This quarter Fit for Green is teaming with an undergraduate class from UCI to explore the new possibilities with Fit for Green Phase II. As I mentioned in other articles, Fit for Green has started on a major pivot. That being said, everything that was done before needs redoing. Things addressed in this pivot are; price of the equipment, complexity of the install, and an improved interface that helps the users appreciate what it means to create power during exercise.
Our team is made of 7 talented young Entrepreneurs that are working on their undergraduate degree and are currently enrolled in a course called “Entrepreneurship: New Venture Management” with Professor Bill Morris. The students are divided into 3 teams; 2 will be working to assessing IP and getting initial feedback on the product (Product Group), 2 will be crafting the new sales and marketing material (Sales and Marketing Group), and 3 will be assigned to sales projections and all things financial that needs to be assessed for the plan (Finance Group). The deliverables for these students includes a business plan and a Shark Tank style final presentation of Fit for Green, to the Professor and his colleagues.
My first few meetings with this team has been outstanding! I have high hopes for our project’s success and I look forward to sharing what I know about entrepreneurship.
One of the new pieces of energy generating gym equipment that we hope to offer is shown in the picture above. During this week’s presentation we got to push a bit of power back into the wall outside the classroom.
The next generation of Fit for Green is continuing to inch forward. We’ve completed equipment selection including the Android hardware shown in the picture, as opposed to the open-frame beta ones shown in previous posts. We also have the initial equipment that will be used along with it; an upright bike and a lateral trainer from a company called Helix. Over the coming weeks we hope to post some video of the prototype build out for a multi-unit Fit for Green install. By the end of the year the goal is to have a fully tested prototype that can be deployed and validated in a commercial gym.
The last few months have been filled with learning to code android, interfacing with hardware, and doing fitness measurement conversions. Click on the image below to see a video of the progress.
This week’s update is on the technical side. It is a necessary step to ensure the quality of the integration between the console and equipment as well as the quality of the data that gets displayed. In the attached video I will demonstrate some of the statistics and some of the process used to accomplish this.
As mentioned in previous posts, work has started on the new Fit for Green console program. This video is a short glimpse of the user interface to help give the stake-holders an idea of the data and the tracking that will be provided in the first version.
In the coming weeks we plan to have a set of milestone accomplishments that we will use to lead us to a working beta. Once we get an approximate date locked down we’ll be looking for candidates to try it out! Ideally we’ll get to place it in a local university gym for 30 to 90 days so that we can gather feedback and make improvements before releasing the first version.
Click on the picture to view the demonstration and watch for more updates in the coming weeks!
In continuing with the project introduction from yesterday’s post I wanted to take some time to show the console that we will be using. It’s worked pretty well for development up to this point but we will need some minor adjustments in order to move to a beta version that we can install into a gym. The two biggest issues are with the sensitivity of the touch screen and the range of the wifi connection. The next console prototype will address both of these issues.
Click the picture to watch a video!
After a few quarters break in excitement we’re back in action, starting the next phase of our journey. During the first phase of Fit for Green we created a platform to communicate the results of Fitness Generated electricity electronically. The platform we developed consists of a Cloud application that is accessible through the Fit for Green website and an in-gym kiosk for people to login before they exercise so that Fit for Green can record their progress. While this is a nice start, and we were able to install it in 3 gyms, its not something we ever expected to scale very well.
This next phase is one where we will address 3 major issues; price, installation requirements, and user convenience. The price was just too high when Fit for Green and the third party retrofits were added in. I won’t go into specifics on costs but I can confidently say that it was frequently a deterrent to adoption. The installation was also difficult because an electrician had to be brought in to connect conversion equipment to the gym’s grid. Lastly, the extra step of having to go to a kiosk before working out was just too much to ask of our users. Not to say that these were all of our challenges but they were definitely 3 of the top 5.
There are some changes to the architecture, a new partner, and new integrated platform. Our partner will provide the equipment that generates electricity minus the console. Fit for Green will complete the units by integrating the Fit for Green console, bringing the electricity generation concept front and center. The finished product will be a gym machine that generates power and is comparable in cost to other like gym equipment.
This short video will show what our partner is providing. The other parts will be shown in various states with subsequent posts:
Video: Fit for Green Base Equipment
Check out Fit for Green at the University of California Irvine on May 13th. We’ll be speaking at Tedx about fitness-generated electricity and how it can inspire people to act on two big issues; Greenhouse Gases and Obesity. Use the code “Speaker2013” for a discount.
These are a few pieces that were recently released regarding the ReRev and Fit for Green installation at Sac State University:
Looking to add mobile views soon so people can see the power they’re creating on their phone in real-time!
Over the last month I’ve been spending my spare time studying the US Open Government Initiative. I’ve also looked further into the Health Data Initiative (HDI) and Energy Data Initiative (EDI), also being driven by the US government. My opinion is that these concepts are terrific! They are efforts to share as much government based data as possible. The hope is to make data accessible to the public so that they can act on and/or propose ideas that improve the country. Read more