There is mainstream awareness about the benefits of being physically fit and many people make it a point to exercise on a regular basis. Compared with physical fitness, there is less awareness about the need for maintaining mental agility and flexibility. ‘Neuron gym’ is a mobile app that helps people train and further enhance their cognitive abilities.
What is it?
Developed by EdlogIQ, Neuron Gym is a brain training app that provides users with 20 games, which they claim help users improve a specific dimension of their mental abilities. Anish Kumar, the Co-Founder of the startup explains, “Just like how one goes to the gym to exercise their biceps, triceps, abs, etc., Neuron Gym has been developed to exercise primary cognitive functions, that is, attention, memory, visual perception, problem solving, mental flexibility, and processing speed.”
Along with ‘fun brain games,’ the app is also embedded with an analytical tool titled ‘Brain Profile’ which tracks users’ performance over time, through simple graphs. The startup teamed up with neuroscientists to come up with optimal algorithms to exercise the brain. They claim that the app is a scientifically developed tool designed to rewire neurons in order to increase productivity, creativity, concentration, and decision-making skills of individuals
Story so far
EdlogIQ is a Noida-based early-stage startup focussed on the ‘brain fitness sector’ developing products for enhancing human brain health. The startup was founded by Raghu Raaj Shekhar, Abhishek Krishna, and Anish Kumar in 2012. Raghu and Abhishek are IIT Roorkee alumni while Anish studied at BIT Mesra. The initial operations of the startup began from IIT Roorkee hostel rooms.
EdlogIQ received a seed funding round in 2013. They worked with their Chief Scientific Advisor, R.K. Rai, a leading speaker and researcher in Neuro-Management. Rai is committed to the cause of applying neuroscientific findings on the business landscape and existing socio-economic scenarios.
With his help, they launched the beta version of Neuron Gym on the Google Play store in July 2014. Over the course of many months, they claim to have reached about 330,000+ users, with downloads across 210+ countries. Their top five markets were USA, Brazil, UK, India, Mexico, and Canada, respectively. While users appreciated the games in the app, many requested for multilingual support and better design and user interface.
Taking all the feedback into consideration, EdlogIQ re-launched their app on the Google Play store in September 2015 and claim to be the first brain training app from India. The current app includes multilingual support, with support for 13 languages. Some of these languages include Hindi, Chinese, Spanish, French, Japanese, etc.
Neuron Gym follows the ‘freemium model’ and monetises through in-app ads and paid downloads. The app is currently available only on Android and the team is working on an iOS version. The next update of the app will include additional features such as comparison with fellow users on the basis of age, gender, and location. For their long term goal, Neuron Gym aims to gather cognitive data from their users’ usage patterns and develop tools to assist patients of dyslexia, Alzheimer’s, and venture into other use cases.
Research done over the last 20 years in the field of neuroscience has created opportunities in digital brain fitness segment. Though the digital brain fitness market is still in its infancy it is witnessing an exponential growth globally. In 2007 the brain fitness market worth was estimated to be $210 million which grew to $3 billion in 2013 and is expected to grow to $6 billion till 2018.
Most of the cognitive skill developing solutions in India are mainly targeted at young children in the form of physical ‘real world’ toys and games and there aren’t many players in the online space. At a global level, Lumosity is among the oldest players in this space and had raised $70 million in total funding till 2012. Most recently in 2015, Peak had raised a $7 million Series A round. Other players in this space include Memorado and Elevate.
What we liked
With elegant use of colours and themes, the app is well designed and provides a great user experience. The signup process was fairly simple and users have the option of directly signing in using any of their already existing social media handles.
All the 20 games are accompanied with a quick tutorial section to help the user understand on the fly, without having to read up about the challenge. The ‘brain profile’ section which helps the user visualise their overall progress with details about their strength and weaknesses across different categories is an interesting feature. Measured in terms of Average Neuron Index (ANI), this section also allows users to view their progress over different time periods such as 24 hours, seven days and up to 30 days.
What could be improved?
While the overall app has a great design, the landing page with the logo could be further tweaked to give users a better first impression. Including more sound tracks into the app could help increase appeal. The only ‘bug’ I noticed in the app was that tapping on ‘Compare,’ the feature that is not yet live, caused the app to become unresponsive and I needed to restart the app get it running again.
Neuron Gym is a well thought out app both in terms of design and game content. Their upcoming update which includes more social features, will add to the ‘stickiness’ and retention of the app. It will be interesting to see how the team of techies backed by neuroscientists, go about marketing their app and gaining traction among consumers.
Website: Neuron Gym
What do you think about this app, do let us know in the comments below. Also do check out other apps under our App Fridays series.