5 super-cool technologies that will ‘disrupt’ the way we exercise today
The first wave of technology that had ‘disrupted’ the way we exercise came with the heart-rate monitors and wearable activity trackers.
While it’s great that we can track our heart rate and the number of calories burned each session (especially since we will want to do better every time), that was just the beginning of the disruption. Now, alongside our trusty heart-rate monitors, we also use a whole range of apps and devices to keep track of our exercise and health regime.
This is why big corporations are jumping on the fitness tech bandwagon to keep ahead of the game. For instance, an American sports and footwear company spent US$475 million in 2015 to acquire a mobile application that helps users keep track of their daily calorie intake and macro counts.
But the disruption that is happening in the fitness tech space is more exciting than you think. Here are 5 super cool technologies in the market that will surely level up your workout experience:
1. Shoes that track your steps, speed and more
Shoes with connectivity are nothing new. The first pairs of running shoes that offered connectivity with portable music players appeared as early as 2006. That’s more than 10 years ago! That was followed by the development of apps that allowed runners to track their stats – a useful feature for marathon runners.
In May this year, a French-founded footwear company announced that it would have the capabilities to build fully-customised running shoes for the general public, leveraging robotics technology. Late last year, a German sportswear company managed to manufacture a shoe almost entirely with robots. This could mean that there will be cheaper shoes made within a shorter time in time to come.
2. Virtual reality in gyms
Virtual Reality (VR) is still in its infancy, with VR labs currently set up only for entertainment purposes. But there is so much more potential for VR to disrupt many industries, including the fitness industry. For instance, a Munich-based startup has successfully incorporated virtual reality into its members’ workouts, developing VR exercise machines that engage its users in a core workout that simulates flying or deep-ocean diving.
Over 200 gyms from London to Tokyo have invested in the machine to date to help fitness enthusiasts break away from their boring exercise routines. We can’t wait for one to hit Singapore!
3. Augmented climbing walls
If you are a rock-climbing enthusiast, then this technology is set to take your next climb to greater heights. A Finnish startup has paired interactive graphics and games seamlessly with any rock climbing wall to maximise its potential.
Say goodbye to having to route your own path up the tiny rocks or to set up your own obstacles. The interactive feature will keep your mind and body active throughout the whole workout. At the end of the climb, the augmented climbing wall feature is also able to track your body movements and help you become a better climber.
4. Virtual reality in general, really
Yes, we have already mentioned virtual reality in gyms in which a special machine is installed for users to try out the virtual reality experience. But we just can’t get enough of virtual reality. And not all virtual reality requires you to buy an expensive machine. There are technologies built into familiar equipment already that can incorporate the use of virtual reality.
A Massachusetts-based VR company has turned gym bike into VR controllers that you use to fly military-grade choppers, ride on a horse like a cowboy and race F1 cars. Think of it like Spinning, except that you’re transported into a virtual world where you get to control your role. It’s the perfect marriage of gaming and fitness. Now who says gamers just sit on their butts all day?
5. Gamification of the fitness industry through apps
If you are the type of person who finds running a little too mundane as an everyday exercise, you might need a motivation of apocalyptic proportions to get you off your feet and running.
Imagine yourself in the middle of a zombie apocalypse or faced with a killer tidal wave and get your survival mode on as you run for your life in-game and in real life! One such VR game became the highest grossing fitness app on the App Store within two weeks of its release, which is a testament to how much the fitness industry needs disrupting!
Disruption is truly changing the fitness industry, and it’s a great time to be a part of the scene. If you would put your money on disruptive innovations like these, here is one way to run with it.