As the Co-Founder & CTO of Zen (PostureHealth Inc.), Ion-Alexandru Secara spearheads the development of groundbreaking posture correction software, redefining how people monitor and enhance their well-being while working in front of computers. His passion for addressing the personal problem of bad posture led to the creation of Zen, a revolutionary app that uses artificial intelligence to gently alert users when they slouch and remind them to take breaks for stretching and standing.
Ion-Alexandru's journey as an entrepreneur is rooted in a deep commitment to improving the lives of individuals through innovative technology. With Zen's posture correction software impacting both enterprises and individual consumers, Ion-Alexandru's visionary leadership is propelling the company forward in the wellness and technology landscape.
What initially attracted you to computer science?
What initially attracted me to computer science was the boundless potential for creativity and problem-solving that it offered. From a young age, I was drawn to technology and the idea of using it to build innovative solutions. Computer science provided the perfect platform to turn ideas into reality, and I was captivated by the endless possibilities it offered. The ability to create software and applications that could make a positive impact on people's lives was incredibly exciting to me. As I delved deeper into the field, I realized that computer science also provided a dynamic and ever-evolving environment, where I could continuously learn and challenge myself. The combination of creativity, problem-solving, and continuous growth is what sparked my passion for computer science and has driven me throughout my journey as an entrepreneur and CTO at Zen (PostureHealth Inc.).
You’re currently the Co-Founder & CTO at Zen, what are some of your responsibilities and what does your average day look like?
As the Co-Founder & CTO at Zen, my responsibilities are multifaceted and revolve around leading the technical aspects of the company. One of my main roles is to drive the development and innovation of Zen's posture correction software. On top of the technological development, I also lead the growth team at Zen, which combines the efforts of our marketing, product and tech teams to develop experiment ideas that can be implemented in our business.
As a Co-Founder, I'm also involved in strategic decision-making, working closely with my co-founder, Daniel James, to set goals and define the company's vision. Collaborating with the marketing and business development teams, we aim to expand our customer base and explore new opportunities for growth.
As for my average day, I usually begin by reviewing progress updates from our development team and then spend the rest of the day peer-programming all together. On Thursdays, I spent most of the day collecting user analytics and compiling it into a report that the team at Zen can access and on Friday, I lead the growth meeting where we analyze experiment ideas that we can implement and plan our next week. Several times a week, I’ll also be jumping on calls with customers to hear about their experience with Zen and see how we can provide them with more value.
Can you discuss how the computer app uses AI to assess users posture using the webcam?
The computer app we've developed at Zen utilizes AI algorithms, mainly computer vision and complex mathematical models, to assess users' posture in real-time through their computer's webcam.
When a user sits in front of their computer, the computer app analyzes the video stream from the webcam in order to identify key points and markers on the user's body, such as the position of the head, shoulders, spine, and hips. The computer app identifies a total of 18 points on the users’ body. Those points are then analyzed against the users’s base healthy posture. The app then gently alerts the user whenever they exhibit poor posture, reminding them to correct their posture to avoid unnecessary strain on their body.
What were the reasons behind developing a mobile app, since Zen already had a computer app?
Developing a mobile app was a natural progression for Zen because we wanted to extend the benefits of posture correction beyond the confines of the computer setup. While our computer app provided significant value for users during their work hours, we recognized that maintaining good posture is essential even when individuals are not in front of their computers. By expanding our platform to include a mobile app, we are offering users greater flexibility and accessibility. They can now seamlessly use Zen on any platform, whether it's their computer or mobile device, without compromising on the quality and effectiveness of the posture correction experience.
In particular, one exciting feature of the mobile app is its integration with AirPods. Using the AirPods' spatial audio sensors, Zen's mobile app can accurately assess posture for users when they’re using their AirPods. Our users can now receive the same benefits from the computer app, wherever they are.
How do you think generative AI will impact a business such as Zen?
Generative AI holds immense potential to revolutionize a business like Zen, especially in the realm of posture correction and wellness. As an entrepreneur and technologist, I am incredibly excited about the possibilities that generative AI brings to our app and its impact on our users' well-being.
Since we are a technology company, I can say that our engineering team already uses GitHub Copilot to make product development faster. I’ve also started using LLM algorithms to analyze vasts amount of data so I can identify trends and patterns quicker, without having to spend hours on repetitive data analysis tasks.
Moreover, generative AI can contribute to expanding our database of postural data. By generating realistic simulated postures, we can augment the training data available for our AI algorithms, leading to even more accurate posture assessment and correction recommendations. This continuous improvement in data quality will bolster Zen's capabilities in providing real-time feedback to users, regardless of their location or device.
Embracing generative AI aligns with our commitment to staying at the forefront of technology and delivering the best possible solutions for our users' well-being and health.
Thank you for the great responses, readers who wish to learn more should visit Zen.
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