Boltt — the new-age virtual fitness coach with connected shoes and apps

By Anusha Ashwin

Wearbles are now becoming an integral part of the fitness drive wave in India. This has opened up a large market. Artificial Intelligence, data analytics and machine learning are getting integrated in the wearbles adding value transforming it from just record keeping to more of analyzer and an interpreter of data.

Noida-based Boltt Sports Technologies that works with pioneering connected fitness solutions has integrated AI technology with fitness solutions. Led by sibling-duo Arnav Kishore, Founder & CEO, and Aayushi Kishore, co-founder & CMO, Boltt forayed into the fitness product business when the duo noticed business potential in the wearables space and a large scope for further improvization with AI integration in it. For Aayushi this venture was a move forward with her experience of being associated with the brand Globalite Retail that was managed by her father Lalit Kishore in the past. Lalit Kishore has been associated with the launch of Nike and Lotto brands in India.

Aayushi Kishore elaborates more on founding Boltt along with her brother, and making an impression in the fitness-technology space with their maiden venture.

“Two years ago, my brother and I decided to foray into the wearable business when we saw a business potential in the wearables space with scope for further improvisation concerning user-friendly technology. We identified a white space for AI integration. People in India and across the globe have become health conscious and are embracing technologies to keep their fitness regime on track,” opens up Aayushi Kishore.boltt-1

Kishore has a deep understanding in the robust development in the wearable space. She says people have evolved in their understanding of what is sold in the name of ‘fitness wearables’. With customized in-data analysis and meaningful insights being garnered through Boltt’s AI enabled coach, users are provided with actionable insights and not just fact or figures representing numbers. “We have a unique proposition regarding AI coaching and voice and chat based feedback coaching mechanism that takes fitness coaching to another level. We have taken a stride in the direction of personalized coaching which helps people stick to their fitness routine.”

Aayushi and Arnav are leading a team of over 70 people, who have a passionate vision to change the regular fitness regime of people round the globe with rigorous updates, coaching and mentoring. They have been on a mission to ensure that their products are easily accessible to everyone.

Intelligent shoes; bands and Apps – the power-packed products

Boltt’s fitness system comprises a smart band, stride sensor and training apps — all powered by AI. The Boltt Smart Band automatically tracks the user’s activities and sleep patterns. The band is more of a complete lifestyle tracker, which enables complete fitness solutions. A Stride Sensor comes embedded in the mid sole of shoes, but can also be clipped on any shoe, or it can be worn with the help of an ankle band. It can analyze performance metrics for field sports such as soccer and hockey. The Mobile App tracks health, physical training, sleep and nutrition intake. The AI Enabled Chat Bot gives real-time voice coaching and interactive feedback throughout the day. All body vitals are tracked across all verticals, from nutrition to diagnostics. The data points get transferred to the mobile app, which draws inference and gives virtual chat- and audio-based feedback based on AI intelligence.

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The company has completed the pre-order campaign on its website and is offering its Fitness Trackers starting at Rs 1,359 and Stride Sensor for Rs 1,999. The hardware comes with an AI coaching subscription plan with a month’s free subscription.

Kishore says that the product has been designed bearing in mind amateurs to fitness enthusiasts, to professional sportsperson, including a lot of people from different strata with different health & fitness goals. Strategically priced between Rs 2,000 and Rs 6,000, Boltt is targeting sales of Rs 50 crore in 2017. Having completed the pre-sale campaign, and fresh in the market, Boltt has made an impressive beginning by clocking sales of over 3,000 wearables, indicates Kishore.

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Both the Kishores believe that the USP of their product lies in the App. Aayushi Kishore says, “The factor that genuinely differentiates us in the market is our App which comes with an AI-enabled health coach. There are numerous apps in the market, but most of them end up providing piece meals in terms of the service offerings mentioned. Our aim was to see that a user could reap the benefits of all the three aspects of health and fitness from one product. In addition to these, the app also has training as one of its core service offerings wherein a user can train for a specific sport or just carry out his regular fitness routine with the help of our AI enabled Text and Audio Coach ‘B’. Not only does ‘B’ guide the user, but motivates him/her and gives the user a detailed data about his performance on an actual basis and warns him/her when it suspects that the user could experience an injury while training/exercising.”

Simply put, Boltt is creating a synthesis between the AI ecosystem and customers to lead a motivated, healthy life. The in-built virtual health assistant ‘B’ is a personal trainer, sleep doctor, nutritionist and activity mentor bundled together.

Offering more explanation to the working of the product, Kishore says, “If we look at how consumers use wearables, we realize that they usually lack the ability to decipher data and cannot make meaning of data chunks spewed by trackers. With oodles of data around nutrition, fitness activity, sports, and wellness there’s little deciphering of data that most wearables track. This becomes a challenge. A number of dietitians and fitness coach/guide subscriptions are available in the market, presently, with a host of fitness trackers, but all that is human, time-bound and geographically restrictive. This means an additional investment from the consumer side. Boltt’s AI-enabled fitness coach, resides in the app as a text and voice coach platform, it comes to life when any of the devices (fitness tracker, stride sensor or smart shoe) gets connected with the app — which then provides voice inputs such as ‘Pace up’, or ‘Pace down’, or ‘Ground impact time is high’, or ‘Heart beat is fast, slow down’, etc.”

In fact, Boltt team had enquiries from curious onlookers to some serious technologists at the premier CES event recently. Kishore says, at this year’s CES, analysts from across the globe shared a positive feedback on the product’s, design and technology incorporated. “Receiving such attention at a renowned international platform such as CES, while we were still at a developmental phase, was both a surprise and a sheer delight,” says Aayushi Kishore.

Collaborating for success

Boltt has been collaborating with some of the leading sports academies and sports teams through a special offering called Specialized Sports Performance (SSP). Boltt aims to empower coaches and sportsmen across India and other global areas with advanced technology that can aid them in training and help them deliver a higher performance. Kishore is positive with her effort to collaborate with various industry experts from healthcare and fitness, who on a constant basis provides the company with their insights to improvise on its research and output giving them tips on the industry dynamics.

For Boltt, funding is not a stumbling block. The funding received (undisclosed) so far has been of great value and has helped Boltt explore potentials of its brand and the resources within the brand. The financial stability has consequently motivated the siblings and their team to further improvise Boltt’s product portfolio to suit the evolving technologies. They wow to go up to a point where they are confident that Boltt is the only one-of-a-kind in the market.

The Kishores are targeting the Indian, US and European markets for sales. The company has plans to leverage B2B platforms as well from right from BFSIs to corporates. Boltt’s hardware and software will be customized, based on the client’s needs and specifications, says Kishore adding that in an industry where change happens every second, they will be focused towards ensuring constant innovation in their products.

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