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Entries in Spivi (1)

Friday
May062016

Group Cycling's New Direction with Spivi

To Shay Amir, the CEO of Spivi, a company that’s developed a unique virtual training system, group cycling represents something of a conundrum. It’s immensely popular, but not necessarily utilized to its fullest. 

“What’s the point of owning an indoor cycling studio that cost tens of thousands of dollars if it’s operating only two or three times a day?” he said. “The problem is that, once you’ve made the investment, you frequently find it hard to attract new members, or to keep your existing members engaged. Then there’s the matter of needing professional instructors to run it—another expense. 

“As a result of the studio’s dynamics, you never operate it for a single member, or for a couple of them, or even for small groups. Bottom line, indoor cycling studios can be a great business, but they’re expensive to manage and operate.” 

Tempted by the unplumbed opportunity and the challenge involved in tapping it, Amir and his team—an eclectic mix of people from the fitness and high-tech industries—decided to try to change things. 

“In addition to our professional backgrounds, we’re all enthusiastic indoor cyclists,” said Amir—a fact that also fueled their interest. 

When the brain trust studied traditional indoor cycling classes, it also concluded that they were missing “juice”—what Amir describes as a better overall experience, one enhanced by real-time performance feedback and live visual effects on a large digital screen. 

In 2009, after conducting research in pursuit of a more comprehensive solution, the team unveiled Spivi, an innovative 3D simulator system for cycling studios that can be installed on existing equipment. In the world of Spivi, participants are placed on a virtual road, with each rider represented by a personal avatar. Sensors collect real-time user data wirelessly, which the Spivi simulation engine employs to generate an interactive, virtual 3D visual experience. 

The on-screen avatar reflects the actual energy level the rider is producing in real time. 

Once the session is over, a personal training summary report—which can automatically be shared on social networks, such as Facebook—is sent to the user by email. 

Continue reading “Group Cycling's New Direction with Spivi” in the May issue of CBI.