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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

People profiles: Cliff Chen

Creative and experience director, LifeBEAM

Published in Health Club Management 2016 issue 9
LifeBEAM’s Cliff Chen is aiming to tackle the obesity crisis with the help of technology
LifeBEAM’s Cliff Chen is aiming to tackle the obesity crisis with the help of technology
It was the Spike Jones movie Her which really inspired us. We liked the idea of putting a person into your ear

Technology has been instrumental in inducing inactive lifestyles, so we now want to use it to bring about a positive change,” says LifeBEAM’s Cliff Chen. “We want to take on the big hairy problem of obesity.”

LifeBEAM’s artificial intelligence personal trainer, Vi, could indeed be a game changer when it comes on stream early next year. It’s a fitness tracker, a PT, a phone and a music player all wrapped up in one set of top quality headphones, designed in partnership with Harman/Kardon.

AI personal trainers
The company’s background is in biomechanics for the aerospace sector, but in 2012, LifeBEAM crossed over to the consumer market, developing wearable tech for clients like Samsung and Under Armour.
The idea to create a PT controlled by artificial intelligence emerged three years ago. “We had lots of bio-feedback capabilities that we wanted to bring to a consumer audience. We were also passionate about health and sports, so we wanted to move into this market,” says Chen. “But it was the Spike Jones movie, Her – about an AI character – which really inspired us to go down this route. We liked the idea of putting a person into your ear: we’ve all lived with Siri, and bio-sensing technology is getting smaller, so we knew it was possible.”

The Vi product contains a string of sensors worn around the neck and in the ear – to relay workout feedback to the system – and a microphone to talk to ‘her’.

“Having a device in the ear is advantageous, because it can give a lot of accurate physiological data,” says Chen. “But Vi is more than just hardware: it’s a product that’s able to build a relationship.”

Vi will constantly look for patterns in behaviour to gain intelligence about the individual. For example, she will ask for feedback on mood and sleep quality and will assess the workout against the backdrop of this information. She will then store this data for future workouts, to build up a picture of the individual.

“Part of the intelligence is to work out what kind of motivation the individual user needs – whether it’s gentle or more assertive encouragement. We wanted to create a nuanced personality who will be the perfect companion for exercise,” says Chen.

Smashing targets
There are early indications that this will be a popular product. The company launched a Kickstarter campaign in June, and within 90 minutes had smashed its rather conservative target of US$100,000. The final result was a staggering US$1.7m from 7,257 backers.

At the moment LifeBEAM is well into the manufacturing phase, working on the interactive software and conversational logic. The first products, for those who invested via the crowdfunding campaign, will be launched in December. Vi will be on public release in Q1 of next year, with the US and other English-speaking markets being targeted first.

Currently Vi is focused on running, but it won’t be a running-only product: cycling will be the next activity to come on stream and other sports will follow, including swimming. Further down the line it will also track diet. It will be priced at US$279, but pre-orders will get a discount.

A complementary tool
Chen believes Vi could attract a new audience to the health and fitness industry – those who are interested in technology but not currently active. However, he emphasises that LifeBEAM is trying to provide an additional tool for motivation rather than replace personal trainers.

“We hope Vi will become an accessible companion that holds people accountable to their exercise goals,” says Chen. “However, we’re fully aware the product can’t replace the trainer – there’s so much more a person can do in terms of seeing form and making adjustments. But this could be an amazing tool for gyms and PTs to use to help their clients stay on track and meet their goals.

“It will let the personal trainer review training and activity between appointments and provide an unprecedented amount of accurate personal information. We urge the industry to embrace this as exciting tool and not see it as an existential threat.”

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Vi: A tool to keep people on track between gym visits
Vi: A tool to keep people on track between gym visits
Vi features sensors worn around the neck, with headphones and a speaker to interact with the system
Vi features sensors worn around the neck, with headphones and a speaker to interact with the system
Vi features sensors worn around the neck, with headphones and a speaker to interact with the system
Vi features sensors worn around the neck, with headphones and a speaker to interact with the system
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/356523_151288.jpg
Meet the AI personal trainer who coaches you via sensors and a 2-way headpiece
CLIFF CHEN, Creative and experience director, LifeBEAM ,Cliff Chen, LifeBEAM, Vi, personal trainer, PT, artificial intelligence
People
People in Club V trust me and I want to do the best for them and help them progress
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We have a very mixed demographic, which is something people said would never happen. Someone who earns a minimum wage can be training and socialising alongside a billionaire
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Opinion
promotion
Our world has changed since March and together, we are learning and adapting to how this sector can continue to thrive in this COVID conscious world.
Opinion: Why fitness clubs and facilities need to evolve in a COVID-conscious world
Opinion
promotion
In a post-Covid world, member experience is more important than ever before. Your customers’ expectations have been heightened as the coronavirus continues to dominate our everyday lives.
Opinion: Why member experience is more important now than ever before
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Matrix takes its partnership with Renault Sport racing team up a gear
Matrix Fitness, the commercial brand of Johnson Health Tech, has announced the renewal of its long term partnership with the Renault F1 Team.
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Featured supplier: Premier Software Solutions offers scalable software for single or multi-site businesses
Premier Software Solutions' flagship business management system, Core by Premier Software, is the leading single and multi-site solution designed specifically for the spa, wellness and leisure industries.
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Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Exercise equipment
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Gym flooring
REGUPOL/Berleburger Schaumstoffwerk (BSW): Gym flooring
Lockers/interior design
Safe Space Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
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Independent service & maintenance
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Property & Tenders
11 - 25 Union St, London SE1 1SD
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Lee Valley Regional Park Authority
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
17-23 Oct 2020
Pinggu, Beijing, China
Diary dates
03-06 Nov 2020
Online,
Diary dates
12 Nov 2020
Virtual, United States
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17 Nov 2020
Loughborough University, Loughborough, United Kingdom
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Ericsson Exhibition Hall, Ricoh Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
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03-06 Jun 2021
Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
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16-17 Jun 2021
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates

features

People profiles: Cliff Chen

Creative and experience director, LifeBEAM

Published in Health Club Management 2016 issue 9
LifeBEAM’s Cliff Chen is aiming to tackle the obesity crisis with the help of technology
LifeBEAM’s Cliff Chen is aiming to tackle the obesity crisis with the help of technology
It was the Spike Jones movie Her which really inspired us. We liked the idea of putting a person into your ear

Technology has been instrumental in inducing inactive lifestyles, so we now want to use it to bring about a positive change,” says LifeBEAM’s Cliff Chen. “We want to take on the big hairy problem of obesity.”

LifeBEAM’s artificial intelligence personal trainer, Vi, could indeed be a game changer when it comes on stream early next year. It’s a fitness tracker, a PT, a phone and a music player all wrapped up in one set of top quality headphones, designed in partnership with Harman/Kardon.

AI personal trainers
The company’s background is in biomechanics for the aerospace sector, but in 2012, LifeBEAM crossed over to the consumer market, developing wearable tech for clients like Samsung and Under Armour.
The idea to create a PT controlled by artificial intelligence emerged three years ago. “We had lots of bio-feedback capabilities that we wanted to bring to a consumer audience. We were also passionate about health and sports, so we wanted to move into this market,” says Chen. “But it was the Spike Jones movie, Her – about an AI character – which really inspired us to go down this route. We liked the idea of putting a person into your ear: we’ve all lived with Siri, and bio-sensing technology is getting smaller, so we knew it was possible.”

The Vi product contains a string of sensors worn around the neck and in the ear – to relay workout feedback to the system – and a microphone to talk to ‘her’.

“Having a device in the ear is advantageous, because it can give a lot of accurate physiological data,” says Chen. “But Vi is more than just hardware: it’s a product that’s able to build a relationship.”

Vi will constantly look for patterns in behaviour to gain intelligence about the individual. For example, she will ask for feedback on mood and sleep quality and will assess the workout against the backdrop of this information. She will then store this data for future workouts, to build up a picture of the individual.

“Part of the intelligence is to work out what kind of motivation the individual user needs – whether it’s gentle or more assertive encouragement. We wanted to create a nuanced personality who will be the perfect companion for exercise,” says Chen.

Smashing targets
There are early indications that this will be a popular product. The company launched a Kickstarter campaign in June, and within 90 minutes had smashed its rather conservative target of US$100,000. The final result was a staggering US$1.7m from 7,257 backers.

At the moment LifeBEAM is well into the manufacturing phase, working on the interactive software and conversational logic. The first products, for those who invested via the crowdfunding campaign, will be launched in December. Vi will be on public release in Q1 of next year, with the US and other English-speaking markets being targeted first.

Currently Vi is focused on running, but it won’t be a running-only product: cycling will be the next activity to come on stream and other sports will follow, including swimming. Further down the line it will also track diet. It will be priced at US$279, but pre-orders will get a discount.

A complementary tool
Chen believes Vi could attract a new audience to the health and fitness industry – those who are interested in technology but not currently active. However, he emphasises that LifeBEAM is trying to provide an additional tool for motivation rather than replace personal trainers.

“We hope Vi will become an accessible companion that holds people accountable to their exercise goals,” says Chen. “However, we’re fully aware the product can’t replace the trainer – there’s so much more a person can do in terms of seeing form and making adjustments. But this could be an amazing tool for gyms and PTs to use to help their clients stay on track and meet their goals.

“It will let the personal trainer review training and activity between appointments and provide an unprecedented amount of accurate personal information. We urge the industry to embrace this as exciting tool and not see it as an existential threat.”

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Vi: A tool to keep people on track between gym visits
Vi: A tool to keep people on track between gym visits
Vi features sensors worn around the neck, with headphones and a speaker to interact with the system
Vi features sensors worn around the neck, with headphones and a speaker to interact with the system
Vi features sensors worn around the neck, with headphones and a speaker to interact with the system
Vi features sensors worn around the neck, with headphones and a speaker to interact with the system
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/356523_151288.jpg
Meet the AI personal trainer who coaches you via sensors and a 2-way headpiece
CLIFF CHEN, Creative and experience director, LifeBEAM ,Cliff Chen, LifeBEAM, Vi, personal trainer, PT, artificial intelligence
Latest News
Gyms in Liverpool,UK, have been given the go-ahead to reopen, following a dramatic week of ...
Latest News
Be Military Fit (BMF) has completed a restructuring project, designed to transform the outdoor fitness ...
Latest News
Rod Hill, former president of TRIB3 and director general of Anytime Fitness Iberia, has signed ...
Latest News
Persistent and rising levels of lifestyle disease across the world have exacerbated the effects of ...
Latest News
Customer experience software provider, AskNicely, has announced it will host a new virtual event called ...
Latest News
In breaking news, HCM understands the UK government has removed gyms and fitness facilities from ...
Latest News
Globally, gyms have, on average, seen nearly 70 per cent of their pre-lockdown members return ...
Latest News
A UK government U-turn – just announced – will see gyms and leisure centres staying open ...
Latest News
"Dozens" of gyms in Liverpool, UK, have defied the government and stayed open for business ...
Latest News
The UK government is likely to face legal challenges from gym operators following the revelation ...
Latest News
Gym and health club operators with sites in Liverpool, UK, have been left "astounded" at ...
Opinion
promotion
Our world has changed since March and together, we are learning and adapting to how this sector can continue to thrive in this COVID conscious world.
Opinion: Why fitness clubs and facilities need to evolve in a COVID-conscious world
Opinion
promotion
In a post-Covid world, member experience is more important than ever before. Your customers’ expectations have been heightened as the coronavirus continues to dominate our everyday lives.
Opinion: Why member experience is more important now than ever before
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Matrix takes its partnership with Renault Sport racing team up a gear
Matrix Fitness, the commercial brand of Johnson Health Tech, has announced the renewal of its long term partnership with the Renault F1 Team.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Premier Software Solutions offers scalable software for single or multi-site businesses
Premier Software Solutions' flagship business management system, Core by Premier Software, is the leading single and multi-site solution designed specifically for the spa, wellness and leisure industries.
Video Gallery
A new Zone is here
MyZone Group Ltd
A new zone is here for your club, for your members and for you. Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: Legend Club Management Systems (UK) Ltd
Legend provides the leading software solution for driving improvements in leisure operations. We deliver savings ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Proinsight Research Ltd
We take time at the outset to understand your unique customer journey. Then we work ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Exercise equipment
Technogym: Exercise equipment
Gym flooring
REGUPOL/Berleburger Schaumstoffwerk (BSW): Gym flooring
Lockers/interior design
Safe Space Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
Fitness Software
FunXtion International BV: Fitness Software
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Member feedback software
AskNicely: Member feedback software
Skincare
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Design consultants
Zynk Design Consultants: Design consultants
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Property & Tenders
11 - 25 Union St, London SE1 1SD
Bankside Open Spaces Trust
Property & Tenders
Waltham Abbey, Essex
Lee Valley Regional Park Authority
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
17-23 Oct 2020
Pinggu, Beijing, China
Diary dates
03-06 Nov 2020
Online,
Diary dates
12 Nov 2020
Virtual, United States
Diary dates
17 Nov 2020
Loughborough University, Loughborough, United Kingdom
Diary dates
27-28 Nov 2020
Athena, Leicester, United Kingdom
Diary dates
03-03 Dec 2020
Virtual,
Diary dates
08-09 Dec 2020
Raffles City Convention Centre, Singapore, Singapore
Diary dates
02-04 Feb 2021
Ericsson Exhibition Hall, Ricoh Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
23-26 Feb 2021
IFEMA, Madrid, Spain
Diary dates
03-04 Mar 2021
NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
03-06 Jun 2021
Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
16-17 Jun 2021
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
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