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27 Nov 2020 World leisure: news, training & property
 
 
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26 Oct 2020

The Refinery harnesses augmented reality to launch avatar-based PT service
BY Tom Walker

The ALFI platform consists of two key phone applications, one to run on Apple's IoS and another on Android

The ALFI platform consists of two key phone applications, one to run on Apple's IoS and another on Android
photo: ALFI

Boutique operator, The Refinery E9, has launched a personal trainer (PT) service with a twist, by offering customers the opportunity to take part in exercise sessions led by an avatar.

Utilising motion capture, 3D and augmented-reality (AR) technology, 'ALFI' is a virtual PT, created in partnership with Unicorn XP and Riverswave Developers.

The Refine with ALFI app has been designed to provide the "most inclusive, visually appealing, and movement-focused PT ever experienced" in the virtual and on demand fitness space.

The ALFI platform consists of two key phone applications, one to run on Apple's IoS and another on Android.

Both applications have a 3D engine embedded within a native app, which gives the user an experience similar to a top-quality video game.

Using an algorithm, the app then creates a unique fitness class of either HIIT or yoga, also offering a posture clinic for technical perfection.

The class is then presented by Alfi the avatar, using 3D motion clips to create the unique content, complete with synchronised music and voice-overs for a seamless user experience.

The app is run on the UNITY platform, using motion capture technology of experienced human coaches and includes 360-degree view of all poses and moves.

To increase engagement, the app has an in-built redeemable token system, allowing the user to give credits to friends, customise their avatar, redeem free classes or donate to charity via ALFI Tokens.

Each ALFI avatar can also be customised to suit the users preferences.

The launch of ALFI is a response to an increasing appetite for AR-based solutions – which overlay digital content onto the physical world.

It is estimated that AR-based apps, such as Pokemon Go and Snapchat, will have an estimated 2.5billion users by 2023.

Zoe Bertali, co-founder of ALFI said: "We wanted to create something fun, accessible and engaging.

"So many fitness apps have the same format, which can make the choice overwhelming and sometimes discouraging.

"We have created a visually striking, avatar led, algorithmic fitness app which allows us to create bespoke user led classes in seconds, compared to scrolling through hundreds of videos.

"The heart of the app is human and all regimes are created using motion capture – so the avatar moves like a human, but is run by the Unity gaming engine.

"The exciting thing about our app is that it is AR ready, which means that very soon, life size ALFI will be leading you through classes in your home not just on your screen!"

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