EnvisionBody founder Salina Ray shares the remarkable journey of the development of the company
The Big Idea
The compelling idea hit me as I stepped onto a treadmill several years ago. I was visiting the Miami area and staying at a high-rise condo building. I decided to get up early one morning and use the condo gym to get in a quick workout. As I walked into the gym I noticed that it was completely empty and quiet.
When I stepped onto the treadmill, before I turned the dashboard on, I could see my reflection on the black screen but distorted. And just at that moment, it hit me! My mind started raising with ideas. I thought of how powerful it would be if you could allow a user to see themselves with their diet and fitness goals already achieved, while exercising or not. What if you could give someone their After image instantly? That is extraordinarily powerful.
Visuals are so moving and thought provoking. I had actually started a sketch book years prior to this day of a hardware mirror that showed a user their image with more/less weight and muscle mass. But the moment I stepped on the treadmill that day, I realized that although the technology did not completely exist at the time, I was confident it would be possible with advancing innovation such as artificial intelligence and machine learning.
I thought of the fact that before and after still images have been used for years to sell products or services because that is what motivates people to take action. However, companies typically use someone else's before and after image such as a celebrity's image to display an example of their product or service. This is far less powerful than someone being able to see their own image. I also thought of the old use of photographs that people put onto their refrigerator of themselves in a bikini when they were in better shape to remind them of their fitness/health goals. I believe there is a reason that we have a 500 billion dollar beauty industry. People want to see themselves look their best.
So, I quickly went to work; writing down an outline of how to form the company and a list of things to do. Number one on the list was to start filing patents. I am pleased that we have achieved three granted software patents and two that are currently pending. I say we because without the help of my patent attorneys and technical guidance from software engineers, I could not have achieved them.
Get the Word Out
Once I had the patents in place I wanted to introduce EnvisionBody to the world. The Consumer Electronics Show is held every year in Las Vegas, NV. I was accepted to exhibit there in January of 2020. It was my coming out moment to put my idea on the world stage. I was overwhelmed by the response from the attendees and the press. I met people from all over the world that saw my advertisement and sot out my booth. Some people brought translators to talk to me. It was fascinating! I knew after the CES show that I was really onto something big.
We were ranked by USA Today as one of Best in Show alongside Lenovo, Quibi, and Hyundai. The Financial Times rated us one of The Most Thought-Provoking Devices at CES. As well as mentions in BBC, GeekWire, and PC Magazine.
The Washington Post
I received a call from The Washington Post earlier this year asking for an interview. As a startup, it was a total game-changer. It is such an honor to receive that kind of recognition from a highly respected publication with 69 Pulitzer Prizes. Along with the US, we were printed in several different countries and languages including Spain, France, Ukraine, Russia, and the UK.
What is more validating and gratifying though, and the entire reason we built the company, is the narrative in the constant messages that we receive through our website of people asking where they can go to download the application. The stories that I read are so heartwarming from people that are on a diet, weight loss, and fitness path. I find that in each of the stories, it is a very emotional and personal endeavor, and I am tremendously honored that people are reaching out to EnvisionBody to help and be part of their journey.
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