We’ve had fitness DVDs, apps and wearables, and soon we will have Vi.
Created by LifeBeam and successfully funded on Kickstarter, Vi is a wearable unlike any other, she is a wrap around, motion sensing headset.
With shipping starting in December 2016, Vi is the latest fitness wearable, designed to help you meet your personal goals, whether it’s fitness, weight loss or simply improved health. It’s the perfect present for someone who needs a bit of motivation, because stepping on the scales every Monday morning doesn’t do the trick.
So how does Vi work? She uses biosensors, allowing her to detect your heart rate, motion and elevation. Unlike other fitness wearables, the more Vi is used, the more she learns, tailoring her advice and over time even familiarising herself with your voice.
She is a personal trainer, a life coach and a voice activated music player all rolled into one, tracking your location and even adapting your plans for you according to the weather. But, most importantly, Vi is on hand all hours of the day to make sure you get off the sofa and start burning the fat you have been meaning to burn since New Years Day, 2007.
Encouraging you throughout, Vi is great for those of us whose exercise is limited to walking to the fridge to fetch another snack.
The device will come with a mobile app to input goals and review your progress. This app can also be used during your run, displaying easy to read stats. Not that you’ll need it, as Vi will be in your ear the entire time. Lucky you.
But what does the introduction of Vi mean for mobile app developers, specifically those in the fitness industry?
Step counters, running motivation and calorie trackers remain extremely popular. The current favourite is 7 Minute Workout, designed to get you fit in seven minutes a day – I have tried it and I lasted 3 days. Another favourite of mine, Zombies, Run! in which you play the only survivor of a zombie apocalypse, and yes, you have to run.
So, will the launching of Vi signal a decline in fitness app development? I don’t think so. Both Zombies, Run! and the popular Runkeeper are now supported by Apple Watch, and, with Apple’s WWDC coming up in June, I think greater things are on the horizon in the world of fitness tech.
With us focusing more and more on our health, there is now something out there for everyone, including an app I once downloaded which swore at me whenever I ate something containing added sugar. I quickly realised this wasn’t the best weight loss strategy for me.
Whist some people may need constant support in their quest for perfect health, which is where Vi might be useful, others may need a little less guidance, simply some post-exercise stats. I prefer to download a fitness app to coincide with my Monday morning burst of motivation, use it twice and then never look at it again.