ukactive’s ActiveLab supports fit-tech start-ups that aim to engage more people in physical activity and sport. We look at some of this year’s cohort.
Rocket Impact creates mobile games for the health and fitness industry. Its mission is to use gamification to motivate people to lead active lifestyles via fun, visually engaging and social gaming experiences.
The company’s first product is a mobile fitness game called Afitar that combines elements of fitness running apps with an action puzzle game to get the whole family active. The game focuses on a fitness avatar, where the user’s in-game appearance changes to reflect their level of exercise in real life – if they exercise a lot they can sport a superhero look, if not they could be a couch potato, zombie or worse. Weekly challenges and a series of fitness quests aim to keep people motivated.
Friends Phil Tsang and Deepak Vohra founded the company after losing relatives to ill-health and becoming first time fathers. They aim to create a portfolio of mobile health and fitness games, including those that deal with mental health issues, improve diet and nutrition.
“The success of Pokemon Go showed that if a game is well designed and engaging, users are happy to get active. We aim to help set the trend that will disrupt the fitness gaming landscape while making a positive social impact,” says Tang.
Blazepod is a flash reflex training system that motivates users to react faster, push their limits and boost their performance.
Tap-sensitive pods, powered by the BlazePod app, create flashes of light that provide visual clues prompting users to challenge their speed and reaction times.
Users can activate a predefined activity or create their own. They can challenge themselves or compete against others, and track their data in real-time to improve fitness, technique and tactics.
“BlazePod started from a vision of motivating kids to becoming more active, through lights providing visual cues to climbing frames in parks. Three years later and it has become the leading flash reflex training system on the consumer market. Reaching multiple fitness, sports and wellness verticals, motivating not only kids, but all ages whether professionals, amateurs or enthusiasts, across many fields, both outdoors and indoors” says Simon Jacobs, sports & fitness development manager.
HealthPOD is a platform offering on-demand 1-2-1 virtual consultations. It connects people to the right personal trainers and nutritionists for them. They can video call them as much or as little as they need to ensure they’re following the right advice and sticking to it.
Consumers receive personalised meal and workout plans, tailored to their needs and the ongoing support they need to succeed.
Coaches can monetise free time and increase their income.
Tom Sheppey launched the company after rupturing a disk in his spine which caused temporary paralysis of his lower body.
“Finding the right professional support to start exercising again was a major challenge and cost a fortune. My experience reflects that of millions of people in the UK. Whether you’re recovering from injury, trying to lose weight, training for an event or just looking to get healthier, people are failing to get the support they need to get active and stay active. That’s why we started HealthPOD,” he says.
Playermaker is a performance intelligence platform that helps coaches to maximise football players’ potential.
The product is based on a discrete boot mounted motion sensor that tracks and analyses all technical, tactical and physical player performance indicators, including distance and speed, time to release, pass completion and passing network.
Committed to machine learning, gate-tracking, biomechanical load and accuracy, the solution offers an instant and actionable feedback. Detecting every interaction on and off the ball, PlayerMaker allows for the creation of a database of insights to enhance coaching strategies and increase player development at an exponential rate.
The data generated provides a unique assessment of each players’ performance in varying situations, uploaded to the cloud following the session - accessible to both coach and player alike.
The dataset can additionally be exported and integrated into video, generating short clips that enable self-debriefing as well as more in-depth coaching support to optimise the game. In this way, PlayerMaker allows coaches and managers to monitor the details of their team’s performance and objectively identify gaps for improvement.
PlayerMaker commercialised last November and started piloting the product in Israel and the UK in January 2018. It is now used in five countries.
Shapewatch is an innovative 3D body scanner and visualisation tool which allows users to scan their bodies, monitor key biometrics and see their body shapes in 3D for true transformation.
Backed by Global Scanning, which has more than 30 years of scanning technology experience, users to track their progress towards their fitness/wellness goals via the Shapewatch app.
“Quantitative measurement and self-tracking are changing the ways in which we can know ourselves today,” says Shapewatch sales director Alan Louden.
“It can provide information that allows us to connect behaviours to health outcomes. Shapewatch enables users to accurately and consistently track key biometrics essential to overall fitness and health – visualising one’s health data in 3D with personalised, customisable avatars.”
With this data and its Dynamic Movement Assessment, Shapewatch offers valuable applications for pre-habilitation, rehabilitation, wellness and performance.
“By reimagining what we can learn from our health, fitness and leisure activities, we can improve the quality of our lives.”
CoachAi is an AI companion that helps people achieve their health and wellness goals, coaching them through the process via Facebook Messenger chat and using proven behavioral science to ensure the habit sticks.
For health club operators, CoachAi is an automated solution for improving member experience and retention without the need for technical integration, staff retraining, or asking members to download an app.
The solution has been developed by a team of fitness industry veterans, behavioural science experts and artificial intelligence engineers, who spent over a year researching how they could help people achieve their health and wellness goals.
“We partnered with Paul Bedford, the expert on exercise adherence and member retention. We learned that people who have a companion on their journey to manage the process and keep them accountable are 95 per cent more likely to succeed. But while 1-on-1 coaching is very effective, most people can't afford it,” says CEO Shai Neiger.
“Unlike most fitness products and services, CoachAi is specifically designed to help beginners, non-athletes, and people that struggle to stick to a regular routine. It offers personal guidance, motivation and accountability along every step of their fitness journey, and each person has a unique experience that is designed to maximize their chance of success.”
GoSweat enables people to discover, search, book and share classes for a wide range of activities, at venues across the UK.
“We offer people the freedom to find a health and fitness routine that fits their life. For us, personal well-being is more than just access to a gym, it’s a holistic package of experiences at times and locations to fit around your life”, says co-founder and CEO Alex Hind.
The co-founders, tired of only being offered gym discounts by their previous employers and bored of spending hours trying to find local fitness, sought out a different way.
“GoSweat offers a huge range of classes that you wouldn’t find anywhere else. This encourages people to try classes they might not have thought even existed before - like Quidditch, Kangoo Jumps and HulaFit. The ease of discovery also takes out a huge barrier to entry for some. The simplicity of being able to discover and book local fitness experiences in a couple of clicks, means people are much more likely to book and book again” says Hind.