Smart trainers: clothing with sensors, watch-assistants and punching bag with AI

Healthy lifestyle apps

Today, it is obvious that in the next 2-3 years digital technology is seriously

will change the face of the usual fitness club by openinga lot of new opportunities. Russian lovers of fitness, wellness and beauty can no longer simply register for various training sessions / consultations with specialists and pay for services through electronic applications. With the help of new technologies, for example, remote monitoring of health status, the client and the trainer will be able to monitor the main functional indicators of the body in real time. Based on a simple introduction of statistical and anthropometric data into the system, nutritionist recommendations for a balanced diet and an initial training program for maintaining good physical shape and health can be instantly obtained.

The fitness app market is actively transformingsmartphones into a "pocket" assistant. Few people can already be surprised by an application that reminds you to get up every hour and move a minute, as the built-in "Activity" on Apple Watch does, or forcing you to drink a glass of water, relax and breathe. In 2018 alone, fitness apps accounted for 1.77 billion downloads.

The market leaders include sports brands:Adidas, Nike, Under Armor, Garmin. Each of them offers several applications at once. For example, the Run Club is popular with Nike - a collection of running programs with audio accompaniment, monitoring progress with all the necessary data: from heart rate to climb. The app creates an individual training plan, analyzing information about previous runs and physical indicators, taking into account goals and level of fitness. The software integrates with Nike Training Club for strength training. In addition, Nike + Run Club is a social network where you can share results with other users and compete.

However, in the issue of challenges, one of the first wasEndomondo - The Under Armor brand bought the company in 2015, and today the app has become part of its suite of fitness software. It allows you to compete in everything from weight loss to longest running distance. The application is designed for tracking running, cycling or walking, integrates into smart watches, works in conjunction with heart rate monitors via Bluetooth and with exercise bikes, offers official challenges, keeps a training diary. At the same time, it is important to have a specialist nearby who will coordinate if something is being done incorrectly.

However, there are more innovative applications:for example, Welltory is a Russian service that helps monitor health thanks to data from wearable devices and artificial intelligence. The analysis is based on the heart rate. The application determines the level of stress and fatigue, helps to understand how much sleep you need, when it is better to do sports. To use Welltory, you need to put your finger on the smartphone camera or connect a special heart monitor that clings to your ear. At the same time, the purity and reliability of the indicators still have errors. Experts believe that it takes some time for the accumulation of data to occur, and then, using ordinary mathematics, all new technological gadgets will demonstrate super-accurate readings.

Fitness with home delivery

Self-isolation has changed the way we train:people began to do more at home, which stimulated the company, firstly, to attend to the issue of delivering equipment and exercise equipment to their homes. This is how fitness studios began to do it: for example, Rock the Cycle resorted to this practice, trying to stay afloat during the coronavirus crisis. We delivered exercise bikes, dumbbells, heart rate sensors, cycling shoes to customers home: this helped to cover rental costs during downtime. In Russia, many companies acted in the same way: equipment suppliers provided them for use as rent, and enterprising fitness clubs thus recouped part of the costs of idle rooms and salaries. The Velobeat network, for example, thanks to this, in quarantine, received 30% of the monthly revenue (it reached 3.5 million rubles) and covered rent, as well as other minor expenses.

But the more widespread trend wasonline classes: during the pandemic, 13% of the population of Russia (19.1 million people) took advantage of this opportunity from fitness clubs. Some, like Rock the Cycle, made their own streaming platform, others just started workouts through Zoom or their own applications.

The World Class fitness club chain has launched a wholeWorld Class Digital project: more than 100 different training programs for people of all ages, informing clients about upcoming classes and useful tips. With the help of online broadcasts, World Class gained recognition from the widest possible audience, and the ratings of views on various resources reach 40 million. The availability of these services, on average, allowed 1 million people to train with the company's coaching staff.

These "pandemic" trends are complemented by andgradually increasing demand for the delivery of proper nutrition. Regular food is already delivered by courier from almost any restaurant or cafe, but with healthy lifestyle food, demand is still higher than supply, at least in the regions. The consumption of dietary products in Russia during self-isolation increased by 45%, and the trend is clearly strengthening: the pandemic has generated stress, which is customary to seize. Now the gained weight will have to be dropped. The market for the delivery of "healthy food" is growing by about 20% annually, and there are few players on it. Those who enter make a good profit: the Enjoy Box regional service in 2018 earned 14 million rubles.

Smart wearables for effective activities

Today, without biomonitoring:pulse and calories are already monitored even while walking. Fitness trackers, smart watches and heart monitors are in demand - in the first quarter of 2020, the market for wearable devices grew by 54% compared to the same period in 2019. Fitness bracelets are more popular than watches due to the low price: in January-March, Russians bought 1 million of these devices is 61% more than in 2019. Fitness watches were purchased by only 230 thousand.

At the same time, the functionality on average for devices is similar:they can count steps, pace of walking or running, distance, calories burned, can monitor sleep, sync with smartphones and fitness apps. The only significant advantage of smartwatches is the ability to install independent software on them, answer calls and messages. But the autonomous work of the fitness tracker is provided for 1.5-2 weeks, while the watch still has to be charged every 2-3 days.

Top 3 models of fitness bracelets and smartwatches of popular brands:

  • Apple Watch - the most popular was Series 3, which cannot only count the heart rate, but also stimulate activity, offer challenges (like 19 running workouts per month), monitor sleep and calories. Synchronization with iOS only. You can swim in the pool without taking off your watch: just block the water ingress with the button. And Series 6 even added blood oxygen measurement.
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch - they look like an ordinary mechanical watch, but they canin fact, everything is the same as Apple: heart rate measurement, sleep monitoring, activity. However, there is also an assessment of stress levels and even monitoring of caffeine intake. Plus, Galaxy Watch is ready to sync not only with Android, but also with iOS.
  • Xiaomi Mi Band - the most recent model, the fifth, already practicallyis identical in functionality to smart watches. The fitness bracelet has learned to show notifications from mail, instant messengers, and answer a call. And all this for a little more than 2 thousand rubles. Sports capabilities are standard: monitoring sleep, calories, activity, heart rate. The tracker also offers 11 types of workouts, records unique data for each type of load. Synchronization is possible with iOS and Android.

First on the market for smart and functional sneakerswere Puma in 1986, in 2018 the company re-released the same model, but in less than 100 pieces. For the mainstream consumer, Adidas pioneered smart cushioning in 2004. The system automatically adjusted to the person, based on the analysis of the deformation of the sole. This allowed for optimal cushioning in different conditions.

However, today the idea of ​​smart shoes is more developed by Under Armor, which is familiar mainly to professional athletes. The brand began producing running shoes and in 2018 released the innovative HOVR line, and in 2019 presented the HOVR Infinite model with a sensor that communicates with a phone or watch via bluetooth. The sensor is in the right shoe and connects to the official Under Armor apps: MapMyRan, MapMyWalk and more. It reads and analyzes training data: distance, pace, foot position, cadence. Based on this, the application gives advice on training in the process, and can suggest training plans. You can leave to run without gadgets - when the sneakers are again "in the same field" with the phone, they are synchronized, and the data about the workout will appear in the application. Today Under Armor has a Bluetooth sensor in all models of the HOVR line, except for children. Moreover, he is not afraid of water and does not require recharging.

Nike made their own smart sneakers, butexclusively for basketball players and with completely different technologies. In 2019, Adapt BB entered the market, which are able to "lace up" themselves. More precisely, they are pulled along the foot and are fixed on it. The mechanism can be controlled via a smartphone or buttons on the sole. The app remembers how the fit is adjusted during training and rest, and can automatically adjust the sneakers to fit your foot. Minus one - periodically the mechanism needs recharging on a special rug.

However, technologies sometimes concern morethe basics, such as the comfort and performance of shoes, especially running shoes. Back in 1988, Reebok introduced the world to the Energy Return System (ERS), which is based on cylinders made from a flexible, thermoplastic elastomer used for car bumpers. There are 6 cylinders in the forefoot and 4 cylinders in the rear. They act like springs and deliver 30% more energy per mm of compression compared to technologies such as Air Max (Nike) or Tiger Gel 100 (ASICS). Today, Reebok uses DMX: a system of air chambers that primarily provide dynamic cushioning. It is used in both basketball and running shoes.

However, it's not just sneakers that are smart:Athos offers smart clothes with biometric sensors. The brand has been engaged in things of the future since 2012 and today produces shorts, breeches and longsleeves (long-sleeved T-shirts) made of special conductive synthetic fabric. There are small sensors inside the clothes, and a special wearable module with an accelerometer and Bluetooth is added to them for synchronization with a smartphone. In a T-shirt, for example, there are 18 sensors: 14 for monitoring muscle fibers and two for monitoring respiration and pulse. There are only ten sensors in the shorts: eight for the muscles of the legs, two for the pulse. All this is done to control the technique of performing exercises, to avoid overloading certain muscle groups. In addition, the accuracy of heart rate measurements in clothing is higher than in bracelets or watches.

Technological simulators for home and gyms

Another promising direction of developmentfitness industry - simulators with advanced functionality and often with artificial intelligence. In Russia, they are still not as popular as in the United States, due to their high cost (measured in thousands of dollars), but in some fitness centers they are already appearing. For example, treadmills and exercise bikes from Peloton, which the pandemic only played into its hands. The company's shares are up 184% since the beginning of 2020. The Peloton machines are equipped with a real-time exercise screen. In addition, users are offered a subscription to fitness streams, which can be ordered without a simulator.

But if you surprise with a treadmill with a screensomeone is difficult, then a smart mirror with live streaming and load selection is still of great interest. The simulator was presented by the New York startup Mirror. In fact, it is a touch and voice control mirror screen, with a microphone, camera and speakers. At the time of its release, the simulator offered 50 sports programs - from boxing to Pilates. The AI ​​must analyze the user's actions, preferences, goals, heart rate and body temperature data, and based on this, make a workout. The mirror also offers group video lessons. Following the Mirror in 2020, a similar device was announced by Yves Béhar, although it costs almost 3 times more - $ 3,995 versus $ 1,500.

Another fitness invention belongs to RussiaAre unique sports simulators of alpine skiing and snowboarding from SkyTechSport. The company offers interactive high-tech sports with gaming elements. It is this simulator that simulates the sliding movements of speed skating and skiing with different intensities with a huge screen that allows you to make virtuoso lists in the Alps and participate in short track competitions. It was used by the American team to prepare for the Sochi Olympics. Inside each simulator there are motors that recreate the mechanics of movement and are able to simulate overload, and to enhance the effect, a screen is located in front of the simulator, which helps to feel like on a mountain slope.

In 2018 SkyTechSport also released the first inthe world of boxing robot - BotBoxer: a smart punching bag capable of dodging punches by analyzing the boxer's movement, legs and body position, predicting his next lunge. Infrared sensors and an engine that turns the robot during sparring are responsible for all this. The bollards next to the punching bag, creating the effect of a boxing ring, also received motion sensors. To control the device, a touch screen is attached to the robot.

With such a development of artificial intelligence, it remains only to wait until the appearance of the fitness industry will completely change, and everyone's usual classic club models will become the history of the industry's development.

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