Bring the gym home
with this smart fitness tech
The biking company had to cater to a new target group of customers which are people motivated by group workouts but wished they didn't have to leave their house to do them.
How can they bring their studio group bike experience ANYWHERE?
How can we integrate a touch tablet to the bike surely and safely that could stream live classes and collect data through bluethooth connectivity to the tablet to display rider's preformance and create an out of the box motivating " group workout anytime" experience.
TECHNICAL CHALLENGES SOLVED
Nebula 15.6" and Nebula 21.5" is the best fit for integration to indoor bikes, treadmills or water rowers
to create this immerse experience of connected fitness . The challenges solved were :
1) Optimization of bluetooth, WIFI, speakers and system rearranged to create a stable streaming of live classes, an accurate collection of rider's data
2) To allow Over the Air Updates of Custom ROM, apps so that there are continous improvements on systems and app without be physical on the location.
3) Ensure recovery from failed updates and other unexpected events
4) Optimization in OS to boost in GPU acceleration
5) Conducted vibration testings to ensure tablet preformance on fitness equipments
6) Sleep/Wake on Tap/Pedal
BUSINESS CHALLENGES SOLVED
1) No travel time to get to your workout
2) Can workout anytime you want
3) Motivating, energizing instructors for classes
4) Riders can see their power output, calories burned, heart rate (heart rate monitor needed), and how they compare with other riders
5) Can challenge other people you know who have the same fitness equipment
6) The wide array of energetic live and prerecorded workouts available
whenever you’re ready
Glory Star tablets in review
Happy Friday friends! If you’ve been following me for a while, you know what a diehard Flywheel junky I am. I first tried a Flywheel Sports class when we were still living in Dallas, in August(ish) of 2014, and instantly fell in love. TBH I’ve never been one to really love workout classes or fitness studios. I like to be outside, I like to work out alone haha. But Flywheel Totally changed that for me. I loved the energy in the classroom, what an amazing sweat you work up in this class, and the fact that it’s a whole body workout. I also loved that it was something Michael and I could go to together – and he loved it as much as I did!
So, whenever we decided we were moving to Boulder…one of the first thing’s I googled was “Flywheel Sports Boulder”…and was so sad to find out that Flywheel doesn’t exist in Boulder! I thought after we lived here for a while I would get over it. We could just join a gym, I could run / bike outside, etc. But even after months of being here, I still missed Flywheel so much! It’s such an amazing workout and I love that you can get that in in just 45 minutes. SO, when I heard that Flywheel was launching FLY Anywhere, I told Michael right away “WE HAVE TO GET IT”.
So, for anyone who isn’t familiar with Flywheel or FLY anywhere, I’ll explain what it is, before giving you my full FLY anywhere review! FLY anywhere is the Flywheel stationary bike that allows you to do Flywheel classes from the comfort of your own home. Here are details about the bike itself: It has a flexible frame which is easier on your body, so your joints will thank you. The bike has two bottle holders help keep you hydrated and ergonomically designed handlebars that provide a comfortable grip. The bike also has a Torq (resistance) knob front and center which helps you change resistance, fast. The bike is also fully customizable, so you can adjust the seat height, handlebars, how far you are from the handlebars, etc.
You can get the bike with or without the built in tablet. (I have the built in tablet and that’s how I watch the classes). But if you don’t have the built in tablet, you can just stream the classes either on your iPad or on a smart TV!
Next, let’s talk about the classes. To be honest, I’ve never been one of those people who enjoys working out at home. I never liked doing workout DVD’s because I just lack the motivation to actually do that in my own home, and much less, to push myself. But FLY Anywhere is totally different, because it feels like you’re in the stadium, with the instructor right in front of you and other people doing the class right next to you.
There are a few different types of classes you can choose from – ranging from 20 minutes to one hour. There’s also several different instructors you can choose from and they are constantly recording / adding new classes, so you never get bored! My two favorite instructors right now are Aleah (did her classes in Dallas and she is seriously #goals), and I also love Victor’s classes. I typically do the ‘method 45’ class which is their standard 45 minute ride of interval training, with an arm workout about 3/4 of the way through the class! They also live LIVE classes you can stream if the time works well for you!
A few things I love about Flywheel classes in general, which also applies to FLY Anywhere. Yes, it is a total kick butt workout, but you can also moderate things and go at your own pace. If the instructor says to put your resistance on 28 but that feels way too high for you, bring it down a few notches. The important thing is that you are pushing yourself, and getting your heart rate up. I also love that Flywheel has a tech pad so you can actually see your numbers. Some spin classes will just say “turn your resistance up” or “speed up”…but with flywheel, the instructors can tell you exactly what your resistance needs to be on, and where your RPM’s need to be. The tech pad also tracks your ‘total power’, which is great because it makes you push yourself to try and beat your last score! I love that the class is just 45mins long but in that 45 minutes, you get an amazing workout in. I love the music and the energy and the positivity. I love that there’s a full song just for an arm / upper body workout!
I love being about to do FLY Anywhere in my own house, especially on days if its snowing or raining outside. Or if I have a really busy day and just want to be able to hop on the bike for 45mins to get a workout in. It is SO convenient, and I’ve been doing a class at least 3 days a week!
So how does it work? Go online and build your bike, and then you pay $39/month for unlimited classes. When you order your bike, you’ll also want to order the gear to go with it – the mat and clip in shoes are a must (unless you already have a pair)! FLY Anywhere also offers full service delivery: from unpacking to unloading, and setting up to cleaning up, their team handles it all. All you have to do is FLY! Our bike is currently in an upstairs loft area, but we are wanting to design / build a home gym in our new house. So eventually it will go down there!
Touch Screen Console for fitness equipment
Fitness has changed drastically over the last few decades, people now want entertainment, engagement and experience during their workouts. Equipments like treadmill and cycling stations have traditional control boards that indicates instant performance statistical info such as speed, distance, time, calories burnt, etc.
As the technology for streaming videos, cloud services and internet capabilities evolved, consumer expects more information, entertainment, interactive courses and app compatibilities.
The modern fitness control board requires video streaming such as on demand movies- netflix or live instructional lessons. Adding in the social elements such as facebook status or compete online with other people brings more fun and excitement into the stationary fitness machine.
However the traditional approach is to either use a micro processor with a closed system that only exports the current fitness data to the user. Using something like a PC would be too expensive and also the operating system become vulnerable for other software attacks.
Commercial tablets uses android OS system which is a highly flexible operating system, it has the ability to disable application web stores and forces a single application to be on top of the system. The popularity of the system also has ready 2.8 million third party application that can be use based on the application required. The system's API and libraries also allows for quick integration for wireless connectivity or running live streaming lessons. The tablet is also cloud friendly where you can store all your fitness data in a personal account that can be view in smartphones or other tablets. With the flexibility and popularity of the OS, the revenue stream also changes to adding service subscription fee instead of only maintenance and fixed machine fee. Services such as live or on-demand lessons, recommending workout to users based on their pass performance or even buying accessories at the company webstore are services that can create endless opportunities.
Glory Star specialises in providing commercial console tablets solutions that can be customised- to force open one application, meaning that the user would not be able to access the android menu. This creates a closed system where user can securely use the device for the sole purpose of a fitness tablet. The tablet is also equipped with a VESA mount and has a variety of screen sizes such as 15", 19" , 22" and etc. Through modification and adding drivers to the kernel, the OS is able to connect with other modules through RS232 or GPIO for data interaction. Equipped with own development team and production facility, Glory Star is able to provide a all in one product solution from idea to manufacture.
The next generation of fitness control console
Indoor fitness equipment has been around for a very long period of time already, however the innovation of such product have not seen any significant progress. With the emerging technology of cloud computation, social network and A.I. technology, there could be a chance that we could see how the fitness control console can guide the user to a more healthier lifestyle.
Traditional fitness console tends to provide local data on the spot and are very easy to forget once the exercise has been completed. The connection between the user and fitness exist merely in the gym floor and no more interaction afterwards. Therefore one would forget able heading to the gym again and sometimes cannot find the motivation to do so. I also have a treadmill at home, but like everyone else it's just sitting in the living room as a decoration. With today's technology, there's so much more that we can do to help our user to lead a healthier lifestyle and making workout fun!
A cloud based membership system is a great first step in the console, through logging in your name and password you can see all your workout history anywhere you want. It will record down how much resistance or speed that you have done in the pass and provide today's workout plan for you. Reminder can also be sent via mobile devices or wearables telling you that it's time to hit the gym. Rentals would also be a great method where the user can reserve the treadmill, so they know that it's waiting for them once they get in.
Another method to logged in to the membership system could also be facial recognition, through facial recognition that can automatically log the user in without typing in password.
More than a Touchscreen.
Through having different sensor inside the equipment could also send messages to service companies that the device needs to be repair. For gym applications, a system could also be established that once the equipment is damage a notice can be display via the screen of the console or even locking down the equipment preventing injuries.
The advancement of AI is can also benefit the user, some of the scenario includes calling up Alexa to speed up the treadmill or even join in a remote class with their favorite instructor. One can even call up their favorite music streaming service and listen to their favorite music. The possibility is endless with 3rd party skill set being development everyday making the console to have new features continuously.
Let's keep it moving
Through using android as the operating system for these consoles, it speeds up the development time and thus reduces the cost compare to traditional console. All the library and sources are already there for use and will over the air updates the device can be constantly receiving new features.
In general the future of the fitness console is a device that constant evolves and know it's users well that interact constantly with them, on and off the gym. Once the device becomes a chain of the IoT (Internet of Things) ecosystem, there's so much possibilities with new revenue streams that can be explore. Many startup companies such as Peloton are taking these technical advantage and transforming the industry. There are also other upcoming products that will be utilizing these technologies in which leads to whole new generation of fitness equipment consoles.