Making money by doing pushups

No fitness application today provides necessary motivation for a user to continue training during a lengthy period of time. The owners of an enterprise that produces Pikki nutrition bars, the Lebedev mother and son and their partners, created ConstaFit – a system for financial motivation to keep fit. The project was launched in early June, Invest Foresight learned from Yan Lebedev at the Startup Village conference.

To use the ConstaFit app, you have to register in the system and receive the virtual sum of RUR 1,000 ($16). Then you top up your account by adding RUR 99 at the beginning of the month. Every day, you do a set of exercises under the Tabata program, with your smartphone or computer camera on. Tabata workout is high-intensity interval training where you have to perform the maximum number of movements for the shortest duration.

ConstaFit checks whether you are doing exercises or not and evaluates the quality of training, and then sums up the result at the end of the month. In case you skip two training days, your virtual money expires and gets redistributed between those members in the system who have performed all training sessions. If you succeed, you receive points that eventually convert from virtual to actual money. Each user pays RUR 99 to the project team per month for using the service.

The app checks how you do the exercises automatically, using its computer vision.

“The exercises are checked by a specialty trained neural network, which reads your squats through the webcam”, the company’s Chief Technology Officer Maxim Ulyanov says. “Our system uses several neural networks: the first one collects data from a user’s webcam and creates a user’s skeleton, while the second one validates the received data and defines whether a corresponding exercise has been performed”.

At the moment, a beta version of the app is available on the website for testing squats. The full version will appear in early June. Participants in the Startup Village conference could receive a flyer with a QR code and test the system in exchange for points. In the next two-three months, ConstaFit will receive new exercises from the Tabata complex, including the plank, push-ups and others, a well as an acquiring system which will allow users to pay for their ConstaFit accounts and distribute the earned money on the website.

ConstaFit has a private investor, whose name has not been revealed and who invested RUR 2 mio ($32K), but the project requires an additional RUR 5-6 mio so that the startup could turn into a business. ConstaFit can be used for medical insurance: insurance companies might offer a beneficial rate knowing that the person maintains a healthy lifestyle.

There are apps on the market that motivate people to exercise, but without computer vision. For instance, BattleSteps turns walking into a competition where you have to cover a bigger distance that your opponent. Sworkit Lite offers live video sessions with trainers; the app stores your results and reminds you of your goals every day. Endomondo tracks burnt calories, distance, speed and even your heart rhythm when you walk or ride a bicycle. But none of these apps help you earn money.  

By Natalia Kuznetsova

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