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Fall 2015 No.27
Next-Generation Fitness Device Takes Personal Training to Fresh Peaks
Three MPhil Program in Technology Leadership and Entrepreneurship students have designed an award-winning sensor-embedded smart sleeve that provides next-generation, virtually assisted fitness training any time any place. Originally called FITKICK and now rebranded as Koach, the product developed by Phillip Wing Hong Chan, Jitesh Chhabria and Derek Wing Hang Yip tracks full body movement to analyze user forms and techniques in real-time.
Koach sleeves have their own micro-processor and memory, which allow users to track and record their performance without carrying their smart phones. Data are collected and analyzed within the sleeves, and synced to a mobile app after a workout through Bluetooth. Qualitative feedback on posture and form is available. It also supports multiple activities, including body-weight training, yoga, running and cycling.
The MPhil trio’s initial device won the championship at HKUST’s Healthcare Designathon Competition in December 2014. The innovators later became one of the eight teams across Asia selected to join the AIA Accelerator program, where they received mentorship and support from a leading start-up incubator and industry experts, among other opportunities. In 2015, they won the championship and HKSTP Technopreneur Gold Award at the YDC E-Challenge, Gold Award at the JEC Outstanding Engineering Project Awards, and also became a Kairos Society K50 company.
The web app, which will also be compatible with other fitness tracking products, allows users to find, plan, and track their workouts using the thousands of workout videos freely available online. The beta version is due for release at the end of February. The wearable device is scheduled for launch later this year, with the team of three now joined by electronics engineer Michael Siu, software developer Ming Tsang, both School of Engineering students, and fashion designer Chailie Ho who is contributing to the apparel designs.
Phillip Chan, 2014 BEng Electronic Engineering, also received a Merit Award in the Tertiary Student Project category at the Asia Pacific ICT Alliance Awards 2014 for his Wearable Gesture Input Device, which allows people to control computers remotely.