An Internet-enabled gym
One of our largest projects was to build the entire server
side of a complete exercise automation system for a client
named "eXernet". Together with
exercise equipment designers, we created a fully automated,
Internet-enabled "gym" containing treadmills, bikes, ellipticals
and other equipment having affixed touch-screens and
An exerciser would log on to a piece of equipment, which
would then contact our web server, which would download a custom
exercise "prescription" for that exerciser on that
The equipment would then operate according to
that prescription and finally upload the exerciser's performance
summary for that exercise session.
During the session the exerciser could watch TV, browse the
Internet, or observe current exercise progress in
graphical form. Exercisers, trainers, doctors, or other
authorized users could log in to the
eXernet web site, design "prescriptions" and view reports of
the exerciser's history.
Ahead of its time
Exernet was fully operational in 2001.
It was one of the earliest sites to deliver primarily user-supplied
and it was a precursor to today's social networking sites.
Unfortunately the principals in the fitness, medical, and insurance fields
could not see the value of it at the time.
Interestingly today insurance companies are increasingly encouraging fitness
among their clients in an effort to
increase profits by reducing claims. Perhaps eXernet's day
will come yet.