Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Sorry, I Need to Reboot the Treadmill...

Following on the heels of the Nike + Apple announcement yesterday, Samsung and Adidas have teamed up to announce a competitor, the miCoach system.

Nike and Apple originally announced their partnership to create the Nike+ technology more than a year ago -- it's a wireless system that allows some Nike shoes embedded with a sensor to communicate with an Apple iPod Nano.
Nike Plus screenshot
Now Nike and Apple are making the iPod compatible with gym equipment.

The companies announced Tuesday that they are working with major gym equipment manufacturers, such as Life Fitness and Technogym, to allow users to plug their iPod Nano into cardio equipment to track workouts, set goals and upload the information to the Nike website. The new technology is expected to hit gyms this summer.

Adidas Enters the Race
In the Samsung/Adidas announcement, the miCoach phone is dubbed the "first true sports music mobile."

Just like the Nike+ system, miCoach collects and analyzes personal data and then customizes training plans based on a user's fitness level and specific goals, while offering real-time feedback during a workout using the phone.

A Battleground in Your Clubhouse
While the Samsung system will work over a cellular network, it appears that the Apple solution will communicate directly with the fitness equipment, which probably means that these machines will require an Internet connection in the very near future. Other systems, such as FitLinxx, aleady track users' progress online without the need for an iPod. Keep this in mind if you're designing a new fitness center or refurbishing an exercise room in an existing community.

And while I'm giving you more work ... make sure you review the TV service in these spaces as well. Most fitness equipment is not equipped to receive a secured digital signal, which will render all those treadmill screens dark if you don't install a mini-headend or otherwise address the problem with your video provider.

In any case, it's apparent that the fitness center is becoming a battleground for your health-conscious residents' eyes, ears and wallets. The multifamily industry is just lucky enough to be caught in the crossfire.

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