With the onset of improved artificial intelligence, fitness devices are getting a makeover. The latest example is the Vi, the voice-activated, AI-based personal trainer from LifeBeam.
LifeBeam’s expertise in AI wearables comes from its experience developing technology for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the U.S. Air Force.
Vi is built into biosensing earphones with sound powered by Harman Kardon. It brings consumer AI to the next level by adapting to a person’s behavior, environment, and physiology to deliver tailored, real-time coaching that makes workouts more fun, motivating, and effective, the company said.
“Vi is not like anything people will have heard or seen before. She is a listening, talking trainer that is aware of a person’s surroundings, physiology and activities inside and outside of workout sessions,” said Omri Yoffe, CEO of LifeBeam, in a statement. “Our vision is to build the best AI companion for body and mind. The natural first step was delivering an amazing voice-centric running experience, but we are already exploring opportunities to bring Vi to other devices and health and wellness settings.”
To create the experience of a relationship with a life-like fitness companion, LifeBeam created Vi with a human voice powered by hundreds of thousands of audio recordings. Vi doesn’t just repeat phrases, rather — like Alexa for fitness — it converses with users, even going so far as to ask if she’s pronouncing their name correctly.
Vi’s functionality is also triggered by voice commands. For example, “Vi how am I doing?” will prompt Vi to give an update of current stats, while “Vi step to the beat” will trigger her cadence coaching capabilities.
New York-based LifeBeam has used its expertise developing in-ear biosensing technology for the aerospace industry to place Vi inside state-of-the-art earphones that provide her with a wealth of biometric and environmental data. Unlike other fitness devices you wear, these data points and AI make Vi “aware.” The advanced biosensing earphones fit snugly inside any ear shape and have an array of sensors, such as heart rate, motion, posture, speech enhancement, elevation, touch, and more.
Vi even knows her user’s location and weather conditions. She tracks a user’s cadence, calories, speed, steps, and distance, but she goes beyond just monitoring stats. In fact, Vi pulls data from a wealth of sources to provide personalized coaching and feedback based on progress and goals. She connects with multiple third-party apps, such as Google Fit, Apple HealthKit, and Strava, to understand a user’s behavior and health levels outside of her training sessions and then combines this information with real-time environmental and physiological data to change her training insights on the fly.
Vi also integrates with Spotify and may suggest running playlists based on a user’s tastes.
Vi is available now for $250 on the company’s website. It will be available on Amazon and Best Buy at the end of April and will be on retailer shelves this summer.
LifeBeam was founded in 2011 and raised $16 million last year from Square Peg Capital. To date, LifeBeam has raised $18.7 million, and the company has 50 employees.