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Denver start-up uses artificial intelligence for at-home workouts

Posted at 8:48 AM, Nov 19, 2020
and last updated 2021-01-05 16:16:02-05

DENVER — New COVID-19 restrictions in Colorado are forcing many gyms to reduce capacity again. And perhaps our workout routines have changed permanently through the pandemic.

But, you're in good company this week with a Denver-based app called Exer Studio.

It's injecting artificial intelligence into personal fitness.

Home equipment and Zoom classes are the new norm in the fitness world, but it isn't the same as having the camaraderie and coaching from a gym.

"All of the coaches, trainers, gym studios were coming to us and saying, 'Hey, we got Zoom fatigue. It's so hard seeing 20, 30, 40 people on a Zoom (class),'" said Zaw Thet, the co-founder and CEO of Exer Studio.

The Exer Studio app can be downloaded on your computer or mobile device, and it uses the camera to map your movements, improve personal training, and react to your workout.

"People were basically telling us 'I don't know if I'm doing it right when I'm working out at home by myself or at the gym,'" Thet said.

By using artificial intelligence — without any human in the loop — they can tell users if they are performing a certain workout, such as a squat, correctly.

The technology tracks dozens of points on your body.

"As long as we got your hips and up we're pretty good," said Exer Studio co-founder Clint Gehde.

Gehde is a former gym owner and performance coach who now trains the software.

"I'm bringing the fitness, performance, human-side approach to the artificial intelligence and to the virtual world," Gehde said.

Using hundreds of thousands of photos, videos, and other data, the system learns how to respond to you.

"If we're face to face, that human approach, I can dig you a little," said Gehde about in-person personal training. "I can say some things that might charge you up because I can read the moment. I want to get as close as I can to reading the moment with our technology."

In real-time, the Exer Studio app counts your reps, looks at form, and offers feedback to the user, whether you're working out alone or in a group or class.

"You can see what zone you're in, how much output you're having," said Thet. "You see your own score. But you also see other people's names, other people's scores. You moving up and down the leaderboard."

The goal is to help people move and train better, so that your physical and mental health is always on top.

Eventually, they hope to use the technology for physical therapy and sports training, among other applications.

To learn more about Exer Studio download Denver7 to your Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, or Android device and look for the "In Good Company" section.