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article imageGym managers can make use of virtual reality

By Tim Sandle     Jul 19, 2017 in Health
A great deal of digital health innovation has been aimed directly at the consumer, but what about the companies that operate fitness centers and gyms? Here technologies like virtual reality can make a difference.
Virtual reality technology though different video game-type simulators can improve athleticism in real life. Add to this, augmented reality can provide virtual targets, positioning guides, and many other images to help training athletes make improvements. Digital Journal has shown how start-ups are using these to good effect aimed at the consumer market (see: "Health technology embraces virtual and augmented reality"). What, on the other hand, can this type of technology offer the gym manager?
This question has been considered by fitness group Gyminsight. The focus is mainly on the application of augmented reality, which is the use of composite digital images fitted into real-world scenes. One thing that some gym managers are trying is to use these new technologies to enhance the gym-going experience, as well as to tap into younger markets where the idea of pumping iron is less popular. Here if younger people, more used to exercising their thumbs on controller buttons than doing press ups, can be attracted to the gym through the idea of partly playing a game as well as exercising then a new market might open up.
The use of virtual reality can help as well. As an example, California startup Widerun has combined virtual reality with stationary bikes. As well as buying such equipment, gyms can also offer round-the-clock 'virtual' services. Trainers, for example, can pre-record sessions and these can be made available to gyms operating 24/7, so that the night user can view a training class and feel as if they are taking part. This also fits in with the idea of remote access, offering gym classes to people who opt to stay at home or at work rather than making the journey to the gym. For readers interested in this technology, Digital Journal has provided an overview of the technology "Digital health market continues to innovate, remotely."
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