OliveX launches fitness app that rewards users with crypto coins

February 15, 2019 15:33
Keith Rumjahn, co-founder of OliveX, launched the Lympo Squat, an app powered by artificial intelligence that allows users to perform squats and rewards those who completed the challenge with virtual tokens. Photo: OliveX

Earn money while you do workouts. Hong Kong-based fitness solutions startup OliveX has launched a "squat to earn cryptocurrency" challenge with Lympo Squat, an app powered by artificial intelligence that allows users to perform squats and track their performance through their smartphone camera.

The Hong Kong Economic Journal recently sat down with Keith Rumjahn, co-founder of OliveX, who talked about the app and its unique features. Prior to OliveX, Rumjahn started Coachbase, a well-known basketball coaching app that was later acquired by Animoca Brands.

Excerpts from the interview:

HKEJ: Why did you develop this app in the first place?

Rumjahn: We found that most of the existing sports and fitness apps in the market are button-based operated, which is not convenient for users. And those apps mainly focused on exercising and training with a less interesting process.

On the other hand, we were inspired by a campaign launched by the Moscow government, which promoted squatting for health at the metro station Vystavochnaya. It used sensors to track and record the movements of the participants, and rewarded them with a free metro ticket for completing 30 squats within a limited time.

That’s how we came up with the idea to develop an interactive fitness app with gamification features. Previously, we launched a street promotional campaign in Lan Kwai Fong in Central. We invited people to do the squat challenge with our app, and they were really enjoying it!

Q: Can you explain briefly how Lympo Squat works?

A: Lympo Squat, also known as "squat for crypto", allows users to earn Lympo (LYM) tokens by doing a series of squats. With the mobile device standing on a flat surface, the app uses artificial intelligence (AI)-powered technology to detect the body movements of the user by means of the mobile device's camera and count the squats done in real time. In addition, the app provides a recommended set of exercises for the user after analyzing their body movements.

In the market, there are several home video game consoles available, which are equipped with a depth sensor to measure the distance of each point of the player's body. However, it could not detect the player’s mode of movement.

In the past six months, leveraging on our human pose AI technology, we have developed a tech solution that analyzes the body posture with 17 anchor points. That means, the app is able to track the whole body movements of the user to determine whether or not the pose is correct by using the phone camera.

Q: You have introduced a crypto token reward model for the app. Can you explain briefly how it works?

A: Think about it as the famous US-based fitness app Sweatcoin, which allows users to earn virtual tokens by walking or running. The app has topped US App Store fitness app rankings. At first, I thought the concept was crazy and it was not clear whether the business model was feasible. But it seems to work just fine, and we have seen similar reward apps launching in the mainland China market.

For the Lympo Squat, there are different squat challenges, say, 15 squats in 35 seconds. Each time a user completes a challenge, three tokens are awarded. You can take the challenge up to six times a day, and if you continue to do that for five days, you can earn extra tokens. For a regular user, about 1,000 Lympo tokens can be earned in about 30 to 40 days.

The Lympo tokens could be exchanged for cash through six major virtual currency exchanges in the market. And in the future, we are adding an e-wallet feature within the app.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Feb 15

Translation by Ben Ng with additional reporting

[Chinese version 中文版]

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Hong Kong Economic Journal