Improving one’s well-being sounds like a pretty straightforward thing to do — after all, there are literally thousands of online videos highlighting exercise routines, rehabilitation therapies, ways to improve body posture, and stretching for a more flexible figure. They’re all there, on the screen — but searching for them could take hours.
Then there are the fitness apps. The doctor’s office. The advice from personal trainers. And then there’s the app that highlights all of the above plus more in one place. That’s Sency.
Sency is an Israeli startup that leverages AI, computer vision, and mobile technologies to target ways to “improve human body conditions,” says the company’s CEO and co-founder Gal Rotman. The Tel Aviv-based firm provides ways to better the user’s activity levels, physical well-being, health, and balance, after Sency’s tech gets to know the person by tracking and charting his or her movements in real-time. The tracking is done via the use of a smartphone camera.
“Imagine the world today where people want to improve their physical condition. And again, fitness is one use case but for someone that just broke his leg and now needs to recover, he also needs to improve his physical condition,” says Rotman, before highlighting the “expensive” doctor or personal trainer fitness solution or the “content-driven” online video solution as the two main solutions currently out there right now. “What we want to do is actually combine these two solutions and bring people personal care no matter where they stay. And thanks to our technology we can actually interact with people in real-time and help them improve themselves by providing feedback about what they did. And this makes all personal treatment much more interactive and engaging even though you’re doing it by yourself at home or in the office.”
According to Rotman, Sency uses real-time motion analysis technology to provide what he calls the “See, Know, Guide” (SKG) approach. Using Sency begins with an assessment of the ability to move following a series of instructions — “to raise your hands, bend your knees, touch your toes, and so on” — as the mobile phone app performs an analysis of the user.
All processing of this information is done via smartphone without uploading it to the cloud, so the result is fast, immediate, and with no worry of invasion of privacy.
“Through our technology, we convert the 2D image of the mobile phone to 3D,” Rotman adds. “We make a full body assessment for the user and provide him with a general score” which is compared to a database of thousands of hours of data and demonstrations by athletes and professional coaches, which make up the ideal activity model, or what Sency calls the “golden sample.”
The company currently has half a million customers in 188 countries, Rotman tells NoCamels. Sency also closed a $6.5 million seed round in March, which gives them a current total of $7 million.
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Whether the user is a sports-addicted athlete or a couch potato that needs to get up and moving, Rotman says, Sency’s app can track the person’s movements and – leveraging its own AI system – compare the data against a constantly improving model of recommended numbers to provide real-time insights and guidance. The model is based on a “gold standard” developed by the company through partnerships with medical experts, athletes, and groups, as well as “hundreds of thousands of unique data that we build in our own data set,” he adds. Athletes that the “gold standard” include CrossFit champs Danielle Brandon and Noah Ohlsen.
“We train our algorithm in our system and build the strongest AI machine that recognizes movement. We combine these two sources to create a golden standard. And then we compare what the user did to this golden standard. That goes to the guide section where we can interact with the user based on the differences,” Rotman explains, “Maybe the most important part is that we save the user’s data, calculate it again the golden standard, and then come back to the user with a personal plan. The personal plan gets updated with each and every session. We want to continuously optimize it to make the most personalized plan for the user.”
The team behind the tech
Sency was founded in March 2019 by Gal Rotman, Neta Osman, and Ofer Goldstein a year before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, under the name fitV.
“We know that the timing of the company was very special because of everything that happened with COVID,” Rotman says, “People actually wanted to make a change in their mindset about how important it is to maintain and take care of the body. And they want to do it anytime, anywhere. And we actually help them, thanks to our technology, to make it happen.”
Today, fitV is the name of one of Sency’s apps that analyzes movements and provides insights. The company’s second app, WODProof, which caters to professional athletes, particularly in the CrossFit space, was developed by Adam Grinker. Sency acquired WODProof in March 2021 and Grinker moved to Sency as co-founder and Chief Business Officer.
“We are getting very excited because we understand that the power of technology is in so many fields. We see it ourselves as the intelligence of the human body. Sency can help you understand what to do with your body and movement and provide you feedback about that. For us, fitness was like the first mark in the journey. It gave us confidence about the technology,” Rotman says, “I feel like the opportunity and we are very excited about a space where we actually help people with their physical condition and do good for the world.”