One of the biggest issues most people can have is weight.
On just about every New Year's resolution list, people usually have some version of either lose weight or get healthy near the top of their yearly improvements — and 2017 is no different. According to top Google inquiries on the topic, getting healthy was at the top with a 13.77 percent increase from 2016's 55,177,290 searches to 2017's 62,776,640 searches.
Although keeping in shape is at the top of everyone's yearly kickoff to-do list, U.S. News reports that 80 percent of all New Year's resolutions fail by early February. With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's research showing 38 percent of adults and 17 percent of teenagers in America are obese, losing weight and staying in good health is a major concern. The study also showed that by the year 2030, it's projecting 44 percent of Americans to be in the obese category with a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 30.
The access to resources for hiring a private trainer or the finding the time to visit a doctor on a regular basis for BMI check ups may prove to be too much and likely the reason why getting in shape New Year's resolutions often fail early on. One company that's looking to help change this access dynamic in order to help people become more aware of what exactly is going on with their body in terms of fitness is ShapeScale. We sat down with ShapeScale's CEO, Alexandre Wayenberg, to learn more about what ShapeScale is and how it may change the future of fitness awareness.
ShapeScale is a unique scale that involves a process of digitizing people's bodies through a 3D scanning process. Through taking hundreds of photos, the ShapeScale is able to develop a full-body image of people's bodies, conducting precise body measurements, monitoring local lean mass and tracking body fat. All of this allows for a more accurate picture of what's going on inside of people's bodies from the very beginning throughout their workout lifecycle.
Wayenberg shared with us the thought process behind developing this offering — he moved to China and packed on quite a bit of weight, to the point where his wife asked if he was pregnant. He said "that's the moment I realized I needed to change. I bought a connected scale, started dieting and exercising at the same time. After two weeks of extremely hard work, I stepped on the sale and was four pounds heavier."
After realizing that his fat was simply replaced with muscle, thereby causing the weight gain, Wayenberg understood that tracking the shape, surface and volume changes of his body would be a better measurement of his body than a number on a scale. He said, "Not understanding how our body has been changing over time is a problem we all experience. People look at themselves in the mirror everyday and wonder how they look like compared to a week, a month or a year ago. Knowing the body shape of someone enables a lot of new applications not only in fitness, sports and healthcare, but also in fashion, e-commerce, games, augmented and virtual reality."
Following this experience, Wayenberg met Martin Kessler at a Hong Kong incubator and then they came up with the idea to create the ShapeScale. While the concept was dreamed up in 2013, ShapeScale took a few iterations to become what it is today. The team has perfected ShapeScale and officially launched it out to the public this month.
This year, the ShapeScale team plans to focus its efforts on development and manufacturing to ensure everyone who pre-ordered a unit would have a seamless experience. Wayenberg said, "Beyond that, we will be working on expanding the use of the information collected by ShapeScale for fitness, sports, fashion, e-commerce and VR/AR applications."
He added, "We do intend to partner with companies to enable the fashion, e-commerce and sports application. We will enable people to use body shape and body model information on other websites and applications." At this time, ShapeScale will not be announcing any specific partnership talks as they're still in the negotiation phase.
Beyond its current offering, ShapeScale is planning to expand its realm of what can be done in the fitness industry. Wayenberg said, "The natural next steps beyond providing visuals of your fitness progress and better metrics is to provide tailor-made advice on what to do to achieve your goals. Think of its as an on-demand AI/human powered on-demand personal trainer."
Moving forward, ShapeShift is looking to continue its use of technology to empower people to make health choices specific to what's happening with their own bodies. Wayenberg said "Our plan is to become the leading platform for capturing and using your body shape and realistic avatars online."