The COVID pandemic has changed every aspect of our daily lives. With tons of restrictions and a new normal, people had to get accustomed to a new “remote-first” lifestyle and look for new ways of doing everyday tasks. This search gave rise to new industries like connected fitness, which provides top-quality in-home workouts.
When the traditional gyms were forced to close, digital workouts spread like wildfire. In 2020, home fitness companies featured a 194% sales growth while gym sales were down by 39%, according to Bloomberg Second Measure.
Under the pandemic restrictions, people trying to keep fit and healthy shifted to virtual fitness platforms and Zoom workouts from brick-and-mortar gyms. Further, the fitness app market is said to reach US$ 15.96 billion in a global market by 2026.
In 2021 when gyms started to re-open, the number of health and fitness app users slightly dropped, according to Statista. However, it’s forecasted that the number of fitness app users will grow and reach 86.3 billion in 2022.
In 2021, the Global Connected Fitness Market was worth $1.1 billion and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.2% by 2026. Following the suite of many business sectors, the fitness industry has also faced massive digital transformation during the pandemic.
2022 may become the year of connected fitness apps. Considering all social and physical distancing, connected fitness apps can offer more than just wearables that track and record routines. They’re already presenting the radical change that could transform the fitness industry.
Top Four Trends to Watch in 2022
With the holiday season approaching and the Omicron variant threatening a migration back to gyms, connected fitness apps will likely continue their growth in 2022. Peloton is still the leader of the connected fitness market, but rising stars like Tonal, Echelon, Ergatta, Liteboxer, and TrueKinetix are ready to take their share of the market. So let’s find out how you can get on top of the fitness market, too.
IoT Integrations for Engaging Experiences
Wearables can easily keep track and analyze every aspect of workouts. Several devices are used even by professional athletes that can control speed, acceleration, distance covered, heart rate, and even fatigue. All these can be streamed to a phone or a tablet and help your coach or AI-powered app make more precise decisions about your fitness.
For example, a bike can be equipped with sensors that collect different types of data – revolutions per minute, resistance, speed, and heart rate. The following data can be displayed on the screen and redistributed to other users who participate in the same live-stream event in a form of a leaderboard to engage users to cycle more actively.
There are tons of fitness apps and smart wearables, but what about connected stadiums or connected gyms? It seems like relatively uncharted territory for businesses. However, IoT and AI can bring next-gen experience to all users.
The Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics was one of the first events where IoT and AI technologies were used to maximize the events for fans. Special software algorithms and VR technologies brought the Olympics closer to fans thanks to real-time streams and immersive experiences.
AI Technologies for Precise Workout Plans
When you're visiting a gym, a trainer assesses your strengths and weaknesses to adjust your workout plan and maximize your results. Thanks to AI and real-time feedback based on users’ movements, connected fitness apps can also access your fitness. These apps analyze your data and generate an ideal workout plan to improve your fitness level.
For instance, Liteboxer offers a connected boxing experience that can adapt to your fitness goals, skill level, and even music taste. LED light pads connected with the Liteboxer mobile app can track your progress and sync with the rhythm of your favorite track. It engages the users and offers a satisfying workout experience.
Virtual and Augmented Reality for a Next-Level Experience
Have you watched Back to the Future III, where Doc tells the men in an 1885 saloon about life in the future and how people run for fun? Well, he’s right. Today, we can say that running and working out can be real fun with VR and AR technologies.
Nowadays, you can combine playing video games with a full-body workout, and many VR technologies can help you get your body moving. For example, the Oculus Quest 2 headset can help you work out with virtual coaches, and the Oculus Move fitness tracking feature built into the Oculus platform can keep track of your moves, heart rates, and burned calories while playing video games.
Gamification can entice users to go in for regular workouts. With the Oculus Quest headset combined with the VR fitness services like Supernatural or FitXR, you can either have VR sessions with trainers or fully immerse yourself in the fictional world.
Unlike VR, AR doesn’t create a completely new virtual environment, but it does allow users to interact with objects that aren’t real. As a result, this technology can stimulate workouts and make training sessions more engaging.
Also, AR technologies can help you better visualize data. For example, when coupled with smart glasses like Solos Smartglasses, users can get all their necessary health stats like heart rate or distance traveled on their glasses’ screen.
You can even include a holographic trainer in your connected fitness app with AR technologies. Now, users don’t have to look for video workouts or read instructions; they just need to launch an app and start a workout with a trainer right at home or in the gym.
The Omnichannel Approach to Meet Diverse Needs
Omnichannel fitness – a blend of in-gym and digital home workouts – can help you reach broader audiences and meet the diverse needs of all fitness levels. This approach is a significant trend in the post-pandemic world.
According to the Les Mills 2021 Global Fitness Report, digital home workouts have become vital additions to clubs’ long-term digital offerings, with 80% of members planning to continue using them post-pandemic. The vast majority of people who exercise opt for a 60:40 split between gym and home workouts. Here, a person’s hunger for the gym doesn’t mean that online classes and app workouts aren’t also feasible.
Related: 9 Fitness App Ideas Booming in 2022
Rising Stars in the Connected Fitness Market
The connected fitness market offers far more than Peloton, Tonal, and Mirror. When considering that Peloton stock is dropping after their controversial cameo in the Sex and the City revival, it may be the ideal time for rising stars to get on the top of the connected fitness market. Let’s take a look at these rising stars.
CLMBR is a connected vertical climbing machine with a large touch display and instructor-led classes. The device can fit any apartment thanks to its design and small footprint.
In addition, there are tons of pre-installed workout plans that can help burn 600+ calories in about 30 minutes. According to CLMBR, this machine can burn more than rowing, running, and cycling.
Also, you can create training plans, keep track of your progress, and get access to streamed classes via the CLMBR mobile app.
CLMBR is a cardio machine for full-body workouts that engage over 86% of the body’s muscles. This vertical climber doesn’t put too much tension on the joints when compared to conventional treadmills. Finally, with 24/7 access to classes, users can work out whenever they want.
Ergatta is a home-based connected rower. The rower presents full-body workouts coupled with a racing game. Ergatta can engage up to 86% of muscle groups and allows for cardio and strength training. Thanks to its ergonomic and “rich” design, the rower can fit any interior. According to its website, the device takes less floor than a small chair in the upright position.
Ergatta takes advantage of gamification, presenting four ways to sweat on the rower. For example, while rowing, you’re actively participating in a game and competing with other people.
Ergatta isn’t just a video instructor telling you how to burn more calories; every ten workouts, the machine recalibrates to adapt to you. As you get better at rowing, the system recalibrates to maximize your results.
Ergatta companion mobile app allows you to track your workouts, training history, and progress on the go. It also allows you to plan and schedule your upcoming workouts in advance.
TrueBike by TrueKinetix is an indoor smart bike that duplicates your pedal forces stroke-for-stroke. In the TrueBike, a flywheel is replaced with a smart robot and strong motor that can fully simulate the right pedal force, calculated for your body weight and length.
TrueBike looks like any other bike, but it runs on advanced algorithms to provide the proper resistance based on 10k+ measurements taken nearly every second, including rider weight, gear selection, pedal position, ride slope, road surface, and even virtual wind. Thanks to this design, TrueBike is capable of mimicking on-road rides.
On its screen, riders can get live feedback on speed, time, distance, elevation power, pedaling efficiency, and cadence. TrueBike comes loaded with workout programs, but you can also build your own or connect to other online programs via the TrueBike mobile app.
When turned off, Forme Life serves as a standing or wall-mounted mirror. This design was chosen because the mirror was designed for people that value elegance and minimalism.
When turned on, Forme Life transforms from decor into a powerful smart fitness studio. The mirror offers a 43-inch 4K UHD display with voice control and a touch screen. Instructors appear in the mirror, guide you through their workouts, and motivate you to exercise harder.
There are various live workouts and pre-loaded classes for all levels and disciplines to choose from, and you’ll never get bored. Further, the Forme Life app can help you stay updated on the latest workouts and track your progress.
Forme Life is powered by machine learning and AI technologies, and the device can fine-tune workouts according to your fitness level. As your fitness improves, Forme Life adjusts its settings automatically to deliver the best results.
Equipped with stereoscopic cameras and human-like vision, the mirror can sense your movements and provide real-time feedback. If you want to have a live workout with a human instructor, Forme Life can also provide you with two-way live interaction like a Zoom or Skype call.
Treadly is a foldable treadmill that lets you jog and walk at home. It can fit any room and interior. When not used, you can easily store it under a bed or couch. This treadmill feels lightweight and can be easily moved from one place to another via its wheels.
Treadly doesn’t go too fast; its speed ranges from 1 to 5 mph. Treadly has different models that come with either a remote control or handrail. The machine can also be turned on and off and adjusted through Treadly’s app.
With Bluetooth, you can connect your wearables for improved control over your workout. Additionally, if you don’t like jogging alone, you can invite your friends or join a live video group. Treadly also plays your favorite audio thanks to a built-in Bluetooth speaker.
Connected fitness seems like the future of the fitness industry, but it cannot completely replace gyms or fitness studios. However, they allow people to keep fit during the current pandemic.
Connected fitness can help you broaden your target users, fulfill their needs, and offer an improved experience while helping people reach their fitness goals. IoT, AI, and VR also allow for a unique app solution and improved home-based fitness experience. Even when gyms are fully open, connected fitness remains.
At Orangesoft, we know how to bridge the gap between fitness hardware and software. Get in touch for a free estimate of your connected fitness project.