HSBC has begun trialling a new app that acts like a financial "personal trainer" in order to help users save money and be more aware of their spending habits. The app, called Nudge, applies a theory of the same name developed by the London School of Economics (LSE) and "nudges" customers about their spending, providing encouraging notifications designed to improve willpower and help achieve long-term financial goals. There are 38 different types of nudges in the app, including notifications on how much money a customer spent on groceries the previous week, and updates on how much they are spending and saving compared to others in the same income bracket. According to a YouGov survey commissioned by HSBC, more than half (54%) of 2015 New Year resolutions failed by the end of January, with nearly seven in 10 saying receiving encouragement would have helped them be more resolute. HSBC UK's head of digital Raman Bhatia said: "We know that many of our customers have good intentions for their financial futures, but that willpower alone is not always enough to drive a long-term change in behaviour. The new app will be trialled by 500 HSBC customers over a three-month period, with different styles of nudges used to see which receives the best response. Professor Paul Dolan, from LSE, said: "Just as personal trainers can be effective in helping individuals stick to their exercise goals, financial institutions can play an important role in helping their customers follow through with their good financial intentions. In the current version of the Fitnet App, the camera of an exerciser's smartphone captures data from him (upper left), while a prerecorded trainer guides him through a workout.
Originally published on June 23, 2015 7:31 am It would be easier to exercise, I've told myself, if I had a personal trainer. Men’s Health today announced the arrival of Men’s Health Personal Trainer, a sophisticated fitness app representing a new standard in mobile, interactive training. Developed by international partner Rodale-Motor-Presse, the Men’s Health Personal Trainer app features an unprecedented number of exercise videos, targeted workouts and fitness tips for every level, all conveniently contained within your mobile device.

Karen Deveson, Publisher, Homes and Health, Pacific Magazines, says the launch of the interactive app offers readers a personalised and valuable resource, ensuring content from the pages of Men’s Health can go wherever the user goes. The Men’s Health Personal Trainer app boasts more than 1,000 exercises and 600 workouts, all of which can be tailored to meet individual goals. The launch of the Men’s Health Personal Trainer app is available on both iPad and iPhone and is available for download from the App Store here.
HSBC previously introduced a text message system that warns customers when they are reaching their overdraft limit.
The orange dots (upper left) indicate he's following her routine well, as judged by the camera and phone's app. My dream of a live trainer who won't judge my outfit and is available at my beck and call — like a Jillian Michaels who knows my name — is being developed as an app called Fitnet.
It falls within a family of apps that deliver prerecorded videos from personal trainers to your palm, like Nike+ Training Club or FitOrbit.
But, unlike the others, Fitnet is trying to deliver that trainer in real time — coaching you, via smartphone or tablet, while you exercise.
I placed the phone angled toward me on the floor while a video of an appropriately enthusiastic woman coached me, like any other exercise video would do.
As I lifted and hopped through the six-minute "Fire & Ice Workout," my phone's camera was watching. The next phase of the app will drop the camera analytics, and instead will use wearables like a Fitbit or Jawbone to send data in real time to a personal trainer, according to Bob Summers, CEO of Fitnet.

There would be an actual person watching me (and likely hundreds of others), advising each of us how to get the best stretch. Fitnet's algorithm is intended to help personal trainers determine who needs help at that moment by processing participants' exercise data simultaneously. The real-time feedback to exercisers will give someone using the app an experience that feels more like an in-person session with a coach, says Joe Barnhart, a master trainer with the National Association for Fitness Certification.
For the low price of "free," Fitnet will certainly beat the average hourly rate trainers charge, which can range from $45 to $200 per hour, according to Barnhart. GENI is a nationwide gigabit network hosted by computer researchers — essentially a giant cloud computing network, kind of like Amazon or Google, which researchers can use to develop applications that need superfast Internet speeds.
Fitnet is being used to test whether real-time interaction is possible on a faster, next-generation Internet. It's a lot more complicated than a group video chat, explains Summers, and it requires an infrastructure like GENI's to test. But there are pockets of the country with superfast Internet — like Kansas City, Missouri, which was involved in the rollout of Google Fiber — that give broadband enthusiasts hope.
Summers is optimistic that a real-time streaming trainer — with all of the buff, but none of the buffering — will be available in three to five years.

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