Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

IBM brings AI to virtual gym coach

Steve Rogerson
March 13, 2017



IBM is working with Italian company TechnoGym to build an artificial intelligence-driven cognitive coaching platform for health and wellness.
 
The goal is to create a human-like virtual coach able to interact with people using natural language and to offer personalised training programmes based on their goals and context conditions such as weather, agenda, health conditions and food intake.
 
The integration with IBM Watson's cognitive computing and IoT technologies should enrich TechnoGym's MyWellness platform, a cloud based ecosystem providing fitness users with a personalised programme and gathering fitness data accessible from both fitness equipment and mobiles. Added capabilities include interacting with the user, managing data and evaluating results thanks to a cognitive coach that will guide users while working out.
 
Wellness and fitness industry operators and personal trainers will also benefit from the cognitive coaching platform, allowing them to ensure continued assistance through the virtual coach for their clients when they are travelling or training outside the facility.
 
The collaboration further enhances TechnoGym's digital offerings within the fitness and wellness field, confirming the company's focus on continuous innovation and technological research. In 1996, it launched software to manage training at the gym, followed by the introduction of a TV screen integrated in a piece of fitness equipment in 2003.
 
In 2007, the company introduced online fitness equipment, and in 2012, it introduced cloud technology in the fitness arena, connecting people, equipment and fitness facilities and thereby reinventing the way people access wellness and health.
 
"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," said Nerio Alessandri, founder and CEO of TechnoGym. "Our collaboration with IBM represents a further step towards the creation of increasingly customised and engaging training for our clients."