As we enter the third month of 2014, the fitness landscape is booming with innovation, from new cloud, performance, and social apps and technology to boutique fitness online group membership platforms.
Inspired to write this post on innovation, by a post on my favorite blog a few weeks ago, A VC written by Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures, where he was talking about innovation in health and fitness, specifically the iWatch and Apple's new IOS8. I wanted to share a quick overview of trends I have noticed and a few cool noteworthy happenings in the fitness world. I have broken them out into four categories: fitness tracking, gym memberships re-envisioned, the social networking of fitness and mobile workouts.
Starting with my inspiration for the post by A VC on IOS8, Fitness and Health Data, and Open Data, here are some of the new and innovative developments in fitness tech:
• iWatch & IOS8
Apple is planning to release a new operating system with health and fitness tracking integration built into the operating system. Apple plans for iOS8 to include an application codenamed "Healthbook." The software will be capable of monitoring and storing fitness statistics such as steps taken, calories burned, and miles walked. The app will also have the ability to manage and track weight loss. The software will be a pre-installed challenger to offerings such as those from Nike and Fitbit.
• Technogym recently announced that some of their treadmills and other exercise products will work with Google Glass. Users can interact with their treadmill and receive info and feedback on their Glass display including workout statistics and exercise moves.
Technogym also announced a wellness tracking cloud-based ecosystem, called My Wellness Cloud that allows users to engage and connect with others on any piece of Technogym equipment, anywhere in the world. My Wellness Cloud also aggregates data from third party devices and apps including, but not limited to Fitbit, MapMyFitness, and RunKeeper.
The features are designed to provide each user with a fully personalized experience for their personal training program, data and favorite entertainment options. UNITY is part of "Wellness on the Go" and is the first and only console in the fitness industry that offers users the ability to communicate with their personal trainer or friends via webcam.
Gym Memberships Re-Envisioned For Boutique Fitness Lovers
More fitness lovers are getting the opportunity to explore new workout classes through online platforms that aggregate and group boutique fitness class into packages, similar to the concept of gym memberships.
They can sign up for their favorite Spin, Yoga, CrossFit, TRX, Barre, Bootcamp, and now Rowing classes, in lieu of their gym membership. Here are a few things you should know:
• FITiST is a members-only, luxury online fitness and wellness platform offering one-stop access to the best of the best boutique studios in New York City and Los Angeles. Members can create their own fitness and wellness plan or select a plan curated by FITiST experts. And, it's not just classes, its personal training, off-site fitness programming with triathlon clubs and more. Of course, I love the Triathlete package- 4 Yoga, 2 Core, 2 coached outdoor runs, 1 Open Water Swim clinic.
• ClassPass f.k.a. Classtivity is an online monthly boutique fitness subscription service that offers significantly discounted prices for classes at boutique studios in NYC. Users can work out at a variety of fitness centers around the city-including Pure Barre, Uplift, Revolve, and more.
Are You Socially Fit? If you are a fitness lover like I am and enjoy connecting with friends over fitness, sharing workouts, or training in groups, here are a few online social platforms you should connect with:
• SweatSync -- Social Network for Fitness aka Facebook For Fitness Lovers
Launched by the Founders of Fitmapped, the GPS for fitness/directory of fitness studios in NYC and LA, SweatSync is an online social network where fitness enthusiasts can share, connect, and coordinate workouts.
• Training Peaks -- Online and mobile fitness tracking, workout planning, and social sharing for endurance athletes. Coaches can log workouts weeks in advance or athletes can individually upload workouts. There are lots of fun statistics, dashboards, and charts.
• Burn This -- BurnThis gives users the ability to connect their boutique fitness classes with their social networks, creating a unique social fitness experience. Users can download the app to discover the best classes in New York and Los Angeles, book on the go, track their booking progress and easily coordinate their workouts with friends.
Mobile Fitness Tracking Apps
• Run Keeper -- is a mobile app that turns a user's phone into a personal trainer for running, walking, or cycling. Users can measure their heart rate with connected devices and get stats on pace, distance, time, and calories. Music plays through the app and the app also offers programs for detailed fitness plans and coaching.
• Strava -- is the running and cycling app that lets users track their runs and rides with GPS, analyze their performance, join challenges and compare with friends. Users can run or ride a segment (specific section of road or trail) and compare their effort against past efforts, as well as other athletes who've run or ridden the same segment. The user can see where he or she ranks and start moving up the leaderboards.