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participation to show employers, or healthcare providers in order to get a discount on insurance. Meanwhile the social media function allows members to go on a virtual run with someone in another part of the country. “Everyone takes their mobile


everywhere now, so they have access to content wherever they are – except in the gym, which is the one time you want access to media,” says Bryan Arp, CEO of Netpulse, who expects the product to have a big impact on motivation levels. And it’s not just members who will


benefi t from this technology. It can help inform clubs’ buying decisions by tracking what equipment is being used and looking at the workout data. It also shows how much individual members are exercising, helping clubs to identify those who are in danger of lapsing. The platform is currently being rolled


out across some of the larger US health club chains, but Netpulse has also struck deals with a number of major equipment manufacturers – details as yet undisclosed – to embed the technology into the latest versions of their equipment in time for the European launch early next year. “We’re working on UK


launch plans and there’s a great deal of interest,” says Arp. “We believe our platform creates unique opportunities that will change the criteria consumers look for when choosing a fi tness centre.”


Star Trac Coach offers on-screen coaching from a professional running coach


october 2010 © cybertrek 2010


Technogym (left and above) and Precor (right) are both investing in new technology to keep members interested


web-enabled Last year, Technogym launched Visio, an upgrade to its digital platform – Wellness TV – which provides entertainment, allows members to monitor results and guides them through their workout. The latest version, VisioWeb, includes web access and is available this month. It can be retrofitted to Excite+ equipment. As well as giving users access to live


TV, radio, iPod, USB multimedia devices and games, the touchscreen display also shows the lapsed time, calories, distance, heart rate, speed and goals for the workout. There are a variety of exercise programmes on offer and different interfaces for different categories of user, from beginners to the more advanced. “With increasing focus on technology


within fi tness, the inspiration for Visio’s development was to deliver the ultimate


digital platform to increase motivation, show results and provide entertainment in a simple and intuitive way while users work out,” says Technogym’s Visio product manager Craig Swyers.


virtual reality And then there’s the whole category of interactive offerings, with exercisers taken into a virtual training environment via their personal screens. Trixter launched its Sony Playstation


bike at LIW, with users able to play Playstation’s race-based games on- screen while they cycle. It also launched an updated version of its Xdream bike at the show, with a ghost racing mode that allows users to race against themselves. Meanwhile Matrix Fitness Systems


launched a video programme, Virtual Active, in the summer, which allows users to work out to cinema-quality videos of iconic destinations, including the Las Vegas strip and the Hollywood Walk of Fame, while the cardio equipment automatically adjusts to the elevation changes seen on screen. MD for Matrix Fitness


UK, Jon Johnston, believes this is a great way to give members a new experience and keep them engaged. Compatible with Matrix 7xe Series cardio equipment, it’s sold with fi ve videos, although many more are available to buy. And InStyle carried


out the fi rst European installation of its


Read Health Club Management online at healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital 55


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