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Les Mills International | Fit Tech promotion
Les Mills International | Fit Tech promotion
Les Mills International | Fit Tech promotion
features

Fit Tech people: Jamie Buck

Co-founder, Active in Time

We created a solution called AiT Voice, which turns digital data into a spoken audio timetable that connects to phone systems

Published in Fit Tech 2023 issue 1

What is Active in Time?
Active in Time (AiT) is a B2B software company offering leisure operators in the UK and Ireland a simple web-based platform to manage their timetables and publish them on their website and other digital platforms.

Tell us about the company’s journey
AiT was founded back in 2012 by me, David Minton from LeisureDB and Dan Morgan, an iPhone developer and keen swimmer.

Dan built a Strava-like iPhone swimming app called ’Splashpath’ and was looking for data on UK swimming pools. At LeisureDB, where I worked at the time with David, we had a database of every public and private swimming pool in the UK, and after some brainstorming the three of us decided we’d set up a new company together.

Dan swims all over London and was fed up trying to interpret the hard-to-read and often out-of-date PDF swimming timetables that were published on many public swimming pool websites, so we built a solution together and offered pools free scheduling software to solve this problem. This had the added benefit of pushing all our clients’ swimming timetables into our own Splashpath app, and Apple then put Splashpath in the Top 10 Health & Fitness Apps, generating us a lot of new users.

In 2013, our startup went from bedroom to boardroom, signing up with Speedo to re-brand Splashpath to become the Speedo Fit app. In our four years working with Speedo, our swimming community of users kept growing and we launched the app internationally in over 100 countries, including a native Chinese language version, which was a challenge for us to manage as a startup! We also developed an Apple Watch companion swim tracking app that our swimmers loved.

After we finished working with Speedo, we needed to do a hard pivot in the business and switched our focus away from our mobile app to our free B2B scheduling software. In 2017 we launched our AiT timetabling solution as a paid-for service and thankfully retained nearly all our clients. Since then, we’ve been growing the business organically and evolving our software by sticking to the simple principle of continuing to make it more and more useful for our clients.

What’s special about AiT?
One of the things that makes our software special is its simplicity. Our clients find our software easy to use and so do their customers. Very little training is needed to help them get up and running. Not all of our public sector clients have extensive web development resources to manage their websites, which is why we also offer them a super simple way to publish timetables onto their website for everything from group exercise to swimming and pool activities,
as well as wider community activity programmes.

Our clients are also loving our recently released 1-click-to-book integration with existing online booking systems, because it can improve their customer online booking journey considerably.

What are the key features?
Our scheduling tool allows our clients to display richer, more
granular information on activities in their centres to their customers than they could with their online booking system alone. Clients can add session descriptions, session categories, instructors, levels, keys and – more recently – booking links onto their timetables. Their customers can filter by all these elements too.

Everything is done in real-time, so when a client makes a change to their timetable in AiT it’s instantly updated on their website timetables, which means customers are always kept up to date with the latest changes in activity programming.

Swimming programming in UK public pools is unique in terms of complexity – in part because the pool timetable often changes completely from term time to the school holidays – and it’s a challenge for leisure operators to display this to customers in a user-friendly way. AiT software solves this problem while allowing customers to view bookable and non-bookable activities within a single view – there’s no more jumping off to different web pages to book or to view holiday timetables.

How do your APIs benefit clients?
APIs allow our clients to take the raw timetable data they input into our system and re-present it directly on their own website in a completely bespoke and integrated design, which fits in with their overall website branding and styling.

Some of our clients take our APIs and put them on digital screens displaying live timetables within their leisure centres and often even create large format, branded printed posters. They can also push our APIs into their own mobile apps.

We created a solution called AiT Voice, which turns this digital data into a spoken audio timetable that connects into a leisure centre’s phone systems. We even have a client working on an Alexa integration to let customers query swimming times by voice in their own homes.

How do health club goers benefit?
Gym goers want and expect up-to-date and accurate information on activities happening in the health club or pool and we facilitate this for our clients. Also, with COVID-19 related restrictions we’ve all become more and more used to booking things online, so our expectation of a quick and seamless booking experience has evolved too. If we can save a minute for every customer’s online activity booking then that has to be a win-win for our clients and for gym goers.

What’s your reach?
We have about 350 clients and from within those organisations, around 1,500 administrators posting timetable information onto our system. This activity drives around 1.5m hits each year on our timetable from consumers using facilities, with a big focus on gyms, group exercise and swimming usage.

What impact has the pandemic had on your business?
We took the tough decision to close our own mobile app during lockdown, but doing this allowed us the flexibility to offer payment holidays to our clients while their leisure centres were closed. We did lose some customers during 2020 but through evolving our software to add the 1-click booking links we’ve been able to recover quickly and attract new customers.

What’s next for AiT?
We’ve grown our business through being agile and responsive to our customers’ needs, so we’re always really keen to get feedback on what we can do better or new feature requests.

Adding support for our Welsh clients to display a Welsh language version of our timetable is next on our development list. Also, we have an open API policy, so if a client is happy to push their AiT timetable data to a third party we’re happy to help make this happen. We’re also always on the lookout for new partners.

Jamie Buck co-founded AiT in 2012

Sign up here to get Fit Tech's weekly ezine and every issue of Fit Tech magazine free on digital.
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We created a solution called AiT Voice, which turns digital data into a spoken audio timetable that connects to phone systems
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The internationally-recognised sporting goods exhibition Sports and Fitness Taiwan (TaiSPO) will return on 22-25 March 2023. The event will be held at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center, Hall 2 (TaiNEX 2) and feature a full range of sporting goods, fitness equipment, sports technology, and workout services for all ages.
In a bid to better connect members to trainers and vice versa, Fitness First UK has integrated Fisikal’s world class personal training functionality into its digital ecosystem.
Our HR, employment law, health & safety, and pay & reward services free employers from ...
Premier Software was founded in 1994 and is a privately-owned UK-based company with Mark Johnson ...
Pyramids Centre enhanced thanks to Technogym, BH Live & Portsmouth City Council
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H Live has grown rapidly since 2010, operating leisure sites, sports and entertainment venues across Dorset, Hampshire and London. Read more
Get Fit Tech
Sign up for the free digital edition of Fit Tech magazine and the free weekly Fit Tech ezine
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features

Fit Tech people: Jamie Buck

Co-founder, Active in Time

We created a solution called AiT Voice, which turns digital data into a spoken audio timetable that connects to phone systems

Published in Fit Tech 2023 issue 1

What is Active in Time?
Active in Time (AiT) is a B2B software company offering leisure operators in the UK and Ireland a simple web-based platform to manage their timetables and publish them on their website and other digital platforms.

Tell us about the company’s journey
AiT was founded back in 2012 by me, David Minton from LeisureDB and Dan Morgan, an iPhone developer and keen swimmer.

Dan built a Strava-like iPhone swimming app called ’Splashpath’ and was looking for data on UK swimming pools. At LeisureDB, where I worked at the time with David, we had a database of every public and private swimming pool in the UK, and after some brainstorming the three of us decided we’d set up a new company together.

Dan swims all over London and was fed up trying to interpret the hard-to-read and often out-of-date PDF swimming timetables that were published on many public swimming pool websites, so we built a solution together and offered pools free scheduling software to solve this problem. This had the added benefit of pushing all our clients’ swimming timetables into our own Splashpath app, and Apple then put Splashpath in the Top 10 Health & Fitness Apps, generating us a lot of new users.

In 2013, our startup went from bedroom to boardroom, signing up with Speedo to re-brand Splashpath to become the Speedo Fit app. In our four years working with Speedo, our swimming community of users kept growing and we launched the app internationally in over 100 countries, including a native Chinese language version, which was a challenge for us to manage as a startup! We also developed an Apple Watch companion swim tracking app that our swimmers loved.

After we finished working with Speedo, we needed to do a hard pivot in the business and switched our focus away from our mobile app to our free B2B scheduling software. In 2017 we launched our AiT timetabling solution as a paid-for service and thankfully retained nearly all our clients. Since then, we’ve been growing the business organically and evolving our software by sticking to the simple principle of continuing to make it more and more useful for our clients.

What’s special about AiT?
One of the things that makes our software special is its simplicity. Our clients find our software easy to use and so do their customers. Very little training is needed to help them get up and running. Not all of our public sector clients have extensive web development resources to manage their websites, which is why we also offer them a super simple way to publish timetables onto their website for everything from group exercise to swimming and pool activities,
as well as wider community activity programmes.

Our clients are also loving our recently released 1-click-to-book integration with existing online booking systems, because it can improve their customer online booking journey considerably.

What are the key features?
Our scheduling tool allows our clients to display richer, more
granular information on activities in their centres to their customers than they could with their online booking system alone. Clients can add session descriptions, session categories, instructors, levels, keys and – more recently – booking links onto their timetables. Their customers can filter by all these elements too.

Everything is done in real-time, so when a client makes a change to their timetable in AiT it’s instantly updated on their website timetables, which means customers are always kept up to date with the latest changes in activity programming.

Swimming programming in UK public pools is unique in terms of complexity – in part because the pool timetable often changes completely from term time to the school holidays – and it’s a challenge for leisure operators to display this to customers in a user-friendly way. AiT software solves this problem while allowing customers to view bookable and non-bookable activities within a single view – there’s no more jumping off to different web pages to book or to view holiday timetables.

How do your APIs benefit clients?
APIs allow our clients to take the raw timetable data they input into our system and re-present it directly on their own website in a completely bespoke and integrated design, which fits in with their overall website branding and styling.

Some of our clients take our APIs and put them on digital screens displaying live timetables within their leisure centres and often even create large format, branded printed posters. They can also push our APIs into their own mobile apps.

We created a solution called AiT Voice, which turns this digital data into a spoken audio timetable that connects into a leisure centre’s phone systems. We even have a client working on an Alexa integration to let customers query swimming times by voice in their own homes.

How do health club goers benefit?
Gym goers want and expect up-to-date and accurate information on activities happening in the health club or pool and we facilitate this for our clients. Also, with COVID-19 related restrictions we’ve all become more and more used to booking things online, so our expectation of a quick and seamless booking experience has evolved too. If we can save a minute for every customer’s online activity booking then that has to be a win-win for our clients and for gym goers.

What’s your reach?
We have about 350 clients and from within those organisations, around 1,500 administrators posting timetable information onto our system. This activity drives around 1.5m hits each year on our timetable from consumers using facilities, with a big focus on gyms, group exercise and swimming usage.

What impact has the pandemic had on your business?
We took the tough decision to close our own mobile app during lockdown, but doing this allowed us the flexibility to offer payment holidays to our clients while their leisure centres were closed. We did lose some customers during 2020 but through evolving our software to add the 1-click booking links we’ve been able to recover quickly and attract new customers.

What’s next for AiT?
We’ve grown our business through being agile and responsive to our customers’ needs, so we’re always really keen to get feedback on what we can do better or new feature requests.

Adding support for our Welsh clients to display a Welsh language version of our timetable is next on our development list. Also, we have an open API policy, so if a client is happy to push their AiT timetable data to a third party we’re happy to help make this happen. We’re also always on the lookout for new partners.

Jamie Buck co-founded AiT in 2012

Sign up here to get Fit Tech's weekly ezine and every issue of Fit Tech magazine free on digital.
Gallery
More features
Editor's letter

Into the fitaverse

Fitness is already among the top three markets in the metaverse, with new technology and partnerships driving real growth and consumer engagement that looks likely to spill over into health clubs, gyms and studios
Fit Tech people

Ali Jawad

Paralympic powerlifter and founder, Accessercise
Users can easily identify which facilities in the UK are accessible to the disabled community
Fit Tech people

Hannes Sjöblad

MD, DSruptive
We want to give our users an implantable tool that allows them to collect their health data at any time and in any setting
Fit Tech people

Jamie Buck

Co-founder, Active in Time
We created a solution called AiT Voice, which turns digital data into a spoken audio timetable that connects to phone systems
Profile

Fahad Alhagbani: reinventing fitness

The team is young and ambitious, and the awareness of technology is very high. We share trends and out-of-the-box ideas almost every day
Opinion

Building on the blockchain

For small sports teams looking to compete with giants, blockchain can be a secret weapon explains Lars Rensing, CEO of Protokol
Innovation

Bold move

Our results showed a greater than 60 per cent reduction in falls for individuals who actively participated in Bold’s programme
App analysis

Check your form

Sency’s motion analysis technology is allowing users to check their technique as they exercise. Co-founder and CEO Gal Rotman explains how
Profile

New reality

Sam Cole, CEO of FitXR, talks to Fit Tech about taking digital workouts to the next level, with an immersive, virtual reality fitness club
Profile

Sohail Rashid

My vision was to create a platform that could improve the sport for lifters at all levels and attract more people, similar to how Strava, Peloton and Zwift have in other sports
Ageing

Reverse Ageing

Many apps help people track their health, but Humanity founders Peter Ward and Michael Geer have put the focus on ageing, to help users to see the direct repercussions of their habits. They talk to Steph Eaves
App analysis

Going hybrid

Workout Anytime created its app in partnership with Virtuagym. Workout Anytime’s Greg Maurer and Virtuagym’s Hugo Braam explain the process behind its creation
Research

Physical activity monitors boost activity levels

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have conducted a meta analysis of all relevant research and found that the body of evidence shows an impact
Editor's letter

Two-way coaching

Content providers have been hugely active in the fit tech market since the start of the pandemic. We expect the industry to move on from delivering these services on a ‘broadcast-only’ basis as two-way coaching becomes the new USP
Fit Tech People

Laurent Petit

Co-founder, Active Giving
The future of sports and fitness are dependent on the climate. Our goal is to positively influence the future of our planet by instilling a global vision of wellbeing and a sense of collective action
Fit Tech People

Adam Zeitsiff

CEO, Intelivideo
We don’t just create the technology and bail – we support our clients’ ongoing hybridisation efforts
Fit Tech People

Anantharaman Pattabiraman

CEO and co-founder, Auro
When you’re undertaking fitness activities, unless you’re on a stationary bike, in most cases it’s not safe or necessary to be tied to a screen, especially a small screen
Fit Tech People

Mike Hansen

Managing partner, Endorphinz
We noticed a big gap in the market – customers needed better insights but also recommendations on what to do, whether that be customer acquisition, content creation, marketing and more
More features