Xura announced recently that it had received an award on the strength of its forge by Xura (FBX) platform. FBX is used in the social media fitness app, Weqool, which allows users to communicate with each other through SMS and video calls while working out to pre-recorded videos led by fitness instructors.
The Weqool app was developed by both Weqool and Blacc Spot Media, a Xura partner. What makes the Weqool app stand out is that it allows remote users to interact with each other while they are exercising. By contrast, one of the more popular apps/sites for social media fitness, Strava, typically operates asynchronously. You do a bike ride, a swim or a run, and your friends react with kudos (likes) or commentary whenever they log on to the site, which could be minutes, hours or even days after the workout occurred.
Weqool is still in the prototype stage, but a company-produced video demonstrates how it works. Two young ladies connect through a video call and decide they want to do a boxing workout. The screen splits into a three-way view, with two frames showing the ladies working out and the third showing the recorded workout.
There is definitely a market for something like Weqool. Many people find it hard to workout by themselves, and there is something to be said for group workouts. A study conducted by the National Institutes of Health provided all participants with standard behavior treatment (SBT) in a four-month weight loss program with a six-month follow-up. Some participants also received social support.
Of the participants who were recruited individually for the program and received only SBT, a total of 76 percent completed the program, with only 24 percent maintaining their weight loss in full from months four through ten.
Of those who were recruited with friends and received social support in addition to SBT, 95 percent completed the program while 66 percent maintained their weight loss in full from months four through ten.
Of course, the implications of Xura’s technology as used in the Weqool app go well beyond social media fitness apps. It can be used for any video communications over the web that uses multiple simultaneous video feeds, something that would have been impractical not too long ago.
Edited by Alicia Young