Interview: Beast Sensor chooses weight that maximises your results

UnknownWhile most activity trackers are aimed at tracking steps, distance and calories, a limited few have been designed to make your gym workouts more effective. Beast Sensor is one of them. This is a sensor-based system for athletes, trainers and fitness enthusiasts, created so they can better understand their efforts in order to optimize training.

Being magnetic, the device attaches a number of different ways and shows you in real time how much you are pushing, rep by rep, whether you are lifting weights, using a machine or performing bodyweight exercises. You can chose to visualize speed, power or strength and monitor your performance live while working out. Use the time while resting between each set to understand how to make your training more effective.

We tested the device for several weeks and can easily see how this can be a very powerful tool for those who frequent the gym regularly. The tracker enables you to find out more about the quality of your workouts and not just the weight you lifted. It takes the guesswork out of your lifting and gives your training a new – scientific – dimension.

Essential reading: Review: Beast Sensor – take the guess work out of your lifting

Beast Technologies was founded in September 2013 in Milano. The Italian based team is made of aerospace engineers, strength and conditioning coaches and sport enthusiasts who are passionate about technology and its applications to sport and fitness.

We sat down with Ernst-Vittorio Handler, one of the founders, for a short Q&A session.

The Beast Sensor is unique in the fitness tracker industry in terms of what it does. It is even unique in the gym workout monitoring niche. Who do you see as your main competition?

Well, it is true that there is little competition. We are distinct from the world of general fitness wearables and trackers counting steps and measuring the level of activity. On the other side, for decades now, professional athletes have been using expensive and complex lab equipment to boost their performance. We are less focused on competition and more on demonstrating the benefits of monitoring strength training, not only for pro athletes but also for the regular gym-goer.

How did you come up with the idea for the Sensor?

We would need to go back a few years when the price of accelerometers began to decline and wearables manufacturers started embedding sensors in smartphones on a mass scale. At the time, we thought – if you can track your running activity via GPS – why not use accelerometers, along with other sensors such as gyroscopes and magnetometers to measure strength training in the gym? So we started working on a concept.

What are the benefits of VBT?

VBT stands for Velocity Based Training. In a nutshell, VBT analyses the speed of your lift to help you choose the right weight. The novelty of this approach, which is available to all with the Beast Sensor, is huge. It allows you to choose the appropriate weight based on how you feel that day. So – for example – if my objective is to increase my overall strength, I can have the confidence that I am using weight that maximises my efforts and results.

Do you see the mainstream companies – Garmin, Fitbit, etc – moving into this niche?

Garmin is always on the lookout for new technologies. Fitbit as well has made some interesting acquisitions of online training platforms recently. Big sport clothing manufacturers have been acquiring apps and fitness communities. There is lots of activity, but I am not sure if those companies, even if though some of them are huge, have the necessary expertise to enter this niche.

Are there any plans to sell the company’s proprietary algorithms to one of the leading brands – and perhaps integrate it into one of the mainstream fitness trackers?

The algorithms are core to our technology, but we are open to various forms of collaboration as long as this brings value to our customers! We are already exploring this space.

What upcoming improvements to the app can we look forward to?

We’ll keep up the good work on the user experience to enable our customers to focus more on results. We will keep working on rep recognition and improving algorithms and you can look forward to new features as well!

The Beast Sensor is already a very powerful tool for those who frequent the gym regularly. What can we look forward to in 2017 and beyond from Beast?

Surprise surprise 🙂

Where do you see this technology heading in the next 5 years?

Even though Beast is new we have already built up a strong community of so called early-adopters. We firmly believe that in 5 years time, Beast Sensor technology will become an integral part of training routines whether you are a fitness enthusiast or an Olympic pro athlete.

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