Smart fitness puts premium on the personal touch

Mon May 7, 2012 2:27am EDT
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Even in the vastness of the online fitness universe, it all comes down to the human touch on your touch screen.

The latest, smartest devices and websites are enlisting online dating and gaming technology to forge real relationships in the virtual fitness world.

"We sell the relationship between trainer and client," said Jeff Marinucci, president and CEO of InerTRAIN, an online personal training service launched in 2010.

To unite clients with the personal trainer of their dreams, the Chicago-based company uses algorithms similar to those of, the online dating service.

"This is the next generation of fitness," said Marinucci. "Too much online fitness was generic. Our trainers will fit your workouts to your needs anytime, anywhere, just not in real time."

He said his company targets world travelers, stay-at-home mothers, and others with tight and shifting schedules.

"When I was a client, my biggest problem was that workouts were not customized around the individual," Marinucci said. "I need that person that's looking over my shoulder, even virtually."

The game designers, artists and technicians at Striiv, which is based in Redwood City, California, have aimed to build a Smart Pedometer that is as habit-forming as a computer game.   Continued...

A workout summary display is seen in this undated handout picture released to Reuters February 28, 2009. REUTERS/iTMP/Handout