MixPose Yoga: From Hackster Winning Project to Building a Startup

MixPose yoga has evolved from a winning Hackster project into a startup. Now available on Google Play, try the daily free yoga classes.

Health and wellness have always been top priorities for us, but with the spread of COVID-19 single-handedly closing down all gyms and yoga studios, many of us have been unable to maintain our fitness lifestyles. We’re here to take back our health — we want to better the experience of livestream fitness and contemporaneously tackle the loneliness of quarantine epidemic.

Simply put, MixPose is a livestream platform for yoga and fitness classes, but what makes us special is that we’ve implemented AI pose-tracking to collect feedback from the users. The information is then sent to our fitness instructors, which creates a much more immersive and interactive experience in virtual yoga and fitness classes.

MixPose was announced as once of the winners for Android Developer Challenge and is officially on Google Play as of June 22nd, 2020. The idea was originally born at a AT&T Hackathon, and we built our first prototype at NVIDIA's AI the Edge Challenge on Hackster.io. You can download MixPose yoga here.

After winning and open sourcing our project — which came in at first place in the Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT) category — we made the bold decision to quit our jobs and continue working on the project right through COVID-19. With the rapid rise of yoga sessions migrating to platforms like Zoom, we knew that we had the opportunity to create a product that people would need and enjoy.

Our goal was simple: create a platform that provides a better user experience than platforms like YouTube Live (which is limited to one-way streaming) and Zoom yoga (which is built for conference calls and not for live classes). We are able to beat that baseline experience and create two unique user experiences on top of that.

Our first unique user experience is AI on the Edge: with training on the server (using the NVIDIA Titan RTX that we won during the contest), and by deploying the Edge, we are able to track and classify 17 different yoga poses at launch (21 in beta). This enhances communication between students and instructors, and also gives us the ability to track users’ progress throughout the class to provide a better estimation on how active users are.

Our second user feature is called Yoga with Friends — it grants users the capacity to create instant groups that are exclusive to their circle of friends, and allows them to take yoga classes together via Agora’s real-time engagement platform. We have built privacy protection for users in a group video environment.

Agora.io helps apps increase user engagement and retention with a developer platform for live, interactive audio, video, and messaging features at a planetary scale. With a dedicated network and device-optimized SDKs, Agora is the only real-time engagement platform designed to cross borders and reach users on low-bandwidth networks and low-powered devices. By using their API, we are able to limit the video feed to teachers and friends on the mobile application, enabling instructors to monitor individual students in the class and giving friends the space to do yoga together.

Users can also stream MixPose over Android TV, allowing for a more immersive and engaging fitness experience.

The experience of turning a Hackster.io project into a full-on startup was both challenging and rewarding. From the fun of building out a prototype and the thrill of winning prizes, our small headways can hopefully lead to something larger.

By creating a company with our friends, receiving honest criticisms from our users about our platform so we can improve upon it, and by providing opportunities to yoga instructors who have been affected by this pandemic gives us much meaning beyond winning. We hope that this project can serve as an inspiration for all the makers out there who are eager to make impact and positive changes.

MixPose yoga on Android offers a seven-day free trial as well as free weekly classes. We invite you to check out our yoga classes and be one of the first to experience this innovative platform. Namaste!

Note: You can download the MixPose on Google Play or use our web app located at https://mixpose.com/login. Our iOS is currently in alpha testing.

Peter Ma
Prototype Hacker, Hackathon Goer, World Traveler, Ecological balancer, integrationist, technologist, futurist.
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