Meet your personal robotic fitness trainer, MAGIC

Shefali Saxena Wednesday 15th December 2021 06:58 EST

Varun Bhanot started Magic when he realised he would become overweight in his mid-twenties like many British Asians. His company has just launched an outlet at Selfridges, Oxford Street. 

Speaking to the newsweekly, he said, “I was heading down a path where I knew that I was going to have major health issues later on. There's a history of hereditary health issues in my family.

So I was told I needed to make a big health change soon. Otherwise, later on in life, I was probably going to have some health dangers. So I enrolled in a personal training program in London and lost 25% of my body fat. I had a huge transformation and ended up doing a photoshoot, but I realised there was no tech innovation or tech data orientation around how personal training happens.”

According to Varun, it’s all very old fashioned one-to-one, with a notepad and pen in the gym and dumb iron weights. So he thought of recreating the one-to-one personal training experience but bringing it into the home.

Varun said, “That way, people who are intimidated, will get a safe space to be able to learn and get coached.”

Explaining the concept of his venture, Varun said that Magic essentially uses artificial intelligence (AI) and computer vision technology to replicate the personal training experience by using artificial intelligence, along with connected weights.

“We do that by essentially tracking people's form, giving them live feedback and corrections, counting their reps, and basically creating hyper-personalised programs just to that individual's body. And that ultimately, um, replaces the need to go into a person into a gym and have a personal trainer we launched mid last year,” he added.

“Selfridges has actually found us,” Varun said, and further added, “They saw one of our ads on Instagram and got in touch and the technology and gaming division wanted us to launch and show the world and demo to their customers.”

Customers can go in, they can take a demo, talk to the staff and they can place a pre-order there as well.

“I think the pandemic for Asians, British Asians, um, and, and, and the population as a whole, there's heightened interest into wellness. People are much more concerned with solutions, whether they be digital or non-digital to help them, whether it be their nutrition, their sleep, their diet, and of course their exercise,” Bhanot told the newsweekly. 

Since his venture works via AI and it's essentially a robot personal trainer, Varun said, “Covid rules help a business like ours. But I have to emphasise that we're very much like lots of pandemics startups. This business would have done extremely well before. Covid has just accelerated the awareness for people to, and I said before too, to take up health and fitness solutions on their own terms with hybrid working, people working from home two or three days a week are looking for more flexible solutions that can work on their own terms.

“If it's two degrees outside and it's raining, maybe if there's a solution in the home that works for them like magic, that's great. They want to put their kids to sleep and get a cheeky workout in before they go to bed for half an hour. That option is now there. So I'm not saying people will cancel their gym memberships after Covid and in future, but what it does do is it gives people more options.”

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