Gyms of the Future: How IoT Will Change Fitness and Sports
IoT is drastically changing the way we work out, and the way we prevent sports-related injuries.
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The Internet of Things (IoT) is no longer anything new. It has made its way in various sectors such as healthcare, agriculture, logistics, smart homes, and many others. IoT is also reshaping the future of the fitness industry, further changing how people engage in workouts and fitness.
If you are unfamiliar with IoT, it refers to the interconnectivity of devices through the Internet, bridging the gap between the analog world and the digital one. It is all around us, and you most likely have seen it already, if not in real life, at least in movies. For example, places where lights switch on automatically when someone enters the room, or doors and curtains that open by themselves when someone is close.
But IoT has done a lot in the fitness industry too. Keep reading to find out how IoT will change workouts and sports.
Protection From Brain Injuries
Getting a concussion is one of the most common, and serious, sports injuries that have threatened the careers of many players for a long time. Luckily, IoT is playing a significant role in developing technology that protects the brain from injuries and concussions.
The smart helmet is one example of such technology, containing sensors that detect when an athlete suffers from a potential brain injury. In such cases, a player is allowed to step out of the game, and recovery procedures are then put in place immediately. The helmet will not only improve players' skills but will also promote their safety in the arena.
Unified Training for Players
Gone are the days when professional sports teams are the only ones who have access to resources such as trainers and cutting-edge technologies to help during training. With IoT in the picture, everyone will have access to the same kinds of resources that aid them to train like pros.
Imagine being able to track when you last made a toss, the speed at which a ball was thrown, how fast it spins, the number of shots, or misses you have had. Sounds incredible!
The Wilson X Connected Football and Connected Basketball are two IoT products that will make this a reality. The data collected will help all players to experience what professional teams have been for years.
Improved Fan Engagement
Professional sports businesses thrive from a strong fanbase. Fans are an integral part of the sports industry. However, the digital era is threatening how fans participate in sports. IoT will step in to provide optimum experiences by developing smart stadiums.
Fans will not only receive enhanced digital interaction but also get to interact with their favorite teams in real-time. They can do this through live videos, social media, and mobile apps. It will increase engagement and, ultimately, viewership.
Personalized exercise is the most common integration IoT applications are offering in terms of fitness. It can change how personal health, workouts, and sports operate today. This entails connected devices that will collect data, utilizing a database and analytics software that can individualize each player and fan's specific needs. These devices will include:
- Wearable tracking devices that record and analyze every aspect of exercise. Devices will also help players share their results with trainers or health professionals.
- Connected bracelets, such as FitBit, will help athletes monitor the distances they have walked, how many steps they take, and how many calories they've burned. FitBit can also monitor your sleep and wake you up in the morning, using the data it collects to help track your progress.
Mental Fitness Without a Gym Membership
Everyone finds themselves stressed out sometime or another. Athletes are no exception. Some doctors recommend going to the gym as a way of improving mental fitness. The era of IoT will eradicate the requirement of getting a gym membership to get rid of stress when a healthcare provider recommends exercise.
A brain-sensing headband known as MUSE can replace the gym when it comes to improving mental fitness. It is an IoT device that measures the activity of the brain. It can strengthen your self-control by monitoring and controlling stress levels. The device can also improve the state of your emotional health and help you form a new habit. With this headband, one will no longer have to go to the gym for mental clarity.
Maintenance of Training Equipment
Taking care of workout gear has long been a challenge, especially for athletic facilities. It is always difficult to tell which machine is about to break or which one has been used more than the other. Such machines break down without warning, leading to poor customer experience. Assumptions are made on what part might need servicing and what might not.
With the advent of IoT in sports, guesswork will be eradicated. Gyms will use data obtained from sensors that provide them with the exact records of exactly how much a machine has been used for a given time. It will help in planning for maintenance of the machines instead of waiting until someone complains of a faulty gear.
Immersive Virtual Reality (VR)
Today, people want to have immersive and engaging workout experiences. However, due to busy schedules and other demanding circumstances, they don't have the time or opportunities to adopt real trainers. As a result, many usually look for ways to train virtually.
IoT in sports has you covered with this one. New Head-Monitored Displays (HMD) such as Oculus Rift, HTC VIVE, and more, can provide an immersive VR to participants. HMD creates the illusion of a virtual environment where it immerses its participant in a computer. The person can then interact with other people who are also training virtually. You can engage in workouts virtually and see the heart rates of other participants alongside your own workouts. This immersion will ensure you remain motivated and want work harder.
The future of gyms is a promising one, and it has even better potential with IoT. Most of the technology might be unimaginable right now, but soon, it will become commonplace for gyms to adopt these IoT technologies. As long as IoT technology is consumable and actionable, all these changes will be for the better. Soon, sports will be connected to the Internet. Gyms will be able to provide a seamless user experience. IoT technology and software will add value to the lives of gym participants. The data collected will be used to track many aspects of workouts, sports, and fitness. Thus, the sports industry must adopt the infrastructure and necessary preparation to harness and exploit the full potential of IoT.
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