By Jon Zerden, CIO, Athletes’ Performance
Athletes’ Performance uses a cloud-based application and computerized, networked fitness machines (such as treadmills or ellipticals) to administer personalized training and exercise on a mass scale. It’s almost like giving every gym member unlimited access to a personal trainer.
It works like this: For each user, we collect a variety of data points, such as whether the user wants to lose weight or gain strength, how the user might be feeling that day, the effectiveness of their last workout, the length of time between fitness sessions, a comparison between the workout that was provided and what was actually completed, and so on. While the user is exercising, we also track the effectiveness of their workout in real time, including the user’s heart rate, exertion level, and overall performance. Then we aggregate all of the historical information with the most recent workout results to come up with the optimum training program each time that user steps into the gym.
The unique aspect of our program is our intellectual property, but our cloud is what makes it broadly scalable and affordable to gym operators. This means we had to build our application specifically to operate in the cloud. For example, because the application requires real-time data exchange between node and cloud, we had to provide code that enables the cloud to deal effectively with latency and outages emanating from individual nodes.
Our Intel® Xeon® processor-based private cloud is designed to grow incrementally as exercise machines are added. It’s capable of supporting thousands of machines dispersed across hundreds of locations. Even though each two-hour workout session generates about 2 MB of data, we can simultaneously collect data from all connected users, machines, and locations while our application analyzes that data in real time to provide actionable feedback to each user. We’ve successfully tested this exchange for a possible half-million nodes operating simultaneously.
We can install our Intel® Core™ i5 processor-based computing system on any already-computerized piece of training equipment. We simply swap the original computing system with our node and turn it on. It’s very quick and easy to get a new site up and running, saving gym operators downtime and ensuring a smooth transition to the new program.
To further keep gym owners’ costs down, we support our equipment remotely using the Intel Active Management Technology1 built into the exercise computers. From our cloud, we can troubleshoot, reboot, service, and repair any of the machine nodes that experience problems. We can also use this remote management technology to audit the security of a site. This cuts costs by reducing the number of onsite visits needed to support our machines.
Ask any user, gym owner, corporate wellness manager, or other administrator of our program why it makes good sense, and they’ll tell you that the ability to optimize the program for each participant is essential. But the ability to do so without breaking the bank is what makes it work. And that’s how we’re using our cloud to foster healthy fitness habits broadly.
"The unique aspect of our program is our intellectual property, but our cloud is what makes it broadly scalable and affordable to gym operators."