, distances, times, etc...; however, the big drawback is the incredible drain on the battery GPS systems typically incur.

Besides the behemoth in the room - Garmin, two interesting platforms I ran across were CoursaSports and GPSTuner.

CoursaSports -
Garmin -
GPSTuner -

CoursaSports uses a unique low-powering consuming GPS and multi-axial accelerometers to lower the drain on battery consumption by up to 50% by helping to cycle when the units use power.

Coursa Sports improves the wearable device battery life by up to 50% during workouts by frequently turning GNSS off (duty-cycling). During duty-cycling, the lower power sensors are used to track fitness data at the same accuracy as GNSS. This feature extends battery life during a running session, and enables developers to migrate their smartphone apps to smart watch devices, where smaller batteries and the high power consumption of GNSS previously prohibited fitness tracking use cases.
The Coursa Sports platform is designed to provide more accurate and always available speed, distance, and route tracking and at least a 3X improvement in relative elevation reporting for walking, hiking and running at up to 50% reduced power consumption as to 100%-On GPS. Coursa Sports is comprised of an SDK for integration into a mobile/wearable application and a cloud server. Mobile and wearable application developers can
download the Coursa Sports SDK (Android or IOS) today from
GPS Tuner is focused on helping the eBike industry keep their riders safe and routed to areas of greatest interest for workers and tourists alike

Click here to read more of ExerGame Lab's archived posts involving research studies. 

Friday, March 17, 2017

Versus Virtual Fitness Trainer exergaming @versus_fitness

 Versus Virtual Fitness Trainer is an interactive kiosk designed to get you into shape with a customized fitness routine complete with your own personal Siri or Jillian Michaels (or Richard Simmons).  Following along to your personalized trainer and routine to reach your health and fitness goals - I always wonder how long people typically use a service like this. In some way it is very similar to the on-demand Fitness Kiosks available at fitness centers and the at-home market for on-demand video fitness programs:

Versus sort of reminds me of Pavigym's Prama and maybe even a little bit of Nexersys
PRAMA: The Interactive Fitness Platform from Pavigym on Vimeo

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

CES 2017 - Health, Fitness & Wellness Technology - Emfit & Tanita (part 19)

Continuing this marathon of CES 2017 device coverage two other systems of fitness and health monitoring are Emfit and Tanita.

Emfit QS is an under the mattress monitor that measures your sleep and heart-rate variability to provide you an accurate detailed look at your performance, sleep, and fitness variables. With this detailed look you can learn how to tweak your routines and optimize your training and competition
for success.

I've used Tanita for over a dozen years for anthropometric data collection but some of their new tech is geared towards athletic dominance. I really liked their 3D body scanning real-time display which showed your approximate levels of bone, fat, muscle and water.

Although it is not the only 3D body scanning system including:

  • Fit3D - -
  • Styku - -
  • Artec3D -
  • ShapeScale - -

Also at CES was ShapeScale a 3d body scanner!

Click here to read more of ExerGame Lab's archived posts involving research studies. 

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