Innovations in habit formation sciences and sports conditioning are redefining the way people interact with their fitness and health. Deploying artificial intelligence and gamification, Insane AI is looking to transform everyone’s smartphone into an intelligent workout companion.
Anurag Mundhada, Co-Founder at Insane AI shares a few insights from their journey and the way forward:
What led to the inception of Insane AI?
Two years ago, with the pandemic-led lockdowns, our gym routines and workouts were heavily disrupted. As we worked out alone, we realized that maintaining a habit with the existing fitness apps is quite hard. While working out in a group at the gym or playing sports gives you dopamine, working out alone feels like a mindless chore.
That’s when we began building Insane AI for ourselves, to make workouts fun and addictive. Leveraging our experience in sensors and self-driving cars, we built the perfect app – powered by AI and imbued with habit-forming gamification.
We started with a rough version called Pushup Dojo which had about 2000 users who joined via word of mouth. The positive reviews encouraged us to raise funding and build a team to create the future of fitness.
What audience is this tech targeted towards? How is it different from other fitness apps?
Being in the fitness space for a while, we realized, people want a workout that goes beyond what any regular app delivers. They want it to be fun and rewarding, where the app becomes a coach, guiding users throughout their fitness journey. That’s where we step in to deliver an impactful and engaging fitness experience.
Our tech is unique because it utilizes your front camera to track and analyze every facet of the fitness journey. The added layer of AI dissects your form and supplies relevant insights via audiovisual cues to improve your performance. Also, one can analyse their old workouts and performance records, setting users up for continuous improvement.
With the lack of motivation being a large hurdle in fitness, how does Insane AI address this challenge?
Understanding that motivation is the largest hindrance for people, we designed the app to subliminally motivate people by gamifying the experience. The positive reinforcement and fast-paced reward cycle generate higher retention and consistency.
With the aim to make staying motivated effortless, we have converted fitness into a game. The app rewards activities undertaken by users – from perfect reps to consistency with workouts. Users set daily and weekly targets and the app then nudges users to achieve these self-set goals. On completing activities, users earn coins, which can be spent on rewards such as discount coupons, rare virtual items, merchandise from popular brands and much more. While traditional apps are all about mindlessly consuming video content and following alone, Insane AI’s interactive workouts engage users and keep them on their toes.
Could you elaborate on the tech involved? And the use of smartphone cameras for motion tracking?
Broadly, the Insane AI app leverages artificial intelligence, AR and computer vision. The AI ensures precise motion tracking via any commonly available camera. The app identifies the key points of the body to analyse the motion in real-time and suggest improvements to form and posture while scoring the exercise on the basis of intensity with up to 98% accuracy.
We have a deep understanding of and connection with camera sensing technologies That’s where the idea of using smartphone cameras emerged. Before Insane AI, we worked on LiDAR sensors for Sony, AR in smartphones for iPhone and iPad and cameras for self-driving cars. Also influenced by the Nintendo Wii and Microsoft Kinect – expensive hardware whose functionality we sought to replace with an AI-powered software solution. We managed to use the RGB camera for real-time workout tracking despite all smartphones not having depth sensors.
How does the app work?
To create a profile, feed in your height, weight and age to create a 3D digital avatar serving as your virtual identity. Then place the phone at a distance and start exercising, just ensure the body is within the selfie camera frame. The AI tracks workouts to ensure users get rewarded with coins for each exercise, according to their performance. The interactive training screen, visual prompts and live feedback keep users thoroughly engaged.
Social and community is also a big focus of the app. Since fitness is more fun and motivating with friends, users can challenge and compete with their friends and family in turn-based fitness battles – where users do the same workouts and whoever performs better, wins! Nothing makes staying fit more fun than some friendly competition. Users can see their performance on the leaderboard and check out the activities done by their friends.
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