The young Munich startup SOLOS surprised with their success at this year’s ISPO: with their interactive mirror, which is set to replace fitness trainers in the future, the four founders were able to rise above their contenders in the Elevator Pitch and are now the proud bearers of the title “ISPO BRANDNEW Digital Winner 2017.”
How SOLOS originated sounds like it came right out of a text book from the Technical University of Munich. The four students at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) Vladimir Kondic (electrical engineering), Giorgi Khubua (management and technology), Georgi Anastasov (informatics) and Dimitar Magurev (informatics) met up in October 2016 to participate in the Think.Make.Start program, which is organized by the TUM and UnternehmerTUM. During the program, student teams are expected to come up with a concept, which they then implement and develop into a prototype within a two week time period. Giorgi Khubua related:
“That is where our idea was born. We continued working on it after those two weeks were over, and participated in various exhibitions while also receiving extensive support from UnternehmerTUM.”
That support continues: SOLO was currently taken on as part of TechFounders , the accelerator program from UnternehmerTUM. The level of interest in the product is quite high at the moment, as the founders let us know, with inquiries coming from as far away as South Africa.
SOLOS for more work-out motivation
So, why all the interest? Because SOLOS aims to develop a mirror that not only recognizes and analyzes every movement made by the person working out, but also records the progress made. Giorgi Khubua:
“The digital assistant, or SOLOS, analyzes a user’s progress, gives constant, real-time feedback during the workout, tells the user what was done incorrectly, synchronizes with other devices and is easy to use.”
SOLOS also increases the motivation to work out by implementing gamification elements: users receive bonus points and can compare themselves with friends. As for initial applications, the founders have their sights on fitness studios, health centers and sports centers in general. At these locations, the interactive mirror could also be used to support the work performed by trainers on-site.
It is also planned for private customers to be able to build an interactive mirror into their homes. Market potential, says Vladimir Kondic, is enormous in this area.
Big challenges and a big vision
Despite positive feedback, active support and initial awards, the four founders are also faced with big challenges. One is being able to manage their studies and their startup at the same time. They have been known to work on a bachelor thesis on the side while riding the subway.
Nonetheless, the four have already launched three pilot projects and started taking the first pre-orders in March 2017. To be able to also financially shoulder SOLOS, the four founders are currently looking for investors. Backed by the ISPO BRANDNEW Digital Winner 2017 award and the drive of the founders, things are looking good:
“Our vision is to revolutionize fitness studios as well as how people look in the mirrors there.”