System requirements: Google Chrome browser, webcam
Workout equipment included: None
As the latest entry in the somewhat saturated market of futuristic fitness apps, Kemtai is a unique AI-based platform that uses neural network algorithms to monitor your form in real time — with each and every rep.
If that sounds like a commercialized cutscene from Minority Report, you’re not far off. The company’s proprietary AI software tracks 44 different data points on your body during each workout, analyzing your exact movements and providing immediate feedback to keep your form top-of-mind. Kemtai’s technology works similarly to the 3D sensors found in the Tempo Studio, a comprehensive smart gym that comes with a built-in 42-inch HD touchscreen to display both live and recorded workouts. And while the latter device comes at a very premium price, Kemtai is much easier on your wallet in the long (or short) run.
- View your workouts on one of the best monitors of 2021
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- See how Kemtai’s AI tech stacks up to the Tempo Studio
There are plenty of AI-driven fitness apps available for your smartphone these days, but Kemtai is looking to differentiate itself with a fun, informative laptop-based experience that’s ideal for any living room. And since Kemtai requires only a Chrome browser to get started, it’s pretty great for impromptu home gym sessions. In the interest of giving this newfangled software a fair shake, I tried it out for a week to complement my eclectic health hustle. It’s not perfect, but the Kemtai Adaptive Home Exercise Platform has a lot to offer.
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Kemtai pricing and availability
Let’s start with the good news: the cost of entry for Kemtai is totally free. No joke. Just navigate to Kemtai.com and click the “Try Now” button in the upper right-hand corner of the page. This takes you to the main app where you can test drive the Kemtai Now Workout Wizard. It’s a dynamic tool that instantly creates customized sweat sessions based on your athletic skill level, the muscles you want to focus on, and the time you have to spare — in addition to a handful of sample workouts. (More on that below.)
While the aforementioned Tempo Studio smart gym costs $3,200 to $5,000 depending on what equipment package you get — plus $39 per month for their mandatory membership (complete with one-year commitment) — a monthly Kemtai subscription costs only $19, and you can cancel whenever you like.
How does Kemtai work, and who is it for?
Once each workout begins, Kemtai’s software zeros in on 44 individual data points on your body, reflected by a skeleton-like overlay that moves with you onscreen, augmented reality-style; the display is split in half, allowing you to compare your form against the trainer’s. As you complete each exercise, Kemtai automatically scores the form of each rep on a scale of 1 to 100, allowing you to correct your movements in real time as you go. (You can pause the workout at any time, or skip an exercise if you please.)
Unlike the Tempo Studio, which consists of a relatively bulky 72 x 26 x 16-inch tower and multiple pieces of gym gear stored inside, the only equipment you need for Kemtai is a webcam, a Chrome browser, and some space to move about. (Though some exercises do utilize light dumbbells, if you have.) And whereas the Studio tower has a built-in 3D camera to eyeball your form from within the device itself, Kemtai moves the middleman to the cloud, letting your computer — and their AI tech — do all the work. If you spring for the $19 monthly subscription, you get access to Kemtai’s full team of personal trainers (eight and counting), who each have their own style, specialties, and individual Workout Wizards, in addition to recorded workouts. So if you jive with a particular trainer, you can work out with them whenever the mood strikes, and follow along with their content as the platform grows.
Kemtai bills itself as an “adaptive home exercise platform,” but it’s not exactly designed for powerlifters. Rather, most workouts feature low-impact exercises and stretches to help improve overall strength, flexibility, and balance as you go; workouts can range anywhere from five to 50 minutes based on whatever you have time for. It was also created with physical therapy in mind. In a time where treating post-op patients in person isn’t always an option, the company aims to partner with a diverse range of physical therapists — in addition to personal trainers — bringing another layer of self-care right into your living room.
For busy parents and freelancers, Kemtai could be a viable alternative to gym memberships and personal training fees, since it allows you to quickly create workout routines that are centered around your personal goals and lifestyle.
Kemtai setting up
Feeling frisky? Well, go grab some sports shorts and a yoga mat. You can go to Kemtai.com and click the “Try Now” button in the upper right-hand corner to test drive it yourself. This takes you to the cloud-based app, where you’ll find the customizable Kemtai Now workouts, plus a handful of others from their featured trainers; there’s no additional software to install.
Once you’ve selected your workout (via Kemtai Now or the others featured below), you need to position yourself approximately eight feet away from your laptop’s webcam so that Kemtai can scan your entire body.
I used a 14-inch Chromebook for my workouts, placing it on a stool so the webcam was roughly two feet above the ground, tilted at a slightly upward angle. I’m 6-foot-3-inches tall, so I needed to stand about nine feet away from the webcam for it to register my body from head to toe. Then, I used Chromecast to mirror my browser onto my nearby 42-inch smart TV, which gave me a much better view of the trainer’s movements, not to mention my own.
Now, let’s Kemtai!
For professional ADHD-ers like myself, the big draw for this fitness platform is Kemtai Now, which lets you build challenging, customized routines with six different trainers — for free. Once you select a trainer, you’re taken to Kemtai’s Workout Wizard, which lets you decide which muscle groups and athletic abilities you’d like to focus on. Next, you choose how long to make your workout (anywhere from five to 50 minutes); the level of difficulty you’re going for (“couch potato” to “Superman”); and whether or not you’ll be using your own gym gear (such as a yoga mat and light dumbbells).
After your first workout, you’re given the option to sign up for a free Kemtai account, which lets you start tracking performance via My Kemtai. You can complete as many workouts as you like through Kemtai Now, and thanks to their growing library of content, each one will be a little different every time. So if you get bored easily at the gym, this is a great way to instantly gamify your workouts; there’s a counter at the top of the home screen that records how many sessions you’ve completed, in addition to total workout time.
Kemtai design and ease of use
The Kemtai app is intuitively designed and easy to navigate. As you scroll down the home screen, you can click on a featured trainer to see their individual content, or browse the full workout library, sorted by most recent, popular, or calories burned. You can filter this list even more by workout duration, difficulty level, and targeted muscle groups.
Bonus: After each workout, Kemtai auto-generates a GIF of you performing one rep of each exercise, which you can download and share at your leisure. This feature seems a little extraneous at first glance, but it’s a unique way to track your progress if you’re attempting to adjust your form for exercises over a specific length of time.
Kemtai personal training experience
Well, I’m never one to back down from a challenge, so after adjusting my webcam just right, I tried out some sample workouts via Kemtai Now, which felt like a videogame from the get-go. For example, you can adjust the onscreen sliders between 0 and 100 percent to fine-tune your workout. Overall, this felt similar to the Tempo Studio’s setup process, which involved inputting my physical stats and creating a personalized workout plan based on my fitness goals, weight training experience, the equipment I own, and preferred workout days.
It took a few minutes to adjust the webcam angle and distance so that I could see myself on screen from head to toe; the workout won’t start until Kemtai can identify your whole body. Once it begins, you’re given an individual score (from 1 to 100) based on how close your form matches the movements of the trainer. As I tested out Kemtai’s AI software, attempting to achieve the perfect form with each subsequent rep was a genuinely fun/challenging experience — and as a bonus, higher scores added an extra dopamine dump.
Futuristic as it may be, Kemtai’s AI software is constantly being tweaked by their development team, and it isn’t perfect. I often had to reposition my body — and sometimes my laptop screen — mid-workout for my webcam to pick up the proper movements. The software also had some trouble registering my limbs for a variety of floor-based exercises, such as pushups and situps. In the settings, you can allow Kemtai to record your sessions for their development team, which should result in an improved user experience moving forward.
Subscribers also get access to Kemtai Challenges, which are connected to user-based leaderboards, giving you a neat visual of how your form stacks up against other fitness-minded folks. The scores themselves are somewhat arbitrary, since they’re based on Kemtai’s internal algorithms, but the longer you use the app, the more you’ll be able to chart your progress. It’s an interesting way to visualize your progression, and it really does help tweak your form if your symmetry is a little off-kilter.
After experimenting with Kemtai Now and a few other workouts, I tried out the Total Challenge, a two-minute circuit consisting of jumping jacks, standing bicycle crunches, and squats. When I was done, my score was added to the leaderboard, which had 81 participants, and an average score of 51.
As of this writing, there were eight personal trainers and 84 total classes to choose from, but the company plans on partnering with a variety of new trainers and physical therapists soon. In short, it’s a promising platform designed to grow with you and augment your weekly workout routine.
Gamifying your workout is certainly en vogue, but why rage against the machine when you can work with one? Fitness apps are getting smarter, eliminating the need for the in-personal training sessions of yesteryear. Freeletics, for example, is another AI-driven platform accompanied by a whole ecosystem of training equipment, e-books, and tailored meal plans; subscriptions start at $2.69 per week, billed every three months. FitnessAI (starting at $2.21 per week) is another AI-powered training app, as the name implies. Aaptic Coach ($15 per month) is pretty popular, too.
There’s a lot to like about Kemtai’s AI software, and their cloud-based offering has some real potential — not just as a platform for personal trainers, but for physical therapists as well. The Workout Wizard is surprisingly fun to play with, and its ever-increasing library of content makes the $19 monthly subscription palatable. Powerlifters will want to look elsewhere, but if your fitness journey has just begun, or if you’re just looking for some new exercises to escalate your existing hustle, Kemtai adds a futuristic twist that your future-self will thank you for.