As a driven sports innovator, Carla Scholten gets people moving.

February 18, 2022
February 18, 2022

As a driven sports innovator, Carla Scholten gets people moving.

In 2008 Carla Scholten started Embedded Fitness. At that time Interactive gaming wasn’t mainstream yet. It was back then when Carla was thinking about combining games with sports.

She gets people moving with her passion for sports innovation. As an innovator with a strong entrepreneurial vision, she knows how to inspire people. Always looking for a collaboration and preferably with the younger generation.


Obesity became an increasingly hot topic in the Netherlands. At the same time, the game industry grew immensely. Gaming became more and more popular among young people. It was Carla who came up with the idea of linking a game to cycling training. At that time she was working at the Fontys and that is where her research started with a group of students. It soon became clear that America was at the forefront of developments around gaming in combination with sports. She flew to America for research in high schools and various sports practices. The conclusion quickly emerged that significantly better results were achieved by gaming in combination with sports. She flew back to the Netherlands with various American products as her starting point.

Gradually, more and more people saw the benefit of gaming as a skill. In the past 10, 12 years, the social image of gaming has completely changed. Gaming has become part of our daily lives in various forms. In fact, children nowadays receive education in a playful way through gamification. Over the years, it is Carla Scholten who has come up with countless sports innovations with her farsighted vision.

What gives you the urge to innovate?

Carla: “Developing your own product is an incredibly exciting and fun process. Coming up with your own design and developing customized technology, it’s just your thing. Something to be proud of.

For example, our industrial designers come up with new ideas. But from idea to full-fledged product that takes time. In the process you also run into challenges and sometimes things go wrong. When the final product is ready, it creates an enormous sense of pride and the result sets people in motion.

Company overview & realised products
Embedded Fitness | Smartclip

Embedded Fitness is a company in the field of interactive and serious gaming. For our ‘exergames’ we link the latest technologies to exercise equipment. Because we are active in curative care, preventive care, municipalities, sports, education, and leisure markets, we are at the heart of society. Within these target groups, we focus on exercise, health, gaming, and entertainment. Providing a suitable concept for everyone!

How did our paths cross?

From the start, I worked a lot with students from Fontys Hogescholen, among others. It has led to a lot of research and fun projects. A few years later, the Zilveren Kruis approached me with a challenging project for the Heineken House during the Olympic Games. We then made a skating simulator for them. Building on this, more large projects followed, including a rowing simulator. Ultimately, we started looking at applications and products that are also easier to scale up. From that point on, GBO Innovation makers came into the picture.

SmartClips helps you train reaction, coordination, strength and speed in a challenging and playful way.

Why do you value design?

It may sound crazy, but I attach a little less value to design. Of course, design is a must-have these days. Personally, I value manufacturability over design. At GBO they guide me along the way to make the right choices during the journey through product development. Especially in the field of material: what is possible outdoors, what is not; firmness; what do you choose in relation to the cost price, etc. Our cooperation has led to a long-lasting and successful partnership.