Buying a fitness tracker is one thing. Actually motivating yourself to get fit is a different beast. With Lifebeam's newest venture into the world of artificial intelligence, you can officially purchase your own #fitspiration. Vi, an AI personal trainer, lives inside a pair of bio-sensing earbuds, and exists to track and coach you through your fitness routine.
According to Lifebeam's Kickstarter page (which has been funded nearly 10 times over), Vi is "a friend for your fitness" that can help you meet any fitness, weight, health or training goals. Vi promises to coach you through your runs or cycling with a lively, personable voice that motivates you to reach your goals.
The earphones have built-in sensors: a six-axis accelerometer, barometer, heart rate sensor and automatic speech recognition. The AI engine monitors all this data and and will get smarter with use, learning your patterns, suggesting when you can slow down or stop.
Vi can also work with your music, encouraging you to speed up to match the tempo of an upbeat song. And Vi will check in with you between workouts. For instance, if you tell Vi you're training for a 5K, it can set a workout schedule for you and then make sure you're reminded when the next session is coming up. Plus, this smart assistant checks the weather and will adjust your schedule accordingly.
Vi is filled with plenty of encouraging phrases like "Amazing effort today," which can be triggered by the data it processes. It will tell you distance, calories burned and heart rate via an iOS or Android app that connects with Apple's Health Kit and Google Fit. While popular fitness trackers like Fitbit provide similar stats, the AI element aims to connect with users on a personal level.
The hardware itself is pretty interesting. The harman/kardon quality should sound pretty awesome. The earbuds and neck strap is rugged and sweatproof, plus the earbuds feature wind and noise filtering so that Vi can always understand your speech. The mics are built into the neck strap, so it sits directly in front of your mouth.
Vi is set to hit the market at the somewhat hefty price of $249, but early backers can save by donating to the Kickstarter now. While Vi might be far outside the normal price range of other fitness trackers, but your paying for the privilege of getting your own personal trainer.