Nadim Rifai, a Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) graduate, has developed FitTastic, a unique device that innovatively blends technology, gaming, and health to encourage people to become more active and fit.
In an attempt to address obesity in the Arab world and improve public health across the region, Rifai intends to continue developing FitTastic, which, he says has the potential to revolutionise the fitness culture in the Arab world.
His invention secured him a spot as one of the 12 final contestants on the Middle East’s leading scientific reality TV show, Stars of Science. The show, sponsored by Qatar Foundation for Education Science and Community Development, provides valuable support and mentorship to participants through a network of experienced engineers, designers and business leaders.
Comprised of a portable motion tracking sensor and an interactive smartphone application, FitTastic allows users to go beyond simply recording their workout progress with features such as live games, challenges, rewards, and real-time online multiplayer competitions.
“People like to be challenged. This is why we enjoy games, we want to compete with ourselves and others and be our best at something. FitTastic merges this concept with fitness to get people off the couch and become more active,” explained Rifai.
He began his career in Qatar working at a local cafe striving to support his bid to enrol at one of Qatar’s various world-class universities. In 2008, GU-Q recognised his potential and offered him a scholarship to begin his academic career majoring in International Politics.
Rifai said:” Georgetown offers much more than a high calibre academic programme. In addition to learning about global issues and world affairs, it instils within you the desire to be a productive member of your community and to contribute to the development of society. In the spirit of the GU ethos of ‘men and women for others’, I found a way to utilise my passion for fitness, health, and technology to make a meaningful impact to an important regional issue.”
Currently, Rifai works at Doha-based Silatech, a social initiative dedicated to addressing the massive youth unemployment challenge in the region.
Rifai: helping stay fit