Whoop: Wearables with AI language models will become incredible coaches

Whoop VP Kristen Holmes talks wearables GPT
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The effect of AI natural language models such as GPT-4 on wearables will offer game-changing levels of insights.

That’s the opinion of Kristen Holmes, VP of Performance at Whoop, who spoke to Wareable in an interview.

“I think there's a huge opportunity to build in natural language processing to complement the other AI that we have already running in the background, including machine learning, to be really prescriptive,” she said.

“No question that is where everything is going – and we need to get on board ASAP,” she continued.

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WhoopKristen Holmes, VP of Performance at WhoopKristen Holmes, VP of Performance at Whoop

Holmes believes that generating accurate data and presenting it to users is the “easy” part, but applying that to influencing lifestyle changes, or helping people achieve their goals is much harder. And that's where AI can make a difference:

I think there's a huge opportunity to build in natural language processing to complement the other AI that we have already running

"I think the biggest opportunity for wearables is how they help me achieve what I want to achieve," Holmes continued.

“I think for the most part telling people 'what it is and why it matters' is easy. And if wearables apps aren't doing that, it's kind of pathetic," she said.

“But I think the next piece of the puzzle is how to manage it. And that, to me, is where everyone is frankly missing."

The biggest opportunity for wearables

Kristen Holmes believes that wearables becoming coaches, either lifestyle or performance, is the next big opportunity.

“I think that is the biggest opportunity for wearables: 'how do I actually manage this thing', and 'how is this going to help me achieve what I want to achieve?'”

Wareable has been reporting on wearables for nine years, and the issue of how to make data from wearables truly transformational for people has been a constant. While the amount of data – and accuracy – has been transformed, how to make sense of it hasn't. 

WareableWhoop 4Whoop 4.0

Whoop has been an example of a brilliantly presented wearable ecosystem – and we've written about how we used it to make lifestyle changes. But just take a look at Apple Health for an app that's rich with accurate data, but with zero guidance on how to use it to affect change.

While wearables have come a long way from those early fitness bands like the Nike Fuelband, that key question hasn’t been solved. 

But the ability of an app to take wearable data, and make sense of it by delivering advice in an easy-to-understand and personal way and even illicit a back-and-forth response, could finally be the way this dream is realized.

No question AI is where everything is going – and we need to get on board ASAP

Holmes uses an example of telling your wearable if you would be drinking alcohol that night and it advising you what to eat and drink in advance to minimize the effect on your body. This seems so much more realistic with the addition of a GPT-4 style large language model.

This kind of relationship would truly make your wearable a coach. And Holmes believes that wearables actually have the potential to be far better coaches than humans.

“I was a coach for 17 years. I coached internationally. And I think technology is so well positioned to actually coach way more effectively, that the amount of information I can have about an individual is more than a human would ever be able to synthesize and understand about a human.”

And she believes that wearables still have more to give in terms of positive outcomes for people’s lives:

“I think that wearable technology is so well positioned to really, really help people gain control over the trajectory of their health.”

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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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