Students might have the world’s best fitness goals in mind, but plans can go south when confronted by the logistical nightmare that is an overcrowded gym. For many, this inconvenience is a determining factor in deciding whether or not to hop off the couch and work out.
Now, two USC students are launching a new mobile application called GymFlow, which provides users of the Lyon Recreation Center with real-time, up-to-the-minute gym traffic information. In addition, the application uses historical data to predict the future gym traffic and also provides a schedule of classes offered at the Lyon Center.
The free iPhone app has been in the Apple App Store since early January, but the two creators, Jiangyang Zhang, a student in the electrical engineering doctorate program, and Jimmy Liu, a senior majoring in business administration, are officially launching the app at the Lyon Center today.
This app was created for a final project for the students’ class. Zhang and Liu believed in the practicality of the product, since there has not been any app similar to GymFlow on the market before, and thought it would be useful to see how packed the gym is at a specific given time.
Zhang developed the app using Objective-C, the main programming language for the Apple OS X and iOS operating systems. In order to get accurate data, he incorporated an artificial intelligence algorithm to analyze the data obtained from the card swiping system at the Lyon Center, which was made available to Zhang and Liu by the USC Recreational Sport Center and USCard Services. In addition to the base features, Zhang is currently working on social features for the app to help students connect.
Meanwhile, Zhang and Liu have been marketing the app in the Lyon Center with flyers and advocating the app on their main website, social media and through specified outreach: the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity has already been promoting this app to its members.
Justine Gilman, senior director of Recreational Sports, said many students have requested an app similar to this in past years.
“Many students have requested an app similar to GymFlow over the years,” Gilman said. “This is the perfect response to that. This is indeed an innovative, creative and a valuable tool to the USC community.”
Liu said the app will encourage people to come to the Lyon Center and further promote health fitness.
“One of the main reasons people don’t go to the gym is not because they’re lazy,” Liu said. “A lot of people don’t like working out because it’s an intimidating environment when the gym is crowded.”
Some students believe the app will better facilitate the traffic flow at the Lyon Center.
“I actually really like [GymFlow]. I was really surprised [it works well] because it goes off of our swipe card system and they assume everybody is here for an hour, but it’s still pretty accurate,” said Michael Campana, a senior majoring in business administration.
As of noon on Sunday there have been 321 downloads and the user retention rate is much higher than the two creators expected.
“The Lyon Center is sort of our test bucket; eventually we want to launch the app for gyms in the L.A. region,” Zhang said.
Zhang and Liu are working on launching it on the Android market later this semester.