We are in Indiana, it is cold in winter. From mid-November to mid-March, it is not comfortable for intensive outdoor activities to most people.
Our founder Paul, a cyclist who puts thousands of miles on his bike in warmer seasons, found himself was struggling to keep motivated to ride indoors during the long and cold winter.
After sharing his struggles with friends, it turns out the lack of motivation to exercise is a very common issue among indoor exercise and training. The top two excuses, first, no time; second, boring.
But the question is, although it has been a well-known issue for many years, we are still not able to find an effective solution on the market.
Yes the new studio-style exercise bikes was a hit several years ago, though expensive, the feedback about their long-term motivation is not satisfactory.
There are also some fancy exercise bikes on the market with price up to US$4000, but after analyzing them carefully, we found they are still, exercise bikes. It means, they are still pieces of hardware. They can passively respond to you but are not able to proactively interact with you. More bluntly, they still have no brain.
The result of no brain, is no true interactivity, no emotional support, boring experience and no fun.
Paul, with a Bachelor Degree in Electrical Engineering, a Master Degree in Civil Engineering and an MBA, and once a senior software developer at BlackBerry (then Research In Motion), quickly realized that to make an exercise bike more fun and addictive, it has to be able to interact with people in real time, just like an interactive toy for baby and multi-player video games.
Beyond that, the exercise bike also needs certain level of intelligence to communicate with people on things like goal setup, plan, progress, adjustment, and most important, encouragement. Simply put, it needs soft touch.
All these lead to a powerful computer and thousands lines of computer code as critical elements of our solution, Allerbi. They are the key to makes Allerbi really different from all other exercise bikes, and luckily, software design and development falls into the field that we are really good at.
In early 2020, Yixu, a brilliant maker and a top grad from Purdue Mechanical Engineering, joined the effort. Yixu brought tons of experience in developing hardware, electronic circuit board, software and system integration.
A portable LiDAR, an UPS for Raspberry Pi and a smart PTZ security camera with face recognition are some examples of Yixu’s previous works.
We had our scratch design in late 2019 and applied the patent for our solution after that.
After three years hard work with the help from our contractors, suppliers and local fabricators, we have one proof of concept and four working prototypes and have received very positive feedback on prototypes.
Our final product is about for Beta testing, stay tuned!