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M12-Backed Startup Launches Computer Vision Based Virtual Fitness Coach That Never Lets Users Cheat

Twenty Billion Neurons announced the launch of Fitness Ally, a workout experience powered by AI that brings users as close as possible to a human personal fitness session. The app features a virtual fitness coach, Allie, that uses the front-facing camera of the Apple device to enable her to see and interact with users in real-time as they work out.

The virtual character’s distinguishing capability is that it holds users accountable and makes it almost impossible to cheat the system. In contrast to the wide range of recent AI fitness apps that count repetitions or measure a user’s approximate body position, Fitness Ally is based on the world’s first AI system that is trained end-to-end on millions of videos showing humans working out. This allows it to detect the smallest differences in effort and intensity that users put into their respective workouts.

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“There is nothing more motivating than having ‘someone’ around who acknowledges and remembers the hard work you are doing when you exercise,” says Roland Memisevic, co-founder and CEO of TwentyBN.” Our thesis is that an AI companion qualifies perfectly well as that ‘someone’, as long as it is sufficiently aware of your behaviors and the environment you’re in to convey a real physical presence in your space—and to give you that extra nudge when it senses you need it.”

Fitness Ally is based on TwentyBN’s humanoid AI platform that lets AI assistants better understand user behavior using a consumer camera and microphone as the assistant’s “eyes and ears.” The AI platform is optimized to recognize the most subtle of motions and behavioral cues, using millions of videos that the company sourced with the help of its network of crowd workers around the world. TwentyBN’s platform has previously been deployed in the automotive and retail industries, where it powered the world’s first visually interactive sales assistant. Fitness Ally is the first showcase of the company’s AI technology on widely available mobile devices, where it’s visual recognition capabilities are focused on physical exercises.

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“I was drawn to Fitness Ally because it makes fitness stress-free and accessible. As a leader in the fitness industry for a decade, I can confidently say this is game-changing technology that allows users to access the support of a trainer at a fraction of the price.” says Sadie Kurzban, Founder and CEO of 305 Fitness in New York City and an advisor to TwentyBN.

Fitness Ally’s AI system recognizes thousands of subtle behaviour patterns across a wide variety of bodyweight exercises on most recent iPhones (iPhone 8 and up) and iPads. This allows it to interact with users as they work out without sending any video stream to the cloud.

Fitness Ally is TwentyBN’s first consumer product and marks the beginning of a new generation of AI assistants that can empathize with us, understand our human needs and make us feel like we have a trusted companion always by our side.

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