About this project
We were tired of boring, guilt driven cardio. Instead of "doing 20 minutes of cardio" we thought it would be cool to:
- Run through the Swiss Alps from your living room.
- Bike down the California coast during your lunch break.
- Feel mentally engaged as you explore new cities and experience trails unfold before your eyes.
- Invite your friends to hike through Hawaiian lava flows white talking to each other with voice chat.
- Hop into an indoor cycling class taking place in the French countryside.
- Beat your friend’s high score challenge.
- Run your leg of a torch relay for charity with your coworkers.
BitGym takes your exercise around the world with the stunning Virtual Active catalog of interactive trail and road tours. Take your morning jog along the cliff-side path from Bondi to Bronte beach in Sydney. Power your cycling workout through the rugged cliffs along Italy’s largest lake, Lago di Garda. Take in the beautiful temperate rain forrest and granite peaks of British Columbia. Hear every roaring river and towering waterfall with our dynamic environmental audio. Pedal along the rugged red cliffs of the Grand Canyon and through the black volcanic debris of Sunset Crater. Gather friends to run the high mountain peaks and deep volcanic valleys of New Zealand’s North Island.
At launch we will have 24 high quality 30-minute tours, and we will add another every week.
We are also building new interactive activities to make your exercise more engaging, fun and social. These include guided workouts, games, classes and video tours. Our goal is to give every BitGym member a brand new activity every single day and to make sure each activity can be done either cooperatively or competitively with friends.
We're adding new tours constantly - and with instant streaming they are right at your fingertips. If you don’t have wifi at your gym, you can easily save tours to your device to take with you.
We're adding new tours constantly and with instant streaming they are right at your fingertips. If you don’t have wifi at your gym, you can easily save tours to your device to take with you.
WORKS ON ANY MACHINE
Treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes, spin bikes, steppers even rowing machines - if you can place your phone or tablet nearby or on the machine, you're ready to go.
NO HARDWARE TO BUY OR CONFIGURE
We wanted as many people as possible to be able to use BitGym, so we devised a new kind of software which is able to measure your exercise speed via the camera built into your phone or tablet. This means you're only an app download away from using BitGym!
WORKOUT LIVE WITH FRIENDS AROUND THE WORLD
Running, biking and hiking with friends and family in the real world is a great experience. But for those times when they are not nearby, BitGym connects you to them via the internet so you can do tours together.
You can even can talk to each other using built in voice chat. When at the gym you can mute the group chat or switch to listen-only with headphones.
We think you will quickly experience how cool it is to connect with friends instead of exercising alone. Not only does the time fly by, but knowing that you are helping someone else stay healthy feels really good.
FULL DYNAMIC AUDIO
The Virtual Active tours bring roaring rivers, windswept deserts and chattering cities to life with dynamic audio which respond to your position and speed in the scene.
Additionally you can play any music or podcasts from you device and layer it over the environmental audio.
Finally, we are adding guided tours and classes which will bring expert motivation and instruction so your workout. No firm dates on these are announced, so stay tuned to our project updates.
OPTIONALLY, USE YOUR TELEVISION
If you exercise in front of a larger TV, you can wirelessly display video tours on it via Apple TV or Chromecast adapters. If you have a HDMI out solution for your phone or tablet, absolutely all content and games can be mirrored to the display. Chromecast supports both iOS and Android, while AirPlay requires iOS. See the FAQ for more details on this subject, as it's actually complex with some asterisk-worthy points.
WORKS ON (MOST) DEVICES
BitGym will cost $8 a month, but founding members will get a special rate of $5 a month indefinitely. All backers at or above the $34 tier will become founding members. Founding memberships also come with free access to the beta and 6 months of membership following the public release. Much like Netflix, you can use the same account on multiple devices and on both iOS and Android.
Membership moneys goes towards bandwidth, server expenses, overhead and to "content producers" such as Virtual Active. The amount given to each content producer depends on what the BitGym community views. This means as a BitGym member you will "vote with your feet" on which content you want more of!
We're spearheading new content sources and interactive activities, but we're also excited to see what the community comes up with. No matter if they are cycling instructors, game developers, or UAV videographers, if they can create compelling exercise experiences then we can compensate them fairly.
Here's what the app looks like now
Immediately after project completes successfully - Everyone who pledged at the Founding Member level or higher is invited to the iOS Beta which features our 3D interface, 24 full tours, speed interactivity, adaptive quality streaming, trail facts over video, local video caching and airplay.
Early Nov 2013 - We go live! Once the public version is released, we'll email all of our Founding Members special activation codes. You'll enter your code into the application and unlock 6 months of membership. After the 6 months, you can decide if you wish to continue your membership. We're looking at $8/month normally but founders will only ever pay $5 - even if you have a gap in your paying membership.
Late Nov 2013 - We will send out invites to all Founding Members to try our Android beta. You'll get the enjoy the same experience on your Android phone or tablet running jellybean (4.1+).
Late Dec 2013 - Android goes live! At this point you can enter your voucher code we emailed you to start your 6 months of membership.
Early Jan 2014 - You can kick off your winter training or new years resolutions by inviting your friends and family to work out with you in real time, complete with voice chat.
Future - Our vision is to bring you exciting new sources of content, guided tours, classes and games. Backers like you will not only be the first to know, you'll get to shape how BitGym evolves.
MEET THE TEAM
We are Active Theory, a small team passionate about reforming how people exercise. We think "Just do it." should really be "Let's do it!"
We love working on this stuff! We've turned down compelling job offers and moved long distances to do it. We all share a vision of exercise re-imagined with today’s technology and understanding of game design. We’ve been at it for years, building fitness apps and games under our own name and for others.
BitGym is a culmination of everything we’ve learned to date. As a team of four we have already spent a year on it, but we need your help to get us through the final couple months, to help us cover the bandwidth bills for the initial users, and to buy licenses for software we will be using in production. These are large expenses, and our credit cards are maxed.
Backers over the $34 tier will become “Founding Members” of BitGym. Founding Members will be truly instrumental in getting BitGym off the ground and helping more people get access to high quality exercise options at home.
Every Founding Membership is activated using a voucher code we will email you. The beta period (exclusive to founding members) is free. Once the service goes public in November you will need to enter you activated voucher code. Alternatively you can gift it to someone else. A single membership will work across all the devices connected to the iTunes account as well as other android devices you own.
Risks and challenges
One risk with technology projects is that the founders are not able to complete it as promised. One advantage we have is that all four founding members are trained developers skilled in the required technologies - we can fulfill all our promises on sweat equity alone and do not need to hire anyone. Also, the alpha of the project is already completed and in the hands of iOS testers. One possible set back would be the android conversion taking longer than anticipated. Another is that Chromecast takes longer than we think or has unexpected technical hurdles. If you're an android user and you find our public launch unsatisfactory, or non-compatible with your device, we're happy to figure out a refund for you.
For our Hyperlapse product, there is a chance Google sends us a cease and desist. Their TOS are not entirely clear on the matter, and websites such as http://hyperlapse.tllabs.io/ have not been taken down.
Of course, the largest risk with an online service is that it may cease to operate because the company folds or otherwise has problems. All we can say is that we at Active Theory are ferociously dedicated to seeing BitGym succeed and grow. This isn't our first venture, after launching out of Rock Health (a health focused startup accelerator) we raised angel investment and launched Fit Freeway, the BitGym Motion SDK, and other interactive fitness products. We're a tenacious group and with your support we'll be in this for the long run.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Probably! See the tracking video (also embedded above) here: https://www.youtube.com/watch…
However one common issue is that your iPad cannot attach to your machine, or sometimes it can only be fit portrait mode, not landscape mode. See this article on our support site with a few solutions you can try: http://bitgym.uservoice.com/knowledgebase/articles/42778
We think so! It picks up real fast, it updates over twenty times a second, and it’s even capable of picking up millimeter scale exercise motions of extremely stable bikers. We should note we don’t know everything about your exercise motion - we just know your exercise cadence and step count. For example, we don’t know your resistance level or your treadmill belt speed. Still, cadence tracking gives you a powerful sense of connection with the interactive content. Also we can automatically track how long you were exercising so you can save or upload it to your favorite digital exercise journal (this feature is coming after public release).
If you’re going to have voice chat, won’t the exercise machine droning be super annoying to everyone else on the voice link?
We were worried about this at first, but it turns out modern phones and tablets have extra microphones to subtract out background noise, and they are excellent at filtering out droning cardio machine noise.
Actually, yeah. http://i.imgur.com/r7ylhvz.gif
We’re looking at 8 dollars a month for month-to-month members, and less for longer periods of commitment.
Compared to free abdominal workout apps, maybe. If you’re comparing it to the cost of spin classes, it’s a steal. It’s expensive to create high quality content and it’s expensive to distribute HD streams of it. What the membership fee does it make sure the service never goes stale, that there will be a stream of new things to do every single workout, and that collectively a lot more people can look forward to their workouts. And finally, founding members will get the best rates of anyone in the service ;)
Let’s talk, email firstname.lastname@example.org - our vision is to create a system where users can “vote with their feet” on the kind of content they want to work out to. We give a generous cut of the subscription fees to these providers in proportion to how many people work out to their content. This creates a good incentive - if you produce content which helps people exercise, you get paid more. In the end, BitGym will be molded by the actions and tastes of it’s users. We’re excited to see where it takes us.
HDMI out will work great on both iOS and Android. You'll have the screen perfectly mirrored to the larger TV, while all the exercise tracking is still done on your phone or tablet.
AirPlay will work OK for iOS platforms. On the plus side the AppleTV unit can instantly stream our HD streams and play it full screen - it looks amazing. The downside is that we do not have the ability to do analog speed control, so the tour will either play at normal speed or be paused. Furthermore we cannot composite on trail facts over the video - they must be viewed on the Phone or iPad itself.
Chromecast should solve a lot of the problems with AirPlay. It certainly will be able to stream the tours from the internet in HD, and will also probably be able to give us analog speed control over the playback. We're actively experimenting with our chromecast unit and will report more details when we have them.
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