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Fitbod: New-Generation Fitness App Based on Data and Science

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FITBOD New-Generation Fitness App Based on Data and Science
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Using sophisticated machine learning and data analytics to automatically build personalized daily workout routines, the fitness app Fitbod has found its way onto the iPhones and Apple Watches of thousands of fitness enthusiasts. Fitbod is a new-generation fitness app that’s smart and easy to use, serving up daily workout routines designed specifically for each individual.

The app takes the guesswork out of exercising by recommending workouts geared to each person’s fitness goals, level of fitness and physical condition. Fitbod generates a new personalized workout routine every day, taking into account what equipment and time is available, the user’s workout preferences and limitations, and information logged in from previous workouts.

The app was launched for iOS on the App Store in 2015. It is a 2019 Apple Store Editor’s Choice pick and has a 4.8 rating based on nearly 71,000 reviews. Fitness devotees can subscribe to the app for only $9.99 per month or get an annual subscription for $59.99. To support people in meeting their New Year’s resolutions, through the month of January, annual Fitbod subscriptions can be purchased for $44.99 A free trial of the Fitbod app for iOS can be downloaded at https://fitbod.me. A version for Android devices will be launched soon.

The app currently works with Apple Health and other apps such as Activity, Fitbit and Strava, and more inter-app functionalities are anticipated.

“Consumer fitness tech today is like Google Maps without the directions feature. We have data-rich maps of people’s physical activity, but fail to help them navigate towards real results,” said Fitbod co-founder Jesse Venticinque. “Fitbod bridges the gap, enabled by cutting edge personalization technology such as machine learning and predictive analytics. Resistance-training is the perfect type of exercise for this application. The activity naturally produces highly structured data (sets, reps, weight, equipment, etc.) and people vary widely in physical capability, making personalization critical to achieving success.”

All Fitbod’s suggested exercises are based upon best practices in strength training and fitness science. According to fitness experts, daily routines need to vary from day to day in order to achieve best results. People’s lifestyles also dictate that exercise routines should be flexible. Depending on the day and circumstances, people may have a long or a short amount of time to work out. They may choose to go to the gym, work out at home, or may be on the road without access to their usual facilities and equipment. Fitbod takes all these factors into account and automatically designs an optimal workout routine for that day, based on what equipment and time period is available.

One of Fitbod’s strongest features is its ability to design workout routines that minimize the risk of injury. Fitbod tracks the user’s workout history and determines the muscle recovery state—which muscle groups need complete rest, or less intense exercise, so they won’t be overstrained.

About Fitbod

Fitbod, Inc. is the developer of the Fitbod app, a technology platform that designs deeply personalized workout plans, allowing users to get maximum benefit from their fitness program. Using machine learning, data analytics, user data and exercise science best practices, the app creates optimized and personalized workout routines. In short, Fitbod helps users reach fitness goals efficiently and safely. Headquartered in San Francisco, Fitbod, Inc. is co-founded by Jesse Venticinque and Allen Chen.

Fitbod is currently available for iOS devices at the App Store. An Android version is in development.

For more information about Fitbod, please visit the website at https://fitbod.me.

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Business

Video Conferencing Stock Soars As Offices Shut Down Over Coronavirus Worries

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Video Conferencing Stock Soars As Offices Shut Down Over Coronavirus Worries

As the reported cases of the coronavirus increase here in the US, a few companies are taking pre-emptive measures and shutting down their offices to everyone except the most critical employees.

On Tuesday, Google announced that all of its North American employees, more than 100,000 in total, should work from home effective immediately and plan on working from home until April 10th at the earliest.

The company also banned visitors to its New York and San Francisco Bay Area offices.

It’s the latest major company to ask its employees to stay home in an effort to curb the spread of the virus. Apple, Amazon and Facebook have already asked employees to cut back on travel and work from home if possible.

The outbreak has also had a major effect on conferences and public events. Facebook’s Global Marketing Summit and Adobe Summit 2020 were cancelled, and Google and Microsoft plan on making their upcoming conferences digital only. 

While these major companies have solutions in place to keep their employees connected and working at full capacity during the coronavirus outbreak, millions of small and mid-size businesses don’t have a go-to solution to keep employees connected if offices are shut down. 

Most will face a decision in the coming weeks: if we close our business and allow our employees to work from home, how will we maintain communication to keep the business running?

For many the solution will be video conferencing, and it presents an opportunity for investors who expect an uptick in business over the next few weeks and months for these platforms as more and more businesses take advantage of their capabilities.

Here are three publicly traded video conference companies to consider:

GoToMeeting (owned by LogMeIn, ticker: LOGM) – offers solutions for businesses of all sizes and is compatible with all operating systems and mobile devices. It can support up to 25 unique users in a meeting with a high-definition video feed (more can join with a standard definition feed) and all meetings are recorded and stored.

Xoom (ticker: ZM) – offers scheduled and ad-hoc meetings in personal meeting rooms, video webinars and conferencing rooms. All meetings are saved and stored on the cloud, and meetings can support up to 1,000 video participants and 10,000 viewers.

Skype (owned by Microsoft, ticker: MSFT) – the original and possibly the most popular video conferencing app. Skype users have the ability to call phones without the other party using Skype, an additional benefit that other platforms don’t offer. Also has high-definition video conferencing, live subtitles, screen sharing, webinars and the ability to send SMS text messages.

Of the three stocks above, Zoom has had the best return year-to-date, jumping an impressive 59.45%. Just last week the company reported Q4 2019 results and revenue increased 78% year-over-year to $188.3 million. Most importantly, the company reported that the number of customers with 10 or more employees increased 61% year-over-year.

This is the company that could grab the most business in the weeks and months ahead as more and more businesses shift to video conferencing to keep employees connected during the coronavirus outbreak.

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Business

Amazon Profits Surge as Investment in Faster Shipping Pays Off

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Amazon Profits Surge as Investment in Faster Shipping Pays Off
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By Dominic Rushe

Amazon’s massive investment in faster shipping paid off for the tech company over the Christmas holidays with record sales and four times as many customers taking advantage of its free one-day shipping offer over the shopping season compared with last year.

Amazon is spending billions making one-day shipping the default for its Prime members and the gamble helped drive its revenues up over $87bn for the final quarter of 2019, or $29bn a month, compared with $72.4bn in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Profits increased to $3.3bn in the fourth quarter, up from $3bn in the same period last year, after a fall of 25% from July to September due to its costly shipping investments. Amazon’s shares shot up over 10% in after-hours trading.

“We’ve made Prime delivery faster – the number of items delivered to US customers with Prime’s free one-day and same-day delivery more than quadrupled this quarter compared to last year,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO.

Amazon’s bumper Christmas – the best in its history – came as other retailers including Target, Macy’s and JC Penney have reported lower sales.

Amazon Web Services (AWS), its cloud computing business, reported revenues of $9.9bn for the quarter, up 34% from the year-ago period.

Amazon also gave an update on its number of Prime subscribers, who pay an annual fee for faster shipping and access to free content on its streaming media services. Bezos said the company now has over 150 million paid Prime members around the world, up from 100 million last April.

Amazon’s share price has lagged its tech giant peers in recent months as investors have worried about its spending. The latest results push the company back into the exclusive club of tech companies now valued at over $1tn including Apple, Alphabet and Microsoft.

Copyright © 2020 theguardian.com. All rights reserved.

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NASA Selects First Commercial Destination Module for International Space Station

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NASA Selects First Commercial Destination Module for International Space Station
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NASA has selected Axiom Space of Houston to provide at least one habitable commercial module to be attached to the International Space Station as the agency continues to open the station for commercial use.

“NASA has once again recognized the hard work, talent, and experience of Houstonians as we expand the International Space Station and promote commercial opportunities in space,” said Sen. John Cornyn of Texas. “I’m proud Axiom will continue to build upon Texas’ legacy of leading the nation in human space exploration.”

This selection is a significant step toward enabling the development of independent commercial destinations that meet NASA’s long-terms needs in low-Earth orbit, beyond the life of the space station, and continue to foster the growth of a robust low-Earth orbit economy.

“Today’s announcement is an exciting and welcome step forward in the efforts to commercialize low-Earth orbit,” said Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. “This partnership between NASA and Axiom Space – a Houston, Texas original – illustrates how critically important the International Space Station is, and will continue to be, for developing new technologies for low-Earth orbit and beyond, and for continuing America’s leadership in space. Congratulations to Axiom Space on this exciting award – Houston is known as Space City for a reason, and I look forward to this great Space City company and NASA turning this announcement into reality.”

The element will attach to the space station’s Node 2 forward port to demonstrate its ability to provide products and services and begin the transition to a sustainable low-Earth orbit economy in which NASA is one of many customers. NASA and Axiom next will begin negotiations on the terms and price of a firm-fixed-price contract with a five-year base performance period and a two-year option.

“Congratulations to Axiom Space! This is not only a win for Texas, Johnson Space Center, and the International Space Station, it is also a great step forward for NASA as we move towards an increased commercial presence in low-Earth orbit,” said Rep. Brian Babin of Texas. “I am proud to see this work coming to Space City – Houston, Texas – as the Lone Star State continues to lead in space exploration well into the future.”

Developing commercial destinations in low-Earth orbit is one of five elements of NASA’s plan to open the International Space Station to new commercial and marketing opportunities. The other elements of the five-point plan include efforts to make station and crew resources available for commercial use through a new commercial use and pricing policy; enable private astronaut missions to the station; seek out and pursue opportunities to stimulate long-term, sustainable demand for these services; and quantify NASA’s long-term demand for activities in low-Earth orbit.

“Axiom’s work to develop a commercial destination in space is a critical step for NASA to meet its long-term needs for astronaut training, scientific research, and technology demonstrations in low-Earth orbit,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “We are transforming the way NASA works with industry to benefit the global economy and advance space exploration. It is a similar partnership that this year will return the capability of American astronauts to launch to the space station on American rockets from American soil.”

NASA selected Axiom from proposals submitted in response to a solicitation through Appendix I of NASA’s Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships (NextSTEP) 2 Broad Agency Announcement, which offered private industry use of the station utilities and a port to attach one or more commercial elements to the orbiting laboratory.

Because commercial destinations are considered a key element of a robust economy in low-Earth orbit, NASA also plans to issue a final opportunity to partner with the agency in the development of a free-flying, independent commercial destination. Through these combined efforts to develop commercial destinations, NASA is set to meet its long-term needs in low-Earth orbit well beyond the life of the station.

The agency will continue to need low-Earth orbit microgravity research and testing to enable future missions to the Moon and Mars, including the arrival of the first woman and next man on the Moon with the Artemis III mission as part of the agency’s Artemis lunar exploration plans.

Learn more about NASA’s efforts to develop a robust low-Earth orbit economy here.

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