CESENA, Italy — Technogym is working on a groundbreaking project to build an Artificial Intelligence-driven cognitive coaching platform.
Joining forces with multinational technology company IBM, the goal is to create a ‘human-like’ virtual coach able to interact with people using natural language, and to offer them personalised training programmes based on their goals and context conditions such as weather, agenda and diet.
Building on Technogym’s current cloud-based platform ‘my wellness’, IBM Watson’s cognitive computing and IoT technologies will facilitate a new level of interaction with the user, sophisticated data management and the evaluation of results thanks to a cognitive coach that will guide users while working out.
“Our collaboration with IBM represents a further step towards the creation of increasingly customised and engaging training for our clients,” explained Alessandri, Founder and CEO of Technogym.
“Our goal has always been to offer our users a personalised training experience via connected equipment, services and content capable of interacting with them, understanding their deep motivation and needs, and delivering results,” he added.
Already driving the emergence of a number of new products and services within the fitness industry, Artificial Intelligence has the potential to completely transform the market. Also powered by IBM Watson, Under Armour’s calorie tracking app MyFitnessPal is an example of how the technology is currently being implemented.
Combining user data with external academic research studies and institutions, as well as IBM Watson similarity analytics, the app has the ability to serve as a personal health consultant, fitness trainer and assistant. It provides users with timely, evidence-based coaching around their sleep, fitness, activity and nutrition, including outcomes achieved based on others with similar data.
But, with new technology set to morph devices into virtual coaches, what will that mean for fitness trainers?
Technogym argues that both wellness industry operators and personal trainers will benefit from the new cognitive coaching platform. It says the technology will allow them to ensure continued assistance through the virtual coach for their clients when they are travelling or training outside the facility. But as these type of devices become more intelligent, a future where technology could eliminate the need for physical trainers will pose more of a threat.
For now, the collaboration further exemplifies the opportunities that exist for wellness brands if they are able to provide their customers with more personalised and actionable insights.
With or without AI, consumers are demanding more sophisticated ways to analyse their data, so continuous innovation and technological research is fundamental.