Console Wars: Touch-Screen or Tablet Pairing?
A few years ago, touch-screen consoles on fitness equipment was the hottest fitness industry trend. Now, we’re ready to confidently predict a whole new revolution: Tablet compatibility and custom fitness apps designed by each manufacturer—that ultimately work across all brands and machines.
From Bodyguard to Cybex to Octane… to All
The trend began two years ago with Bodyguard’s products, and other manufacturers quickly followed suit. Cybex, one of the leading manufacturers in the world and one of our top-selling brands, plans to release a robust new fitness app on 3/1/14. It will be a fully interactive iPad App that allows you to plug Cybex cardio data directly into your tablet. In essence, your tablet becomes your touch-screen console – a console you can take with you when you’re done with your workout, and bring to your next workout, even if it’s on a different machine.
This new paradigm has a lot of advantages. Many of these apps – like Octane’s tablet-based consoles on its new Q-Series ellipticals—offer video coaches and customized workouts that track your progress while you work out. You can even check your email, watch movies or TV shows, or have video calls with people while you’re working out, all with your fitness data being collected and processed in the back ground.
Home Gyms—The New Frontier for Tablet Fitness
One of the most exciting advantages of the tablet-based console revolution will be seen in home gyms. In the past, products sold by companies like Vectra and Hoist came with a poster or even a thick book that demonstrated workout possibilities and proper form – but now these brands come with their own custom apps. You create an account, log in, and you can track your results – and just as importantly, have constant access to the machine’s manual and form information.
Multigyms from Hoist now come with interactive videos that show exactly how the machines are used and what the options are. Visuals are always the fastest way to get up to speed on any piece of equipment, and these apps are like having a personal trainer from the company in your home, showing you all the right moves.
Add to this the ability for companies to update their apps universally just by pushing out a new version, and you’ve got the ultimate “killer app” that will leave touch-screen consoles behind—a lot faster than you might suspect.
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