Fitness tech, human touch converge for a full workout

Mar 23 2014, 01:05 IST
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Vishal Gondal wants everybody to feel the adrenaline rush and sweat it out outdoors. Vishal Gondal wants everybody to feel the adrenaline rush and sweat it out outdoors.
SummaryVishal Gondal wants everybody to feel the adrenaline rush and sweat it out outdoors.

philanthropy to encourage users to make a sustainable shift towards a healthier and more fulfilling lifestyle. While the device is given for free, the coaching service and expert input services are charged under six-month (R5,999) and one-year (R9,999) plans. The GOQii band’s fitness tracker device tracks steps, calories, distance, active time and idling time. It has a full-touch display, a vibrating alarm, and automatic wireless syncing via Bluetooth LE. Key functions include a watch and a motion sensor. Users are seamlessly connected to their personal GOQii coach via an app and pre-scheduled monthly video/audio calls. They can also remotely vibrate the user’s band to provide the human connection.

Dr Shriram Nene, a cardiothoracic vascular surgeon, will also be giving tips on behavioural habits. Other expert inputs will come from Dr Kendra Markle, affiliated with Stanford Prevention Research Center in the US and who is researching ways to use mobile and social media to change behaviour and improve health; and Luke Coutinho, an author, nutritionist, speaker and health coach.

“This is not an India play for us. We have to be global and this is not a localised model. Singapore, UK, UAE, USA and literally the whole world is my market,” says Gondal.

He has also brought in some elements of the digital gaming world into the fitness venture by bringing in Karma points—points earned when you maintain healthy habits and which can be donated for a cause. GOQii has developed a network of donors and recipient non-profit organisations to convert Karma points donated by its users to actual monetary donations. GOQii is partnering with Oxfam India in this regard.

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