On May 21-23, the first international online hackathon event “Sporthack 2020 Latvia”  addressed challenges dedicated to the sports industry, where the Institute of Electronics and Computer Science (EDI) team finished in first place of the category ‘works in progress’ with the project “FitShark”.  This solution offered by the winners aims to improve the quality of training and reduce the risk of injury to those who choose to exercise at home.

The world has experienced a change in habits due to the 2020 pandemic – gyms have become empty, while home training without the supervision of a coach has become commonplace. The idea of ​​the project “FitShark” is based on a smart sports suit, which will help physiotherapists and trainers to closely monitor the accuracy of the execution of clients’ movements and provide personalized recommendations.  It will also allow athletes to reduce the risk of injury during training by improving the efficiency of performance through adaptation of the exercises to the specifications of their own bodies.

FitShark technology is based on a fabric with built-in inertial sensors to capture the movement of body parts in real time, and a mobile app that gives the user instant feedback on the quality of the exercise and posture performed.  Each workout is stored on a single platform so that the wearer or physiotherapist can review progress. This is important both for physical therapy patients undergoing rehabilitation without the direct supervision of a physiotherapist, and for home sports enthusiasts wishing to improve their performance without exposing themselves to the risk of injury.

Within three days, 35 teams from more than 50 countries competed in the hackathon to develop solutions that could help the sports industry and sports enthusiasts themselves to overcome the effects of the COVID-19 crisis. The team of EDI scientists and business developers won a prize of 1,000 EUR in the category “work in progress”, commercializing the research started within the framework of the international scientific project ERA-NET CONVERGENCE. “Hackathon is a great platform to unite the team spirit and understand the needs of potential users. We will continue to work on the improvement of this project, using the support provided by LIAA for the commercialization of technology,” said researcher Ričards Cacurs.

The team of the project “FitShark” consisted of the authors of the idea – researchers Ričards Cacurs and Armands Ancāns, machine learning expert Bruno Opermanis, business and marketing experts Arnis Ermušs and Kristina Oļševska. We are actively involved in the research project SCAPE-IF of the Institute of Electronics and Computer Science, collaborating with high-class physiotherapists to bring the solution to a ready-made product tailored to people’s everyday needs. If you are interested in learning more or getting involved in the project, contact Kristina Oļševska, kristina.olsevska@edi.lv, 26099239!