Fitness Technology 2014: The Future is Now
For technology lovers, 2014’s trendsetters look to transcend our expectations with innovation – and then duke it out amidst some seriously staunch competition. I took a look at this year’s technological horizon, and am back to tell you exactly what’s in store.
A major trend at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was the surprising proliferation of wearable health and fitness gadgetry. The takeaway: what started as a niche market by trailblazers such as Nike, Jawbone and Fitbit will soon become crowded with competing smart watches, waistband clamps and pocket gear, made by Fortune 500s and startups alike. Here are the products I thought stood out:
• Fitbit App – This industry founding father now has a free app that takes advantage of the iPhone 5’s tracking software, and monitors user activity levels with no wearable band required. The best part – Fitbit will soon communicate with our Discover products through LFconnect!
• Intel Smart Earbuds – Not only do they track activity level, calories burned and heart rate, but they make musical style and tempo adjustments depending on the progress of your workout.
• Skulpt Aim – Using electrical impendence myography, the Aim measures both body fat and muscle quality with an easy point-and-click button. Very cool.
Many cardio machines will soon become connected fitness hubs, creating personalized workouts, long-term data tracking and countless entertainment options. For instance, the Life Fitness Discover Tablet consoles will offer:
• Outdoor Workout Replication – Thanks to LFconnect and OpenAPI, you can use our outdoor GPS feature to record your favorite outdoor cardio workout onto our machines and repeat it. Altitude changes are addressed through incline and resistance shifts, and you can even compete against your previous performances by using Google Maps!
• LFcodes – As an extension of the LFconnect app, LFcodes are small, scannable QR codes capable of delivering workout information, instructional videos and calorie tracking to the exercise device they’re attached to. In 2014, QR codes will be added to Integrity, Insignia, SYNRGY BlueSky and Hammer Strength Select. This means your workout data can be tracked on even more Life Fitness cardio machines, as well as our new strength equipment.
• Bluetooth Certification – Wireless compatibility for Android is a go, and our Discover Tablet consoles are Bluetooth Certified. This system is also compatible with our outdoor workout replication technology, which means you can transmit the exercise data of your favorite outdoor workout, all while untethered from cables.
Every year, more and more helpful fitness apps hit the market, and 2014 is no different. Over at Life Fitness, LFopen continues to bolster its roster of compatible apps – you can see the growing list here.