​Performance Lab wants to be your personal trainer

Intel backed system turns data into training plans in real time
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Distance, speed, pace, steps: our smartwatches, fitness trackers and running watches track a wealth of information about us, but simply having the data isn't enough to turn you into the next Michael Johnson. However, one New Zealand-based startup claims it can turn that data into minutes off your PB.

Essential reading: Can wearable tech replace the personal trainer?

Performance Lab has unveiled its new platform called ARDA that’s designed to take the data from our workouts and turn them into actionable insights. It’s a step towards turning wearables into personal trainers, able to make smart decisions about your training.

The New Zealand based company received funding from Intel back in June, which suggests that the silicon behemoth believes they might be onto something. The company is now partnering with sports wearable makers to turn your personal tracker into a personal trainer.

ARDA works by taking data from your wearables and turning it into live feedback on your running or cycling, which is played back through headphones. It’s more than just a dissection of your pace and effort; ARDA will take into account the terrain of your run, working in interval sessions and hill climbs to give your training a new edge.

“The ARDA Coaching Engine will help our partners bring to market a new generation of wearable fitness devices that will function as a virtual coach,” CEO Waynne Dartnall told VentureBeat.

“We expect a personal trainer who we trust to assess what we are doing, how we are doing, and in what context we are doing it to provide the best advice as to what we should do next.”


While the specifics are thin on the ground, we imagine that means taking your phone out on a run with you, as well as your running watch, as crunching all that data is going to be fairly intensive.

We also checked out the demo video – which we can’t share unfortunately but is available at the company’s website on request – which showed how the insights would work. However, while the information looks brilliant and certainly a cut above anything we’ve previously seen in wearable data analytics, we couldn’t run with that much data constantly being streamed our ears.

While the likes of Polar and Garmin offer very little in way of analytics from the huge amount of data from their watches, there are some wearables already trying to do more than just track your stats.

One of the most impressive efforts is Moov, the sports wearable tracker made for running. We’re testing Moov at the moment - it also provides live feedback on your cadence and pace, for example, attempting to help you to become a better runner.

How we test

James Stables


James is the co-founder of Wareable, and he has been a technology journalist for 15 years.

He started his career at Future Publishing, James became the features editor of T3 Magazine and T3.com and was a regular contributor to TechRadar – before leaving Future Publishing to found Wareable in 2014.

James has been at the helm of Wareable since 2014 and has become one of the leading experts in wearable technologies globally. He has reviewed, tested, and covered pretty much every wearable on the market, and is passionate about the evolving industry, and wearables helping people achieve healthier and happier lives.

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