It’s that time of year again – we’ve packed on a few extra pounds thanks to Christmas turkey and a week or so of laziness and generally taking it easy. Thoughts inevitably begin to turn to repairing some of the damage and, especially for the weirdos among us, how technology might be able to help us do it.
Health and fitness technology is big business – the market is just for fitness trackers prediction to reach close to $100 billion by the end of 2025. All major mobile device manufacturers are competing for a piece of the pie and at the same time, a new market has emerged for home fitness technology thanks to the Covid-19 lockdowns . Here’s my rundown of what the most important technology trends in this area will be over the next 12 months.
Health and Fitness in the Metaverse
What is the metaverse? Well, the jury is still out – it could be a load of over-advertised nonsense or it could be the future of the internet! In a few years, we should know for sure, but in the meantime, many of the constituent technologies that advocates of the metaverse say will make up the new, more inclusive and more experiential online world are firmly embedded in everyday life.
Take virtual and augmented reality for example. Both of these are predicted to play a key role in the emergence of the metaverse, and are also popular with tech-minded health and fitness enthusiasts. Many different training programs can now be delivered through VR headsets, covering cardio training and strength training. Popular examples include FitXR app, which offers high-intensity interval training sessions. You can also take part in simulated golf, diving, boxingfencing and many other sports activities, all of which make the training experience to keep users active and engaged.
Wearables are becoming more sophisticated and powerful
Fitness trackers like Fitbit wristbands, as well as smartwatches like Apple, Pixel and Samsung models with built-in fitness tracking capabilities, have been with us for a while. Over the next year, we’ll see them continue to become more sophisticated, with more powerful and flexible sensors capable of monitoring and giving us AI-enhanced feedback about our daily routine. In recent years, we’ve seen manufacturers add EKG scanners that can measure electrical signals in the heart to provide early warning against potentially life-threatening conditions like atrial fibrillation. Another recent development is Sp02 monitoring, which can warn against conditions that affect lung function, including Covid-19.
With research showing that one in five Americans now wears a fitness tracker or smartwatch with health monitoring capabilities, we are now capturing and analyzing more health data than ever before. In 2013, this flood of information will help develop new techniques for detecting health issues and understanding how our bodies are affected by our daily activities and the world around us. This will lead to the development of new treatments and therapies that will ultimately contribute to better health and fitness for all.
App-based home workout classes
The pandemic forced gyms to close and left many of us holed up in our homes. Although restrictions have been lifted in many parts of the world, it seems like we’ve developed a taste for home workouts delivered via apps. The cost of living crisis affecting many parts of the world is also likely to be an influencing factor here, as expensive gym memberships are often one of the first expenses people look to cut to cut costs.
In recent years, we have seen the development of more powerful and sophisticated features – such as Artificer AI-powered personal trainer app that uses computer vision through your smartphone camera to provide real-time feedback on form and posture.
We’re also likely to see more traditional health and fitness-focused organizations jump on the AI-powered app trend – another example is WW (formerly Weight Watchers) which has created its own app-based ecosystem that uses AI to monitor diet and activity metrics, including movement and sleep patterns.
As lives get busier and more people find themselves working longer hours or taking on multiple jobs to make ends meet, apps and home-based workouts make it easier to incorporate exercise in our hectic daily routine, where a trip to the gym may not be possible.
Smart home gyms
Another trend driven by the Covid-19 pandemic has seen home gym equipment evolve to become part of the Internet of Things (IoT), meaning we can now have home gyms packed with versions smart, connected exercise bikes, treadmills and more. fitness equipment.
Peloton is arguably the most recognizable name in the game – purchasing its equipment and subscribing to its services gives users a chance to participate in live classes that feature real-time interactions with other users as well as trainers . You also have the option to compete for positions on the leaderboard, adding a level of gamification.
Peloton may have paved the way for smart home fitness devices, but other players are coming out hot, eager to become household names in 2023 as well. JaxJox creates smart kettlebells and dumbbells that let you change their weight at the touch of a button, while TheTrainer+ from Vitrivian offers a “gym on a platform” that includes a whole set of weight training and resistance exercises using a connected platform.
Despite the fact that many of us are now able to access gyms and outdoor exercise opportunities, it seems the convenience and accessibility of exercising at home is hard to beat. That’s why I think smart home gyms and fitness equipment will continue to be a strong trend throughout 2023.
Don’t forget mental health too!
Often overlooked, but there is one lesson we need to learn to get through the tough times ahead, is the importance of taking care of our mental health.
Headspace and Calm are two popular apps that aim to encourage mindfulness and reduce stress as a technology-driven response to the challenges of the modern world. Both have seen their user numbers grow in recent years, and I predict that will continue next year.
Just as we see home workout apps and smart fitness devices dedicated to improving fitness, we can also expect an increase in similar products and services focused on yoga, individual therapy, mindfulness and stress relief.
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